1. Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings had a “stay afloat” draft. It wasn’t sexy and they didn’t take a whole lot of risks, but it should help them stay atop the NFC North for at least another year. Getting quality depth pieces like USC cornerback Mekhi Blackmon and LSU defensive tackle Jaquelin Roy will help new coordinator Brian Flores implement his defense as well. Just a solid draft for the Vikings. Not good, not bad, just solid.
– Charles McDonald of sports.yahoo.com
2. Detroit Lions
This draft class is an excellent collection of talent and promise, although it’s worth debating whether the Lions got the most out of their early picks. Taking first-round RB Jahmyr Gibbs at No. 12, LB Jack Campbell at No. 18 and TE Sam LaPorta so early in the second round represented questionable moves from a value perspective. But getting CB/S Brian Branch deep in the second round and QB Hendon Hooker in Round 3 offsets those choices, value-wise.
-Mark Maske of www.washingtonpost.com
3. Chicago Bears
It wasn’t sexy – three of the their top four picks were linemen, most notably first-round OT Darnell Wright – and GM Ryan Poles might ultimately regret the midseason deal for Claypool, which cost him the top pick of the second round. But this was probably the draft Chicago needed to bulwark a talent-deficient roster around QB Justin Fields – and don’t forget the package from Carolina for the No. 1 pick also brought WR1 DJ Moore, who’s under contract for the next three years.
– Nate Davis of www.usatoday.com/
4. Green Bay Packers
The Packers did what the Packers always do in the first round, picking yet another defensive player in Iowa’s Lukas Van Ness. The former Hawkeyes’ standout is a pass-rusher in the mold of Rashan Gary and Preston Smith, and should factor into the team’s rotation early on. On day two, the team finally answered their fans’ pleas, bolstering their skill-player group in support of Jordan Love by grabbing a pair of versatile tight ends in Luke Musgrave (Oregon State) and Tucker Kraft (South Dakota State), along with a twitchy, playmaking receiver in Jayden Reed (Michigan State). GM Brian Gutekunst added another receiver in Virginia Tech’s Dontayvion Wicks in the fifth round—a draft haul that should be a boon for the team’s new signal caller. Green Bay added former Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford in the fifth round, too—a huge surprise that early in the draft, and perhaps a result of the success of last year’s Mr. Irrelevant, Brock Purdy. Clifford is, hilariously, three months older than Love, who was drafted in 2020.
– Danny Keller of www.theringer.com