2020 NFL Offseason Team Needs: NFC North

There are several big questions surrounding the teams in the NFC North as we head into the 2020 NFL offseason.

Will the Packers attempt to maximize their window to compete and surround Aaron Rodgers with offensive weapons? Can the Vikings pull enough strings to improve their roster despite limited cap space? Is this Mitchell Trubisky’s final chance to prove himself in Chicago? Are we about to see a new face of the franchise in Detroit with the Lions possessing the third-overall pick in the draft?

All of these questions and more will soon be answered, but as we’ve reached the 2020 NFL Combine, here are my biggest positions of need for each team in the NFC North.

Before we start, in case you missed any of the other divisions I’ve previously covered, check them out below.

AFC South
NFC South
AFC North

Green Bay Packers
13-3, 1st place NFC North
Lost in Conference Championship
First pick in 2020 NFL Draft: Round 1, Pick 30

Biggest Need: Wide Receiver

The talk last offseason was all about which Packers’ wide receiver opposite Davante Adams was going to step up and become a reliable target for Rodgers. As most Packers fans already know, the answer was no one. Allen Lazard finished as the team’s second-leading receiver and he managed just 477 yards on 35 receptions. The Packers are in a tricky situation when it comes to free agency as they have some cap space to work with, but they also have a few in-house guys that’ll eat up a nice chunk of the cap space if they re-sign them (Bryan Bulaga and Blake Martinez being the top two). This leads me to believe the team may lean on the 2020 NFL Draft to address this need as this year’s class is deep at wide receiver, and the Packers can still likely find a solid talent at the position at No. 30 in the first round. My latest 1st-round mock has the Packers selecting Clemson’s Tee Higgins.

Top Free Agents: Amari Cooper, A.J. Green, Robby Anderson, Emmanuel Sanders, Demarcus Robinson

Top NFL Draft Prospects: Jerry Jeudy (Alabama), CeeDee Lamb (Oklahoma), Henry Ruggs (Alabama), Tee Higgins (Clemson), Laviska Shenault (Colorado), Jalen Reagor (TCU)

tee higgins

Minnesota Vikings
10-6, 2nd place NFC North
Lost in Divisional Round
First pick in 2020 NFL Draft: Round 1, Pick 25

Biggest Need: Cornerback

Cornerbacks Mackensie Alexander and Trae Waynes are unrestricted free agents and Xavier Rhodes and Mike Hughes were fairly underwhelming in 2019, this likely means the Vikings will be in the market for at least one cornerback this offseason. The good news for Minnesota is that if it wants to address the position in the first round of April’s draft, a quality player such as Kristian Fulton, Trevon Diggs, CJ Henderson or A.J. Terrell should still be available at pick No. 25. The position of wide receiver may get some consideration here, depending on how the Stefon Diggs situation plays out, but for the time being, cornerback feels like a more pressing need.

Top Free Agents: Byron Jones, James Bradberry, Chris Harris, Logan Ryan, Trae Waynes

Top NFL Draft Prospects: Jeff Okudah (Ohio St.), Kristian Fulton (LSU), Trevon Diggs (Alabama), CJ Henderson (Florida), A.J. Terrell (Clemson)

trevon diggs

Chicago Bears
8-8, 3rd place NFC North
First pick in 2020 NFL Draft: Round 2, Pick 11

Biggest Need: Offensive Line

I understand those that say quarterback is the team’s biggest need, but for this particular offseason, offensive line gets my vote. Trubisky hasn’t shown enough over his first three years to be given a free pass as the clear-cut choice to be the team’s franchise QB moving forward, but I do think it’s important to give him one more season before ultimately deciding whether or not you’re going to pull the plug. One way to ensure you’re maximizing his chances to succeed in his fourth NFL season is to strengthen the offensive line. The team has some nice young playmakers at running back and wide receiver to go along with a solid defense, so protecting Trubisky and ensuring he has enough time to utilize these playmakers needs to be the priority this offseason.

Top Free Agents: Anthony Castonzo, Jack Conklin, Andrew Whitworth, Jason Peters, Bryan Bulaga

Top NFL Draft Prospects: Jedrick Wills (Alabama), Andrew Thomas (Georgia), Tristan Wirfs (Iowa), Mekhi Becton (Louisville), Josh Jones (Houston)

jack conklin

Detroit Lions
3-12-1, 4th place NFC North
First pick in 2020 NFL Draft: Round 1, Pick 3

Biggest Need: Secondary

The Lions find themselves in a position where they can go best player available at No. 3 in the 2020 NFL Draft, and the best part about going BPA at No. 3 this season is that it may also fill one of the team’s biggest needs – cornerback. Jeff Okudah out of Ohio State is the popular pick here in most mock drafts, and rightfully so as he’s one of the cleanest cornerback prospects to enter the draft in recent history. Detroit desperately needs the type of assistance Okudah can provide as the Lions finished dead last in the NFL last season allowing over 284 passing yards per game. They’re more than just Okudah away from having a complete secondary, but drafting him would definitely go a long way in addressing the team’s biggest need.

Top Free Agents: Byron Jones, James Bradberry, Chris Harris, Logan Ryan, Trae Waynes

Top NFL Draft Prospects: Jeff Okudah (Ohio St.), Kristian Fulton (LSU), Trevon Diggs (Alabama), CJ Henderson (Florida), A.J. Terrell (Clemson)

jeff okudah

Check out our NFL Draft related podcasts:
Top 2020 NFL Draft WR’s
Top 2020 NFL Draft Edge Rushers
Las Vegas Raiders Draft Preview

Ben Morgan is a co-host and blogger for the Loaded Box Podcast. Check out his article archive and find more from the Loaded Box on Twitter & Facebook

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