The second night of the 2016 NFL Draft is in the books and the NFC North saw solid selections by all four of its teams.
The Green Bay Packers got depth along the offensive line and added a pass rusher who also excels in coverage.
The Detroit Lions added depth at the center position while also getting a steal in finding a new defensive tackle.
The Chicago Bears got hoodwinked by Ted Thompson in the second round, but recovered enough to add protection for Jay Cutler while getting a good pass rusher in the third round.
The Minnesota Vikings selected talent for their secondary while sitting out the third round.
Here is a more in depth look at how the Packers and their divisional rivals on night two of the draft.
Green Bay Packers
OT Jason Spriggs, Indiana (2nd Round 17th selection, 48th overall)
After a season where the Packers saw their entire offensive line suffer some kind of injury, Trader Ted made a surprise early appearance as Green Bay jumped up nine spots in a trade with the Indianapolis Colts to select Spriggs. The Colts received pick number 57 in return plus a fourth and a seventh round pick.
It was a bold move for Thompson, but the fist bumps seen in the Packers’ war room show how much the team loves Spriggs. He ran a 4.9 40 at the combine and showed incredible quickness on his feet. A former tight end, Spriggs is a terrific athlete who is also a workout warrior.
He played left tackle at Indiana, which opens the possibility of David Bakhitari moving to guard should he re-sign with the Packers after 2016 and either T.J. Lang or Josh Sitton leave in free agency.
Regardless, Green Bay needed depth on the offensive line to help protect Aaron Rodgers and they got a dandy of a player in the second round.
OLB Kyler Fackrell, Utah State (3rd round 25th selection, 88th overall)
There is nothing wrong with adding another pass rusher, but this one seemed a bit of a reach for Thompson as some had a fourth or even fifth round grade on Fackrell.
That being said, that may have more to do with him coming from the MWC than it does his talent. The Packers have not had many good coverage linebackers since they switched to the 3-4 in 2009, and Mackrell posses that talent.
He also has pass rush potential and could really benefit from Dom Capers’ tutelage. It’s not clear if Fackrell could move inside, but it seems unlikely given his skill set.
This will be a disappointment to some hoping for an inside linebacker to be taken in the first three rounds, but Thompson has stuck to his board.
How far that carries him in rounds four and five remains to be seen.
OG Cody Whitehair, Kansas State (2nd round 25th selection, 56th overall)
The Bears reportedly had their eyes on Spriggs, but thanks to Thompson’s trade the Packers leapfrogged directly in front of the Bears and picked him instead. The Bears then traded picks with the Seahawks which dropped them seven slots to the 25th pick in the second round and number 56 overall.
As for the selection of Whitehair, Chicago chose to shore up protection around Jay Cutler rather than add another piece to a still-rebuilding defense. Whitehair could be the J.C. Tretter of the Bears as he played every position in college but center. Bears GM Ryan Pace hopes he will help the offensive line keep Cutler upright.
This was just a solid overall pick for the Bears.
DT/DE Jonathan Bullard, Florida (3rd round ninth selection, 72nd overall)
The Bears get a good run stuffer and great value getting a player in the third round that easily could have gone in the second or even the first round.
Bullard can play the 5-tech role and is incredibly powerful right at the snap of the ball. He’s the kind of player John Fox loves, and should continue to grow under Fox’s tutelage.
Combined with the selection of Leonard Floyd in the first round, suddenly the Bears are getting some nice young talent on defense that a great defensive mind like Fox will be ready to exploit.
DT A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama (2nd round 15th selection, 46th overall)
Ranked by some as the best defensive tackle in the draft, Robinson becomes a steal at the midway point of the second round. He’ll be looked at as the replacement to Ndamukong Suh and should be the Week 1 starter at nose tackle.
He’s built like your stereotypical nose tackle and swallows up running backs at the point of contact up the A gap. Robinson will draw plenty of double teams and can also shed blockers with ease.
He also had a strong locker room presence in a positive way (unlike Suh) which the traditionally undisciplined Lions have been lacking. If he can just bring about 75% of the on-field ability Suh had, the Lions will be in great shape with this pick.
C Graham Glasgow, Michigan (3rd round 33rd selection, 95th overall)
Protection for Matthew Stafford continued to be a high priority for the Lions as Glasgow is the second offensive lineman selected by Detroit in their first three picks.
He’s not very athletic, but Glasgow is powerful enough to win matchups and also has great awareness which is a critical trait for a center to have,
Glasgow does have a DUI charge against him and also struggles against strong interior pass rushers. He’s not going to be a starter right away, but he could be in a couple years if he develops over time.
CB Mackensie Alexander, Clemson (2nd round 23rd selection, 54th overall)
After going offense in the first round, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer got some needed relief in the secondary.
With Trae Waynes having a disappointing rookie season and Terrence Newman nearing the end of his career, this move made sense for the Vikings. He could easily start this season, depending on if Waynes makes any improvement in his second season.
Alexander is Zimmer’s type of player: Fiery and aggressive. The last time he was scored on? 2014, as he didn’t give up a single touchdown at Clemson last season That said, he is very much a hands on guy and will struggle to avoid illegal contact penalties. He also didn’t record a single interception in his collegiate career.
Throw in some potential bumps in the road with his personality and this seems like a potential boom or bust pick for the Vikings.
The NFC North had a solid second night of the draft with each team addressing some needs. Packers fans are a little uneasy that Thompson still has yet to seriously address the inside linebacker position, but they have to be thrilled at the talent of the two picks Green Bay made tonight.
The draft is nearing the halfway point and there is still plenty of talent left on the table. Could the Packers take another defensive tackle with Andrew Billings inexplicably still available? Will the Bears find Jay Cutler’s successor and take Connor Cook who many thought would be gone by now? Could Detroit find an heir to the newly retired Megatron? Is Minnesota going to beef up their offensive line to help protect Teddy Bridgewater?
Stay Tuned. The fun has barely begun.