The prime directive for Phil Emery going into the 2012 draft was to improve the pass rush, the passing game and the secondary vs. the receiving threats in Detroit and Green Bay.
The Bears ostensibly did all of those with defensive end Shea McClellin in the first round, wideout Alshon Jeffery in the second and tight end Evan Rodriguez in the fourth rounds, and cornerback-turning-safety Brandon Hardin in the third.
I felt like we did very well in the overriding thing, finding the players that can help us the quickest to reach our goals of winning a championship, said the general manager after running his first draft. We felt very good. We made progress in that area.
But whether they gained on the Lions or Packers the Vikings are far enough back to be omitted from this discussion, even with a solid draft is problematic.
The Lions improved protection for Matthew Stafford with Iowa tackle Reilly Reiff in the first round and a receiver (Ryan Broyles) in the second, although Broyles was out of Combine drills because of injuries to both knees. Then they went defense with their next six picks, all of them linebackers or defensive backs.
The Packers used their first six picks on defense, four of them in the front seven of their 3-4. GM Ted Thompson has a strong draft record, doesnt miss badly on too many picks, so chances are Green Bay will not be in the 30s defensively again.
Of course, the Packers may be positioning themselves to take a precipitous step backwards in the division, and more.
The Packers are prepared to go into the 2012 season with no quarterback other than Aaron Rodgers who has ever taken an NFL snap. Coach Mike McCarthy told NFL sage Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel this weekend that Green Bay wasnt going after a veteran quarterback, potentially setting Thompson up for the Jerry Angelo treatment if Rodgers goes down.