Nfc north projected starters packers on track; bears fascinate – la gasolina lyrics


» I listed Leonard Floyd as the only starting edge rusher, partly to point out the team’s weakness at that position. Sam Acho and Aaron Lynch are options to play opposite Floyd. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio will need to create pressure with blitzes, and he has a potential All-Pro talent in Akiem Hicks up front.

» As exciting as the Bears’ offense should be to watch, the defense should be ahead of that unit. This is Fangio’s fourth year in Chicago, and it’s safe to say he’s got "his guys" in place. If cornerback Kyle Fuller backs up his career season from a year ago, this should be a top-10 group. Detroit Lions

» LeGarrette Blount may wind up taking the first snap most weeks, but rookie Kerryon Johnson (Round 2, No. 43) and Theo Riddick are candidates to lead the backfield in snaps. There’s also a scenario in which 2015 preseason hero Ameer Abdullah shows up to training camp to earn a role or even push Riddick off the roster. Having too many running backs would be a great problem for this franchise to deal with.

» The Lions need Golladay to step up as a receiver because they are unlikely to get great production out of the tight end position, with former first-round pick Eric Ebron being released in March. Former Seahawk Luke Willson is the slight favorite to start, although the team would love for Michael Roberts, taken in the fourth round last year, to step up.

» The Lions will be more multiple on defense under coach Matt Patricia, switching between looks with three or four linemen. A perusal of the roster shows far better depth on the defensive line than at linebacker. Patricia’s track record as defensive coordinator in New England was to get his best players on the field and not stay attached to any particular formation.

» The overall talent level on defense still needs a lot of work. General manager Bob Quinn has focused a great deal on fixing the offensive line and needs his solid defensive picks — like defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson (Round 2 in 2016) and linebacker Jarrad Davis (Round 1 in 2017) — to make big leaps in their development.

» Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams are expected to compete for the starting running back spot, with former receiver Ty Montgomery now only a dark horse to win the Week 1 job for a second straight year. Williams proved last year he’s tough and probably the most complete back on the team, but Jones’ pure pop as a runner gives him an edge.

» The No. 3 receiver spot is similarly wide open, with holdovers like Geronimo Allison and Trevor Davis having a head-start over the team’s trio of third-day draft picks. While rookie wideouts usually take a while to make an impact in Green Bay, J’Mon Moore has the skills after the catch to merit watching.

» There are a lot of ifs on this Packers offense, from the boom-or-bust Jimmy Graham signing to whether Randall Cobb can get back to 2014 form. But there is also plenty for Aaron Rodgers to work with, including perhaps the best left tackle in football in David Bakhtiari. The ceiling for this group remains sky-high.

» Ex-Jet Muhammad Wilkerson may not wind up seeing enough snaps to be a true starter, but I listed him over Jake Ryan, a second inside linebacker. New defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, who coached Wilkerson in New York, could get more out of Wilkerson by playing him less, anyhow. Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark are the leaders of a strong line.

» Pettine has an incredible amount of long, athletic defenders in the secondary, with four picks in the first two rounds from the last two drafts alone, including 2018 first-rounder Jaire Alexander. Josh Jackson, the team’s second-round pick at cornerback this year, would displace the 35-year-old Tramon Williams, in a perfect world.

» Aaron Rodgers is due for a third MVP season in which no defender is safe. The longer I stare at this roster, the more I like the Packers to get right back to being one of the Super Bowl favorites after a disappointing 7-9 2017 season. Minnesota Vikings

» Snagging Kendall Wright to play the slot helps to complete this offensive attack. The former first-round pick was Chicago’s leading receiver a year ago, and he can get open, unlike 2016 first-round pick Laquon Treadwell. Wright is only the team’s fifth-best receiving option, yet another sign that Kirk Cousins chose the right squad with which to sign this offseason.