The overnight grades are in on the NFL Draft classes for the NFC North, and the opinions are decidedly mixed. The Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings were received as big winners, while the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions produced more polarizing draft hauls.
With three first round picks, the Vikings found an easier road to gaining acceptance from their fan base. Sharrif Floyd may have been the biggest steal in the division.
Let's take a look at some of the national NFL experts and how they graded the NFC North after this year's draft.
Rob Rang, CBS: C+
It's safe to say the Bears are viewed as the losers in the division. Rang sees first-round pick Kyle Long as a project after starting just one season at Oregon, while Burke doesn't understand drafting Jon Bostic over Arthur Brown. Cornelius Washington fell all the way to Round 6, so Chicago could come away with a steal if he becomes a solid contributor. Exemplary pre-draft workouts had him ranked higher than his tape showed.
Larry Warford, Burke's favorite pick from the Lions, is a mauler on the front line. He should be a starter in his rookie year, which is great value in Round 3. Ezekial Ansah and Darius Slay also address immediate needs. Drafting a punter in the fifth round was perplexing, though. Ansah's production will presumably define this class, as Detroit passed up on Dee Milliner at No. 5 overall. Did they make the right decision?
Green Bay Packers
Kiper showed high praise for the Packers drafting Datone Jones, a "perfect scheme fit," and Eddie Lacy, his highest-rated running back. Johnathan Franklin will battle with Lacy for playing time in the backfield, but Green Bay desperately needed to improve its run game. Both running backs will be welcomed with open arms. Kiper also sees wideout Charles Johnson as a sleeper pick after being selected at No. 216 overall.
Sharrif Floyd fell all the way to No. 23 overall, which Kiper calls "a gift" for the Vikings. Floyd was seen as a top-five pick for weeks prior to the draft. Xavier Rhodes and Cordarrelle Patterson both appear to be huge contributors for the Vikings for years to come as well. These three appear to be the foundation of a potentially bright future in Minnesota. Another punter drafted in Round 5 doesn't look great, but Jeff Locke was at least the top-ranked player at his position.