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NFC North Offseason Grades 2023

Minnesota Vikings’ 2023 Offseason

Draft Picks:

  • Round 1 (23): WR Jordan Addison, USC
  • Round 3 (102): CB Mekhi Blackmon, USC
  • Round 4 (134): CB Jay Ward, LSU
  • Round 5 (141): DI Jaquelin Roy, LSU
  • Round 5 (164): QB Jaren Hall, BYU
  • Round 7 (222): RB DeWayne McBride, UAB

Free Agency Signings:

  • ED Marcus Davenport
  • CB Byron Murphy Jr.
  • C Garrett Bradbury
  • Dean Lowry
  • TE Josh Oliver
  • RB Alexander Mattison

Losses:

  • DI Dalvin Tomlinson (CLV)
  • CB Patrick Peterson (PIT)
  • LB Eric Kendricks (LAC)
  • TE Irv Smith Jr. (CIN)

Best Move of the Offseason:

  • Drafting USC CB Mekhi Blackmon: Considering how disastrous the Vikings’ secondary was last season, Blackmon could be an immediate contributor as a rookie. He allowed just a 43.1% completion percentage into his coverage and forced 17 total incompletions while picking off three other passes.

Outlook for 2023:

The Vikings made some significant changes in the offseason, notably improving their secondary by signing Byron Murphy Jr. and drafting Mekhi Blackmon. The addition of WR Jordan Addison should be a fantastic fit in the Minnesota offense, providing an immediate upgrade over the departed Adam Thielen.

The signing of TE Josh Oliver was one of the most curious free-agent deals, as he is viewed by most as a backup blocking specialist, and the Vikings will pay him an average of $7 million per year for the next three seasons.

The interior offensive line remains a concern, with pass protection being a clear weakness for the interior blockers. The Vikings also lost some key players, including Dalvin Tomlinson, Patrick Peterson, and Eric Kendricks, which may affect their performance.

With Detroit and Chicago both looking improved and the Vikings fielding an aging roster with few new impact players due to cap concerns, Minnesota is likely in for some regression.

Offseason Grade: B+

The Vikings made some smart moves in the draft, focusing on building depth and addressing key areas of need. The addition of Byron Murphy Jr. and the drafting of Mekhi Blackmon are standout moves. However, the loss of some key players and the uncertainty around some of the new additions, such as the signing of Josh Oliver, prevent a higher grade. The Vikings appear to be on the right track, but the success of their offseason will depend on how well the new pieces integrate into the team.

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Chicago Bears’ 2023 Offseason

Draft Picks:

  • Round 1 (10): T Darnell Wright, Tennessee
  • Round 2 (53): DI Gervon Dexter Sr., Florida
  • Round 2 (56): CB Tyrique Stevenson, Miami (FL)
  • Round 3 (64): DI Zacch Pickens, South Carolina
  • Round 4 (115): RB Roschon Johnson, Texas
  • Round 4 (133): WR Tyler Scott, Cincinnati
  • Round 5 (148): LB Noah Sewell, Oregon
  • Round 5 (165): CB Terell Smith, Minnesota
  • Round 7 (218): DI Travis Bell, Kennesaw State
  • Round 7 (258): S Kendall Williamson, Stanford

Free Agency Signings:

  • LB T.J. Edwards (3 years, $19.5 million)
  • LB Tremaine Edmunds (4 years, $72 million)
  • OG Nate Davis (3 years, $30 million)
  • DL DeMarcus Walker (3 years, $21 million)
  • RB Travis Homer (2 years, $4 million)
  • QB PJ Walker (2 years, $5 million max)
  • Re-signed RB Khari Blasingame (2 years, $3.6 million)
  • Re-signed LS Patrick Scales (1 year, $1.317 million)

Trades:

  • Traded No. 1 pick to Carolina Panthers for Nos. 9, 61 in 2023, 2024 first-round pick, 2025 second-round pick, WR DJ Moore

Losses:

  • RB David Montgomery (DET)
  • LB Nicholas Morrow (PHI)
  • ED Rasheem Green
  • TE Robert Tonyan
  • DI Andrew Billings

Best Move of the Offseason:

  • Trading the No. 1 pick for a haul including WR DJ Moore: This move provided the Bears with a No. 1 receiver for Justin Fields and additional draft capital, positioning the team for long-term success.

Outlook for 2023:

The Bears made significant moves in the offseason, focusing on building a strong defense and providing support for Justin Fields. The addition of Tremaine Edmunds and T.J. Edwards strengthens the linebacker core, while the trade for DJ Moore adds a dynamic weapon to the offense.

The draft also brought in promising talents like Darnell Wright and Tyrique Stevenson, addressing key areas of need. The Bears’ focus on the defensive interior is evident, with multiple selections aimed at bolstering the line.

However, the team did not add significant pieces at edge defender, which could be a concern. The loss of David Montgomery might also impact the running game, though the re-signing of Khari Blasingame and the addition of Travis Homer provide some depth.

Offseason Grade: A-

The Bears’ offseason was marked by strategic moves that set the team up for both immediate impact and future success. The trade with the Panthers was a highlight, and the free agency signings addressed key areas of need. The draft was well-executed, with a focus on building depth and talent in crucial positions. The only minor concern is the lack of significant additions at edge defender, but overall, the Bears have positioned themselves well for the 2023 season.

Detroit Lions’ 2023 Offseason

Draft Picks:

  • Round 1 (12): RB Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama
  • Round 1 (18): LB Jack Campbell, Iowa
  • Round 2 (34): TE Sam LaPorta, Iowa
  • Round 2 (45): S Brian Branch, Alabama
  • Round 3 (68): QB Hendon Hooker, Tennessee
  • Round 3 (96): DI Brodric Martin, Western Kentucky
  • Round 5 (152): T Colby Sorsdal, William & Mary
  • Round 6 (219): WR Antoine Green, North Carolina

Free Agency Signings:

  • CB Mac McCain — 1-year, $870,000 deal
  • CB Cameron Sutton — 3-year, $33M deal
  • CB Emmanuel Moseley — 1-year, $6M deal
  • RB David Montgomery — 3-year, $18M deal
  • IOL Graham Glasgow — 1-year, worth up to $4.5M deal
  • DB C.J. Gardner-Johnson — 1-year, $8M deal
  • LS Jake McQuaide — 1-year, $1.3M deal
  • LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin — Re-signed
  • WR Marvin Jones — 1-year, $3M deal

Losses:

  • S DeShon Elliott — Signed with Dolphins
  • RB Jamaal Williams — Signed with Saints
  • C Evan Brown — Signed with Seahawks
  • LB Chris Board — Signed with Patriots
  • EDGE Austin Bryant — Signed with 49ers
  • CB Mike Hughes — Signed with Atlanta
  • CB Amani Oruwariye — Signed with Giants
  • LB Josh Woods — Signed with Cardinals
  • WR DJ Chark — Signed with Panthers

Best Move of the Offseason:

  • Drafting Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker: Before tearing his ACL at Tennessee last year, Hooker had the Volunteers in the mix for a national title run and almost certainly would have been a Heisman Trophy finalist had he remained healthy. His dynamic play-making ability could be a game-changer for the Lions.

Outlook for 2023:

The Lions made significant strides in addressing their secondary, a long-standing weakness for the franchise. The additions of Cameron Sutton and Emmanuel Moseley should bolster the cornerback position, while Chauncey Gardner-Johnson adds experience at safety.

The draft brought in exciting prospects like Jahmyr Gibbs and Jack Campbell, who are expected to make immediate impacts. The selection of QB Hendon Hooker could be a long-term solution at the quarterback position, providing competition for Jared Goff.

The loss of key players like Jamaal Williams and DJ Chark might be felt, but the Lions have added depth and talent in key areas. The offensive tackle position remains a concern, and the team will need to protect themselves from injury to either Taylor Decker or Penei Sewell.

Offseason Grade: B+

The Lions had a strong offseason, addressing key areas of need and making strategic draft selections. The focus on fixing the secondary and adding dynamic talents like Jahmyr Gibbs and Hendon Hooker stands out. The only concern is the lack of depth at the offensive tackle position, but overall, the Lions have positioned themselves as contenders in the NFC North.

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Green Bay Packers’ 2023 Offseason

Draft Picks:

  • Round 1 (13): EDGE Lukas Van Ness, Iowa
  • Round 2 (42): TE Luke Musgrave, Oregon State
  • Round 2 (50): WR Jayden Reed, Michigan State
  • Round 3 (78): TE Tucker Kraft, South Dakota State
  • Round 4 (116): EDGE Colby Wooden, Auburn
  • Round 5 (149): QB Sean Clifford, Penn State
  • Round 5 (159): WR Dontayvion Wicks, Virginia Tech
  • Round 6 (179): DI Karl Brooks, Bowling Green
  • Round 6 (207): K Anders Carlson, Auburn
  • Round 7 (232): CB Carrington Valentine, Kentucky
  • Round 7 (235): RB Lew Nichols III, Central Michigan
  • Round 7 (242): S Anthony Johnson Jr., Iowa State
  • Round 7 (256): WR Grant DuBose, Charlotte

Free Agency Signings:

  • S Tarvarius Moore
  • LS Matt Orzech
  • S Jonathan Owens

Losses:

  • WR Allen Lazard (NYJ)
  • WR Randall Cobb (NYJ)
  • TE Robert Tonyan (CHI)
  • TE Marcedes Lewis (FA)
  • S Adrian Amos (NYJ)
  • DI Jarran Reed (SEA)
  • DI Dean Lowry (MIN)

Trade:

  • Traded QB Aaron Rodgers and a first-round and fifth-round draft pick to the New York Jets in exchange for a first-round, second-round, and sixth-round draft pick.

Best Move of the Offseason:

  • Drafting DI Karl Brooks: Interior defender was one of the Packers’ bigger needs heading into the draft. The underrated Brooks could play a key role in 2023, as he was among the most productive players in college football at his position in 2022.

Outlook for 2023:

The Packers are clearly in a transition phase, with the trade of Aaron Rodgers marking the end of an era. The draft focused on replenishing offensive skill player talent, with intriguing athletes like Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft, and Jayden Reed as an underrated receiving prospect.

The lack of significant free agency signings and the loss of key players like Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb leaves the team with uncertainty, especially at the quarterback position. The keys have been handed over to Jordan Love, and significant growing pains could be in store.

The Packers’ cornerback position is also thin, and they should look to bring in another player of significance before the start of the season.

Offseason Grade: B-

The Packers’ offseason was marked by the monumental trade of Aaron Rodgers and a hefty draft class. While they addressed most of their primary needs and added much-needed depth, the lack of significant free agency moves and the uncertainty at the quarterback position weigh down their grade. The selection of Karl Brooks was a highlight, but the overall lack of talent acquisition in free agency and the potential struggle in the upcoming season make this a less-than-stellar offseason for Green Bay.