Mel Kiper's 2011 NFL Draft Grades For the NFC North

Mel Kiper's NFL draft grades at ESPN are as good as anything to discuss, though I do have some disagreement with them. And it starts out at the top.

Detroit Lions: A-. They're at the top of his draft grades, and I didn't like their draft at all. They had three picks in the Top 60, and used them on some of the positions where they didn't really need more players. DT Nick Fairley is a great talent, but their defensive line is very good without him. I'm not a big fan of WR Titus Young. If a receiver is under 180, he had better have 4.2 something speed, and Young isn't that fast. RB Mikel Leshoure is a good player, but now he'll take carries away from RB Jahvid Best. Will Best become a third down back? If Leshoure is for short yardage, they don't have to spend a Top 60 pick on someone just to run into the back of his lineman. There struggles in short yardage are probably a sign they need better offensive lineman. They didn't add much depth, and they'll be forced to spend heavily in free agency for questionable players once again.

Green Bay Packers: B+. Without getting into all the picks again, he liked them, except he wanted them to find more pass rushers. It's a good point, but I'm not exactly sure which players they passed on that fit the bill and tested negative for marijuana at the combine.

Chicago Bears: B. I really liked their first two picks. RT Gabe Carimi and DT Stephen Paea are good players that fill significant needs. But they only had three other draft choices, so they aren't getting a lot of options. 

Minnesota Vikings: C+. They're the anti-Bears: I didn't like their first two picks, but they're bringing in a lot of rookies. They had four 6th round picks, and two 7th rounders, but who knows if any of them are good. TE Kyle Rudolph might be good, but unless they improve their pass blocking, he'll just be there to catch dump off passes from QB Christian Ponder. Speaking of which, I'm not exactly sure how many times I'll mention this now that they've reached so badly for Ponder, but the Vikings passed on QB Aaron Rodgers, twice, in the 2005 draft to select WR Troy Williamson and DE Erasmus James.

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