Its pretty evident the Bears and every NFC North team went specifically for need when dissecting the 2012 NFL Draft. How could this happen? Fans have been told repeatedly by organizations that they solely the draft best player available unless trading up or down to target a certain player. My thoughts exactly as teams like the Bears targeted their guy, Alshon Jeffery, by trading up to fill a huge need in the 2nd round. Lets all leave the blinders on and assume it was just happenstance that every NFC North team did not draft for need. The selections tell another story:
Bears - Do Bear fans agree with the first round selection of DE Shea McClellin? The Bears desperately needed a pass rusher opposite Julius Peppers. Is McClellin the real answer when many had him slated for OLB in a 3-4 Defense? The need for a defensive end seems to have clouded the judgment of the actual selection. Only time will tell for McClellin, but the Bears will tell fans all day long they love the pick. Another desperate need was to address getting more playmakers for Jay Cutler. Knowing the likeliness of not having Johnny Knox for the 2012 NFL Season, Jeffery was selected in the second round.
Green Bay Did general manager Ted Thompson not think there was one, NOT ONE offensive player better than any of the defensive players selected through the first five rounds? Here are the selections: DE, DT, LB, DT, SS, OLB, then in Round 7 OT and finally QB. The reality is the Packers ranked last in the NFL in total defense in 2011. The Packers gave up a dreadful 411.6 yards per game.
Detroit I live in Detroit, so understand when I wake up to read the Monday morning paper, there will be at least one quote by head coach Jim Schwartz concerning his unhappiness with RT Gosder Cherilus. Thus, the Lions drafted OT Riley Reiff from Iowa in the first round and WR Ryan Broyles in the second round to eventually replace Nate Burleson. The rest of the Lions selections reflected their needs on defense. Here are the Lions picks after Round 2: CB, OLB, OLB, CB, OLB and CB. I wonder if Lions general manager Martin Mayhew just lucked into these top defensive players considering the Lions defense was ranked 23rd overall. Detroit has specifically been weak in the back 7 of their defense, often playing players out of position.
Minnesota - Mmmmm. General manager Rick Spielman stated before the draft that, Matt Kalil, Morris Claiborne and Trent Richardson all rated equally on Minnesotas draft board. The left tackle ultimately was chosen after the Vikings traded down one spot with Cleveland who selected Richardson. Again, the reality is Minnesota has to score more points. The only way to score more points is to butter the bread of their All-Pro running back, Adrian Peterson. Selecting the needed LT will also help out the most important position on the field, their young quarterback, Christian Ponder. The Vikings only scored 22.1 points per game, ranking 19th in the NFL. Green Bay led the league in scoring with 35 points per game and Detroit was fourth in scoring with 29.6 points a game. Minnesota addressed their need to score more points by selecting Kalil.