Chicago Bears' NFC North Rivals: Reviewing the Lions' 2024 NFL Draft

While the Bears and the fans were in euphoric mode during the NFL Draft, the rest of the division also improved themselves. Let's take a look at the 2024 draft class of the rest of the NFC North teams starting with the defending NFC North Champion Detroit Lions.
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The 2024 NFL Draft is officially in the record books. It's hard to believe it has already been a week since the draft began last Thursday night. Every fan base feels optimistic about their team after the draft. But if you are a Bears fan, there were plenty of reasons to cheer and feel euphoric about the team's direction.

After this year's draft, the rebuilding of the Bears is officially over. The expectation and optimism surrounding the Bears have never been higher. But it is easy to forget amidst the optimism, the NFC North remains very competitive, and the Bears must beat these teams if they want to be successful in 2024. With that in mind, let's take a look at what the Detroit Lions did in this year's draft.

The Detroit Lions were in a similar rebuilding as the Bears are now not too long ago. The only difference is they got a year head start versus the Bears and made it all the way to the NFC Championship last season.

The man behind their renaissance is general manager Brad Holmes. After a successful stint as the director of college scouting for the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams between 2013-2020 and their scout for a decade (2003-2012), he became the Lions general manager in 2021. He and head coach Dan Campbell have done a masterful job raising the Lions from dead.

The biggest reason? They have drafted very well under Holmes.

His first draft netted them right tackle Penei Sewell, wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown along with defensive linemen Levi Onwuzurike and Alim McNeill, and safety Ifeatu Melifonwu. Both St. Brown and Sewell just signed a lucrative contract extension this off-season, ensuring they will remain with the Lions for the foreseeable future.

The 2022 Draft saw them draft Michigan defensive lineman Aiden Hutchinson, wide receiver Jameson Williams, safety Kirby Joseph, and edge rusher Josh Paschal. Hutchinson is going to be their own JJ Watt/Nick Bosa, who will wreck havoc around the league for at least a decade. Williams could still turn into a decent wide receiver even after getting suspended by the league over a violation of gambling policy last season.

Last year's draft was another success for the Lions as they drafted running back Jahmyr Gibbs and linebacker Jack Campbell in the first round. But their biggest hit was tight end Sam LaPorta in the second round, who already looks like to be a top 5 tight end in the game along with safety Brian Branch.