NFC North Draft Recap: Have the Chicago Bears Closed the Talent Gap?

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Jan 7, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide running back Eddie Lacy (42) runs with the ball against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the second half of the 2013 BCS Championship game at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Green Bay Packers

Round 1. DE Datone Jones

Round 2. RB Eddie Lacy

Round 4. OT David Bakhtiari

Round 4. C J.C. Tretter

Round 4. RB Johnathan Franklin

Round 5.CB Micah Hyde

Round 5. DE Josh Boyd

Round 6. LB Nate Palmer

Round 7. WR C.J. Johnson

Round 7. WR Kevin Dorsey

Round 7. LB Sam Barrington

The Packers did it again!  Datone Jones is a perfect fit for the Packers’ 3-4 defense.  With a need at OT, the Packers doubled down on the position in rounds 3 and 4, and sandwiched two of the top RB prospects around those picks with Eddie Lacy and Jonathan Franklin.  I think Franklin has a bigger impact for GB down the road.  The Packers still have a hole at safety, but otherwise addressed team needs and built for the future with a couple of WR selections late in the draft.

Apr 26, 2012; Eden Prairie, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman and head coach Leslie Frazier introduce the 2013 1st round draft picks Sharrif Floyd (76) and Xavier Rhodes (29) and Cordarrelle Patterson (84) at at a press conference at Winter Park. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings

Round 1. DT Sharrif Floyd

Round 1. CB Xavier Rhodes

Round 1. WR Cordarrelle Patterson

Round 4. OLB Gerald Hodges

Round 5. P Jeff Locke

Round 6. G Jeff Baca

Round 7. OLB Michael Mauti

Round 7. G Travis Bond

Round 7. DT Everett Dawkins

If I had to pick a winner among the NFC North teams, I’d have to give it to the Vikings hands down.  They may have traded away Percy Harvin, but armed with their own first round pick and Seattle’s, they made two great selections in DT Sharrif Floyd and CB Xavier Rhodes.  But wait, there’s MORE!  They traded a bundle of picks to trade back into the first round to pick up wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.  Any time you can add three first rounders, that’s one heck of a draft.  They addressed key needs with the picks and frankly got a steal with Floyd, who many experts had as a Top 5 talent.

So the Bears may have had a nice little draft, addressing a couple of needs with some interesting and risky picks, but I’m not sure Phil Emery closed the talent gap with the NFC North division rivals.  The key will be to have a couple of the risks pay off with some solid contributors down the road.

The Bears have been so devoid of talent in the waning days of Jerry Angelo’s tenure that Emery has been forced to fill holes with free agents while consistently good teams have players groomed and ready to step into prominent roles as veterans opt to head for Free Agency or their production drops off.

What do YOU think?  Did the Bears close the talent gap in the NFC North?  What do you think of Phil Emery’s draft class?  Let’s see your comments.