Who will earn the right to be the King in the North in the NFC?
As we approach the NFL season, “Game of Thrones extra & NFL MVP” Aaron Rodgers, holds the right to the throne in the NFC North. Those of you who are GoT fans, I think we can all agree that the Packers season ended as well as the final season of the hit-HBO series. Which NFC North team can take down the Packers and earn their right as King? We will dig into each House and see if they have what it takes.*Warning* Game of Thrones spoilers ahead, but if you haven’t watched it by now, you can just fuck off.
The Green Bay PackersAfter getting the #1 seed and a 13-3 regular season, the Packer’s Super Bowl hopes crumbled like The Wall in the final season when they lost to the Bucs in the NFC Championship game. We all know the stats about Rodgers and his lone Super Bowl victory. After the Packers traded up to draft Jordan Love in the 1st round last April, that lit a fire under Rodgers’ ass, which eventually propelled him to win the NFL MVP. What should we expect this offseason?
Pro Bowl running back, Aaron Jones, is likely getting shipped off somewhere else in Free Agency, which leaves 2020 2nd round pick, AJ Dillon to take the reigns. Dillon, built like fucking Dothraki Warrior, showed some promise in his limited action last year. The Packers do have arguably the best wide receiver in the game is Davante Adams, but they’ll need some help around him despite the emergence of Big Bob Tonyan and the Lizard King, Allen Lazard. Below is a mock draft from TheDraftNetwork that I did for each NFC North team and here is the haul we got for the Green & Gold.
Packers Mock Draft
1.29 – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB, Notre Dame
2.26 – Dillon Radunz OT, North Dakota State
3.92 – Elijah Moore WR, Ole Miss
4.135 – Chuba Hubbard RB, Oklahoma State
4.142 (comp) – Kary Vincent Jr. CB, LSU
5.174 – Bobby Brown III IDL, Texas A&M
5.178 (comp) – Rachad Wildgoose Jr. CB, Wisconsin
6.215 – Joshua Kaindoh EDGE, Florida State
6.221 (comp) – Luke Farrell TE, Ohio State
7.250 – Drew Dalman IOL, Stanford
The first pick for the Packers in my mock may come as a surprise but it’s clear that they need another alpha leader on that defense and that’s exactly what Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is. He’s also a steal at that spot, but when he was available, I had to take him. Adding a running mate to spell AJ Dillon will also help the offensive production. They also address WR in the 3rd round with Elijah Moore, who torched SEC defenses last year with 1,193 yards and 8 TDs. Some other value picks throughout the draft and it definitely helps to have three expected compensatory picks. As long as the Pack has #12, they’re going to be tough to dethrone.
The Minnesota Vikings
In a bit of a disappointing season, the Vikings finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs. Despite the shitty season, they had a few bright spots. Justin Jefferson, who should’ve won Offensive Rookie of the Year, was hotter than Randyll and Dickon Tarly after they were burned alive by Drogon. Dalvin Cook proved once again that he remains one of the elite backs in the NFL. Kirk Cousins, statistically, had a great year. Cousins might not be the King in the North, but he is King in Garbage Time. However, with all of this good, also came the bad. The Vikings defense often looked like White Walkers that stood by and let the Night King get got by Arya Stark.
I have to think being a Vikings fan is sort of like the Red Wedding. You show up and everything is pointing to a great ending. Then when you least expect it, you’re getting stabbed and shot with arrows in a ghastly fashion. The rest of the NFL sends their regards.
To be fair though, I believe that the Vikings are a much better team than their record shows. After starting the season 1-5, they went on to win 5 of their next 6, including an impressive win at Lambeau against the Packers. With that being said and all of the promising talent that the Vikings have on offense, the question remains: Can Kirk Cousins lead them to a Super Bowl?Unfortunately, it doesn’t fucking matter because they’re not in a position to upgrade next year. The Vikings aren’t getting Deshaun Watson or Russell Wilson or trading up for Trevor Lawrence. We know Kirk is good enough to get the Vikings to the playoffs and with a little luck, I think they can get to the NFC Championship game with the talent they have on their offense. Add a couple more pieces on defense and they may find themselves in the hunt. How can they add defensive pieces? I’m glad you asked. TDN came through once again for me to mock up a Vikings draft that could help their defense improve.
Vikings Mock Draft
1.14 – Kwity Paye EDGE, Michigan
3.78 – Andre Cisco S, Syracuse
3.90 – Walker Little OT, Stanford
4.119 – Darius Stills IDL, West Virginia
4.134 – Ben Cleveland IOL, Georgia
4.143 – Rashad Weaver EDGE, Pittsburgh
5.158 – Tommy Kraemer IOL, Notre Dame
5.172 – Tre Brown CB, Oklahoma
6.201 – K.J. Costello QB, Mississippi State
6.222 – Marco Wilson CB, Florida
7.236 – JD Spielman WR, TCU
With no 2nd round pick, the Vikings have to be creative. Their 1st rounder is used to take Kwity Paye. This will add a stud pass rusher to be on the opposite edge of a (hopefully) healthy Danielle Hunter. In addition to adding a shit ton of defensive players, they also build the trenches on offense by taking 3 OL in Little, Cleveland, and Kraemer. If the Vikings want to win with Kirk at the helm, they need to build the trenches full of bullies like Sandor (The Hound) and Gregor Clegane (The Mountain).
The Chicago Bears
Forgive me for putting Mitchell Trubisky on the throne, but I thought it’d be funny. Somehow, they managed to make playoffs with Foles & Trubisky playing quarterback all year. I’m convinced Bran Stark would be a better quarterback than those two and he’s in a fucking wheelchair. I don’t remember whether I was more shocked at the Bears beating the Bucs in primetime this year, or when Ned Stark got his head chopped off at the hands of that fuckboy, Joffrey. Outside of the quarterback play, the Bears have the best defense in the division and a promising run game with David Montgomery. They can only go up right? Well, with the TDN mock draft I did for the Bears, they could be pushing for the division next year.
Bears Mock Draft
1.20 – Mac Jones QB, Alabama
2.52 – Landon Dickerson IOL, Alabama
3.83 – Amari Rodgers WR, Clemson
5.165 – LaBryan Ray IDL, Alabama
6.205 – Alaric Jackson OT, Iowa
6.219 – Chris Evans RB, Michigan
7.226 – Jamar Watson EDGE, Kentucky
Chicago was rumored to be going after Carson Wentz but it sounds like those reports turned out to be false. So in this mock, the Bears get their quarterback in Mac Jones. Not only do they get Mac, but they get his best offensive lineman from Bama as well in Landon Dickerson. This would be an A1 haul for Bears and a step in the right direction to try and dethrone the Packers. However, if we are being honest with ourselves, the problem is at the top. As long as Matt Nagy is coaching the team, this team is doomed. If this poor fanbase has to go through another season of Nagy and Trubisky, they’re going to pull a Tommen Lannister.
The Detroit Lions
The Lions’ chances at winning the NFC North are about the size of Tyrion Lannister. Very small. They ship off Matthew Stafford for the haul of a century and get Jared Goff in return. That’s disappointing. Joffrey ran a better show than the Lions front office does. Stafford is gone, Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones plan to hit the market, and their defense is looks like King’s Landing after Daenerys and her dragon turned it to ashes. Lucky for the Lions, they can read this blog and see what they SHOULD do in my TDN mock draft.
Lions Mock Draft
1.7 – Jaylen Waddle WR, Alabama
2.41 – Christian Barmore IDL, Alabama
3.72 – Jabril Cox LB, LSU
3.88 – Robert Hainsey OT, Notre Dame
4.112 – Ronnie Perkins EDGE, Oklahoma
5.154 – Richard LeCounte III S, Georgia
I understand that these picks may not be very likely, but fuck it, the Lions need a miracle to turn their ship around. Goff needs help, so adding Waddle will give him a guy he can trust, especially if neither Golladay nor Jones return. Last year they took Jeff Okudah with their 1st round pick, which I loved. If they can bring in Barmore and Cox with a couple of Day-2 picks this year, that defense could be nastier than some Jaime and Cersei incest sex.
The King in the North
It all starts with Aaron Rodgers. If he’s under center, the Packers are your King in the North. In addition to Rodgers, they have great coaching, a ridiculously good offensive line, an elite wide receiver, and a defense that is good enough. Behind them, I think the Vikings have the best shot. With their firepower on offense in Cook, Jefferson, and Thielen, they’re the biggest threat. As for the Bears, once they can dump Nagy and get a new coach, they remain in third, despite having the division’s best defense. If you think the Lions have even a remote chance at the division, YOU KNOW NOTHING.
Shoutout to @TheDraftNetwork for making it easy to mock up the NFC North. Do your own Mock Draft in their mock simulator, if you wish. Speaking of The Draft Network, later in March, we are honored to have Trevor Sikkema on 10kTakesMN to talk all about the NFL Draft and get his insight on what your favorite team might do. Stay tuned!