With the draft way in the rear view and training camps just a few weeks away, we continue our rookie personnel series with Greg Cosell of NFL Films and ESPN's "NFL Matchup," and talk about the NFL by division. Who did themselves the most favors in the draft, and who came up short when addressing their roster deficits?
We started off with the NFC West a month ago, jumped to the hyper-competitive AFC North, and then moved to the NFC South, NFC East and AFC South. Now, it's time to turn our attention to the NFC North. What did the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings do to update their rosters with new blood? Greg also discusses two NFL North quarterbacks -- Matthew Stafford and Christian Ponder -- through the looking glass provided by the "Jaws QB Countdown," the Ron Jaworski quarterback analysis series that Greg produced for ESPN.
On Chicago Bears first-round DE/OLB Shea McClellin: "I clearly saw him as a 4-3 outside linebacker, and I thought he'd be terrific at it. And then, I got a chance to talk to him the night before the draft, and he said that a lot of teams had talked to him about playing 4-3 defensive end. I'm not sure -- I think he can rush the quarterback very well whether he has his hand on the ground, or whether he's standing up. But if he's truly to play 4-3 D-end on the Bears' defense, then you get into being very tough and physical against the run. I think he's capable of it, but I'm not sure I saw that watching his tape."
On Detroit Lions first-round offensive tackle Riley Reiff: "I think a lot of people don't like Iowa tackles, because there's a certain robotic movement to the way they're taught. They don't necessarily look fluid and smooth; they don't have that 'dancing bear' look when you watch them on film. When I watched Reiff, I thought he could play left tackle. I could be wrong, but I don't think he's going to start there to begin his career, but he could play left tackle in this league. In that kind of shotgun offense, the ball comes out pretty quick, Matthew Stafford has a pretty quick trigger, and Reiff could be a left tackle in that situation."
On Green Bay Packers first-round defensive end Nick Perry: "They're going to play a 3-4 base, and then, they play that 2-4-5. And they have those two linebackers who are just stand-up defensive ends. And you really need to have each one of them as a good pass rusher -- otherwise, it's too easy for the other offense to handle Clay Matthews from a protection standpoint. Perry did not stand up at USC -- he did here and there, but that's something you've got to figure out. Because that's what he was drafted to do. But I like him. He's got a good first step, and he uses his hands well."
On Minnesota Vikings first-round offensive tackle Matt Kalil: "I watched a lot of Kalil, and I kept going back and forth. He was never a bad player -- don't get me wrong. But there were games I watched him when I thought he was a really nice player, and there were other games where I thought he struggled at times. He struggled when people got inside of him, and I think he allowed that a little too much. But when all is said and done, I think he'll be a perfectly fine NFL left tackle. Will he be elite? That's tough to say."
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