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Notes from the North - 2017 NFL Draft

After three days, seven rounds and 253 picks, the 2017 NFL Draft has wrapped up. The selection of players has stopped, meaning it's time to look forward. Below is a recap of what the Bears' rivals in the NFC North did during the draft and how it may impact their roster during the upcoming season and beyond.

Detroit Lions

Top picks: Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis (1st round-21st overall), Florida cornerback Teez Tabor (2-53), Northern Illinois wide receiver Kenny Golladay (3-96).

Analysis: After finishing 2016 ranked near the bottom of the league in several key defensive categories, including yards per play and sacks, the Lions focused on that side of the ball during the draft. Six of the team's nine selections were on that side of the ball, including the pair of Gators taken in the first two rounds. Davis and Tabor weren't the only former teammates taken by Detroit; Golladay and seventh-round pick Pat O'Connor – a defensive end from Eastern Michigan – played together at Chicago's St. Rita High School. For the second straight year, the Lions took a developmental quarterback in the sixth round, selecting Miami (FL) signal-caller Brad Kaaya.

Quote: "I can try and make it short for you: we look for people that are certainly going to be smart, fast and physical. Jarrad (Davis) is certainly going to be able to play three downs for us." – Lions head coach Jim Caldwell, after introducing Davis to the media.

Minnesota Vikings


The Vikings used their top choice on Florida State running back Dalvin Cook.

Top picks: Florida State running back Dalvin Cook (2-41), Ohio State center Pat Elflein (3-70), Iowa defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson (4-109).

Analysis: Minnesota didn't have a first-round pick after trading with Philadelphia for quarterback Sam Bradford. The Vikings used their top choice on another offensive player, Cook, a dynamic runner who should help ease the pain of losing longtime star Adrian Peterson in the backfield. Providing help for Bradford was a key element of Minnesota's draft; along with the running back, the Vikings also took two wide receivers and a tight end. Elflein should also start right away up front. Among the defensive players taken by the Vikings was Northwestern defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo.

Quote: "Overall as a talent with the ball in his hands and as a receiver, we felt he was one of the most complete backs in this draft." – Vikings general manager Rick Spielman on the selection of Dalvin Cook.

Green Bay Packers

Top picks: Washington defensive back Kevin King (2-33), North Carolina State defensive back Josh Jones (2-61), Auburn defensive tackle Montravius Adams (3-93).

Analysis: After allowing 44 points in their season-ending loss to Atlanta in the NFC Championship, the Packers felt it was necessary to upgrade their defense. Green Bay used its top four selections on defensive players, including the first two picks of their class to upgrade the secondary. The Packers traded out of the first round via a deal with Cleveland, but in doing so, ended up with extra picks later on. They used those to give more weapons for quarterback Aaron Rodgers, selecting three running backs and two wide receivers in rounds 4-7.

Quote: "I think it's always good to add guys with size. That's something we're cognizant of. With (King), the unique thing is his ability to bend for such a tall guy. Sometimes taller guys show a little bit of stiffness. We didn't see that. We actually saw that as a strength for him." - Packers director-football operations Eliot Wolf on the advantage the 6-3 King has in the defensive backfield.

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