After a brief hiatus, our good buddy Greg Cosell of NFL Films, ESPN's NFL Matchup, and Shutdown Corner is back to talk a little football. And with more than a month passed since the draft, we thought it would be interesting to review that selection process by division, now that teams have given a bit of insight into how their new players will be used. We've already covered the NFC West, AFC West, AFC South, and NFC South. Now, we'll move to the NFC North to see how the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, and Minnesota Vikings did with their selections.
On the Chicago Bears first-round pick, Oregon OL Kyle Long: "He was a fascinating player to me, because when you watch offensive linemen in college, you very often see tackles who aren't good enough to play tackle in the NFL, so they're going to have to transition to guard. I thought Kyle Long was the exact opposite. He played predominantly left guard at Oregon, though he did play some snaps at tackle, and the more I watched him ... his body type and movement really fit the tackle position better than the guard position at the next level. He's got long arms and light feet -- he's got athletic movement and good body control. I don't know how it will play out early in his career, but it's there for him to be a tackle."
On the Detroit Lions' first-round pick, BYU DE Ezekiel Ansah: "Well, they also brought in line coach Jim Washburn, and Jim Schwartz was in Tennessee when Jim Washburn was there, running the wide-9 [end position]. Ansah has a lot of natural athleticism that you can't teach, and that's why he gets drafted high. At Brigham Young, he played many different spots along the line, including one-tech nose tackle. He's a naturally quick athlete with explosive traits, and I felt that there some similarities between Ansah and Jason Pierre-Paul when he came out of South Florida. Pierre-Paul is a little more natural as a pass-rusher, because his flexibility is a little better, but Ansah is clearly a athletic kid with the kind of movement that not a lot of guys with his size have."
On the Green Bay Packers' first-round pick, UCLA DL Datone Jones: "I'd describe him as a chameleon, because he played at times bigger than 280 pounds, and at times smaller than 280 pounds. By that, I mean that there were times when he was a power player, with great strength and leverage. There were other times when he was a quickness and finesse player. I really like Datone Jones, and as I recall, they got this draft card up pretty quickly. I am not comparing him to J.J. Watt, but the only way I will compare him is that like Watt, I believe Jones will develop into a better pass rusher in the NFL than he was in college."
On the Minnesota Vikings' first-round pick (one of three), Tennessee WR Cordarrelle Patterson: "I'm sure they took Patterson with their third first-round pick because he was the best player on their board. But in a sense, you could argue that he's a bigger Percy Harvin. I don't think he's as good as Percy Harvin as a receiver, and he's much better at this point in time with the ball in his hands than he is as a route-runner. He needs to be taught that. Now, that can be done, and it's up to, 'How does he learn, and how is he coached?' But [given] the fact that he's 6-foot-2 and 216 pounds, you realize that his movement skills with the ball in his hands are pretty special."
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