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NFC North Rundown: Lions targeting defense in April, have eyes on hosting the 2024 Draft

Playmakers in the middle-to-back portion of the defense could be a priority for the Lions in this year’s draft.

2021 NFL Draft Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

With the NFL Combine upon us this week, the draft portion of the offseason is in full swing. For two franchises of the NFC North, the draft is not only a focus of this offseason, but a consideration in the years to come.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Green Bay and Detroit are finalists to host the 2024 NFL Draft. As both cities look to host the special event for the first time, they must first attend to the task at hand this spring. For the Lions, that might mean targeting defense early in the draft after previous discussions this offseason centering around quarterbacks.

Today’s musings keep an eye on the draft in Detroit, while predicting Minnesota’s offensive concepts in 2022 and Chicago’s contract extension candidates.

Detroit Lions

Report: Detroit In Running to Host 2024 NFL Draft

The city of Detroit has joined Green Bay in the running to host the draft in two years.

2022 NFL combine: It’s time for the Detroit Lions to finally add a playmaker at linebacker

Outside of DeAndre Levy, the Lions have struggled to hit on a playmaker at inside linebacker for a long time. Here are a few candidates Detroit could look to select, including another former Wisconsin Badger.

NFL Network’s Jeremiah has no issues with Lions taking Irish safety Hamilton

One draft guru is skeptical of this year’s quarterback class and believes the Lions could opt to go with a safety - yes, a safety - with the second overall pick instead.


Minnesota Vikings

What will the Vikings’ offense look like under Kevin O’Connell?

Expect pre-snap motion, three-receiver sets, and “the illusion of complexity” to be staples of O’Connell’s offense in Minnesota, much like they are in Los Angeles and Green Bay.

Wyatt Davis and Other 2021 Vikings Draft Picks Who Could Take a Second-Year Leap

The Vikings will be counting on these three players from last year’s draft class, in particular, to become dependable fixtures in year two.

Vikings Hire Greg Manusky as Inside Linebackers Coach For Ed Donatell’s Defensive Staff

With 12 years of defensive coordinator experience, the former Viking player Manusky has now become a Vikings coach.


Chicago Bears

Offensive Emphasis a Faulty Assumption

A lot of the focus with a new head coach has been on the offense, specifically the quarterback position. However, the Bears have some defensive issues to address, especially at linebacker.

Could Injuries Hold Down Receivers’ Prices

A handful of receiving targets in free agency are coming off of injuries and could present the Bears (and many other teams) with high-upside production at a cheaper price.

6 Bears who could be next in line for a contract extension

Extending Roquan Smith is Priority A for the new Bears front office, but there are a few other members of last year’s team that could be ready for new deals.