NFC North Draft Review

A closer look at the draft picks selected by the Vikings' rivals in the NFC North.


A closer look at the Bears' picks:

Round 1/31 — Greg Olsen, TE, 6-6, 254, Miami

Bears felt it would be a long shot at best that he would be available at 31. Fastest, most athletic tight end in the draft and the best pass-catching threat. Latest in a long line of standout Miami tight ends following Bubba Franks, Jeremy Shockey and Kellen Winslow Jr. Caught 40 passes for 489 yards (12.2-yard average) last season, when he was the team's top receiver, and 31 passes for 451 yards and a 14.5-yard average in 2005. As the Hurricanes' backup in 2004, caught 16 passes for 275 yards and a 17.2-yard average. Runs good routes, has soft hands and is fast enough to get separation from most linebackers and safeties. Has the speed to stretch the field deep down the middle. Isn't an overpowering blocker by any means but has a large enough frame to get heavier without sacrificing movement skills. Bench pressed 225 pounds 23 times at the combine and had a 35 1/2-inch vertical. Agent is Drew Rosenhaus.

Round 2/62 — Dan Bazuin, DE, 6-3, 266, Central Michigan

Tremendously productive past two seasons in the MAC with 41 1/2 tackles for loss and 26 1/2 sacks. Projected as a left end in Bears scheme. High-motor player who gives great effort. Stock rose with 2 1/2 sacks in East-West Shrine Game, where he was defensive MVP. As a junior, tied MAC record for sacks with 16 and set school record with 26 1/2 tackles for loss and was named MAC defensive player of the year. Four-year starter who had a team-high 14 tackles for loss as a redshirt freshman. Has a tendency to play somewhat out of control at times and as a result will miss some tackles. Plays faster than his 4.81 40-time.

Round 3/93 — Garrett Wolfe, RB, 5-7, 186, Northern Illinois

Rushed for 1,928 yards on 309 carries as a senior and led the nation in rushing and all-purpose yardage and was MAC offensive player of the year. Missed three games in 2005 but still rushed for 1,580 yards on 242 carries and caught 20 passes for 222 yards. Set school record with 21 total touchdowns in 2004 and rushed for 1,656 yards on 256 carries. Rushed for 325 yards vs. Eastern Michigan. Extremely small but very productive and has run under 4.40 in the 40. Wasn't used a lot as a pass receiver but showed better than average hands then and in postseason workouts. Gas some return ability.

Round 3/94 — Michael Okwo, LB, 5-11, 232, Stanford

Started for only his senior season after an ankle injury reduced his playing time as a junior. Played on a lousy team with a weak defense last season but he stood out and impressed the Bears with his play vs. Notre Dame. Has played special teams and could help in that capacity immediately because he has a special teams mentality. Very active, instinctive and athletic but doesn't have much size or strength and has been banged up in the past. Doesn't have a great 40-time (4.74) but is very quick and plays faster than his time.

Round 4/130 — Josh Beekman, OG, 6-2, 313, Boston College

Three-year starter at guard who also started three games at center and as a senior played three series at guard then one at center. Not very athletic but can be very effective in a limited area and has the versatility to play guard and center in the NFL. Tough physically and mentally and a hard worker. More effective as a drive blocker in the run game than as a pass protector. Has some trouble matching up with quickness.

Round 5/167 — Kevin Payne, SS, 6-0, 220, Louisiana-Monroe

Very good size and an extremely physical hitter and major force vs. the run who some teams projected to outside linebacker. Spent first two seasons as a starting running back and accumulated 1,564 yards from scrimmage as a redshirt freshman. Didn't convert to safety until his junior season but started 21 games there. Still learning the position, has limitations in coverage and speed is just average. Will work best as an in-the-box SS because of his toughness.

Round 5/168 — Corey Graham, CB, 6-0, 195, New Hampshire

Four-year starter with over 100 tackles as a sophomore and junior. Started first seven games last season before suffering a fractured left fibula, which he continues to rehabilitate. Should be 100 percent well before training camp. Saw extensive playing time as a kickoff returner in college and also returned some punts. Smart player who is capable of quarterbacking a secondary. Has good speed and athleticism and is a solid ball athlete with good hands.

Round 7/221 — Trumaine McBride, CB, 5-9, 185, Mississippi

Doesn't have much size and only runs a 4.61 40, which is well below average for a cornerback, but he was a three-year starter in the tough SEC and held his own against some of the country's better wideouts. Has good instincts and smarts and provides strong run support despite lack of size, but he has just 1 interception in past two seasons and lacks good hands and recovery speed.

Round 7/241 — Aaron Brant, OG, 6-7, 319, Iowa State

Four-year starter, who was the No. 1 right guard as a redshirt freshman and the first-string right tackle the past three seasons. A smart player who works hard and competes on every play and has been durable. Isn't much of an athlete and does not project to OLT or even ORT at the next level because he struggles vs. speed, but has enough size and experience to compete for a job at OG.


A closer look at the Lions' picks:

Round 1/2 — Calvin Johnson, WR, 6-5, 239, Georgia Tech

The Lions nabbed the player widely considered the best player in the draft. He wowed the Lions when he visited. Offensive coordinator Mike Martz was so smitten, he left notes for coach Rod Marinelli, pretending they were from Johnson, begging to bring him to Detroit.

Round 2/43 — Drew Stanton, QB, 6-3, 226, Michigan State

After moving down in the second round, the Lions tried to move back up to get Stanton. They failed - and he still fell to them. They like his leadership and moxie. Martz says he has everything you want in a quarterback.

Round 2/58 — Ikaika Alama-Francis, DE, 6-5, 280, Hawaii

This is one of the most intriguing picks in the entire draft. Alama-Francis didn't start playing football until he walked on at Hawaii in 2003. He's raw, but he's athletic. He can play end or tackle. The Lions traded up to get him.

Round 2/61 — Gerald Alexander, S, 6-0, 210, Boise State

The Lions noticed him right away when they put on the film of the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma. Alexander laid a lick on running back Adrian Peterson. The Lions traded up to get him.

Round 4/105 — A.J. Davis, CB, 5-10, 192, North Carolina State

The knock on Davis is that he doesn't play the run well, and that's not good for a Tampa Two corner. But defensive coordinator Joe Barry doesn't agree. He says Davis is willing to stick his face in there and has explosive speed. This is the pick the Lions got from Oakland for wide receiver Mike Williams and quarterback Josh McCown.

Round 4/117 — Manuel Ramirez, G, 6-3, 326, Texas Tech

The question about Ramirez was his run blocking, but offensive line coach Jim Colletto said he distinguished himself at the Senior Bowl. Colletto called him a "road grader" and lauded his toughness. The Lions traded up to get him, too.

Round 5/158 — Johnny Baldwin, LB, 6-2, 232, Alabama A&M

Baldwin said he played inside linebacker in college and could fit in the Lions' Tampa Two scheme because he had plenty of experience in coverage. He said he was a "seek-and-destroy" type who goes sideline-to-sideline

Round 7/255 — Ramzee Robinson, CB, 5-9, 182, Alabama

Mr. Irrelevant might not be that irrelevant. The Lions badly needed cornerback coming into the draft, and they got only two.


A closer look at the Packers' picks:

Round 1/16 — Justin Harrell, DT, 6-4, 310, Tennessee

A surprise choice in the middle of the first round, given that the Packers didn't have a big need for a defensive lineman, but team scouts felt Harrell would have been a top-10 pick had he not suffered a torn biceps tendon early last season. Harrell is perhaps a medical liability, having suffered an assortment of leg and ankle injuries earlier in career. However, the team felt it couldn't pass on Harrell's starting-caliber promise as a pure run stuffer with rare explosiveness off the line.

Round 2/63 — Brandon Jackson, RB, 5-10, 212, Nebraska

The selection of the part-time player (only 11 starts in three years) has to be considered a reach, but Jackson has the makeup to help fill the void left by the free-agent departure of another former Cornhusker, Ahman Green, to Houston. He averaged a gaudy 5.3 yards per carry last season and 92.8 rushing yards per game when given the chance to start. He brings added value as a capable pass catcher coming from a West Coast system. Jackson also has experience as a kick returner. There is cause for concern about his health, however, because he had both shoulders operated on in college.

Round 3/78 — James Jones, WR, 6-2, 199, San Jose State

Jones doesn't fit the profile of the impact-type, deep-threat receiver Brett Favre covets. He's lacking big-time credentials, contributing as a receiver full time only last season, when he excelled with 70 receptions and 10 touchdowns to earn team MVP honors. Jones has desired size and is physical going for the football with good hands but isn't a blazer (40 times were in the 4.5s). He should be in the mix as a punt returner, after averaging 11 yards in 2006.

Round 3/89 — Aaron Rouse, S, 6-4, 223, Virginia Tech

A prototypical strong safety who is a punishing hitter and closes fast in run support. The converted linebacker will be in contention with struggling incumbent Marquand Manuel and Marviel Underwood for the starting job alongside Nick Collins. Rouse, though, will have to regain the playmaking form of his junior season in 2005 after he was plagued by inconsistency and struggled in pass coverage last season.

Round 4/119 — Allen Barbre, OT, 6-4, 300, Missouri Southern State

Division II product brings athleticism and quickness to a crowded offensive line. He was a fixture at left tackle for most of his four-year starting tenure and dominated from the spot last season with 94 knockdowns. Lean in physique, Barbre will need to bulk up in his early development. He will be given an opportunity to win a backup job at the tackle positions, as well as both guard spots.

Round 5/157 — David Clowney, WR, 6-0, 188, Virginia Tech
Projected to be a first-day pick, Clowney's draft stock fell for one reason or another. The true speedster was slowed during his combine testing by a hamstring injury. Clowney, a sprinting standout for Virginia Tech's track team, is a dynamic straight-line, downfield runner coming off the line of scrimmage. Shortcoming, though, is he isn't overly physical and tends to get knocked off his route running.

Round 6/191 — Korey Hall, FB, 6-1, 230, Boise State
The Packers plan to make a fullback out of the 2006 Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year. Hall was a running back in high school but made his mark as a three-time all-WAC first-team performer on defense, producing 105 tackles and a team-high six interceptions last season. He was a special-teams ace for Boise State, likened to "a head hunter" by Packers special teams coordinator Mike Stock.

Round 6/192 — Desmond Bishop, LB, 6-2, 239, California
With Nick Barnett and backup Abdul Hodge, a third-round draft pick last year, at middle linebacker, Bishop will be moved to the outside in his indoctrination to the NFL. Bishop has questionable speed but is regarded as instinctive in pursuit. He was Cal's leading tackler his only two seasons after transferring from a junior college and led the Pac-10 Conference with 126 tackles in 2006.

Round 6/193 — Mason Crosby, K, 6-1, 212, Colorado
The top kicker in the draft fell from a possible late Day 1 selection. Crosby should be stiff competition for incumbent Dave Rayner, who is coming off only his first season as a full-time kicker in the league. Crosby has as much leg strength as Rayner does, if not more. Crosby exited Colorado with 31 school records, including points (307) and longest field goal (60 yards). He connected on a 71-yard boot in practice. For all of his might, accuracy hasn't been compromised with Crosby, who made 75 percent of his field-goal attempts.

Round 7/228 — DeShawn Wynn, RB, 5-10, 232, Florida
Big-bodied back gives the Packers some flexibility in seeing what he can provide at fullback. Wynn wasn't a workhorse ball carrier at Florida and endured a knee injury last season. Still, he averaged 5.1 yards per carry as the featured guy in 2006, primarily between the tackles. He's a decent pass catcher. Hanging over Wynn are character issues and a resistance to be a team player.

Round 7/243 — Clark Harris, TE, 6-5, 261, Rutgers
Another big target for Favre, but not unlike incumbent starter Bubba Franks, Harris is a plodder running routes and will never be a deep threat. Blocking is a liability. Harris has experience as a long snapper.

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