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Bleacher Report – Vikings

How the NFC North drafted in Round 1

By Matthew Coller

While the 2017 NFC North-winning Minnesota Vikings waited for their pick to come around at No. 30, two their three division opponents added on the defensive side and another selected an offensive lineman. Here’s a look at the three NFC North picks of Round 1:

8. Chicago Bears, Roquan Smith

Following a run on quarterbacks to open the draft, the Bears landed the No. 1 linebacker in the draft. The Georgia standout is tremendously athletic and stands out against the run and pass. Smith joins a Bears defense that was already strong on the D-line and secondary.

Smith’s NFL.com profile says:

“Smith is an ascending linebacker prospect with elite athletic ability, plus intelligence and an ability to be an effective cover linebacker on passing downs. While he’s a little undersized, he does have the quickness and speed to keep himself from being mauled. He was good in 2016, but great in 2017 and projects as a player who hasn’t tapped his full potential. Smith has Pro Bowl traits and talent and will come off the board in the first round.”

18. Green Bay Packers, Jaire Alexander

The newest Packers corner may have been a target of the Vikings if he dropped any farther. Green Bay desperately needed to improve its secondary after finishing second worst in the NFL in quarterback rating allowed.

Alexander’s NFL.com profile says:

Twitchy and quick, Alexander is an instinctive cornerback with the ability to anticipate routes and the quickness to close on throws and make plays on the ball. He tape in 2017 was uneven due to issues with a sprained knee which could raise concerns over his durability considering his slender build. When healthy, he has the potential to become a second cornerback, but teams may view him as a full time nickel cornerback who is able to avoid the rigors of excessive run support.

20. Detroit Lions, Frank Ragnow

Ragnow was Pro Football Focus’s No. 1 center each of the last two years. He joins an offensive line that is already solid with Taylor Decker and Rick Wagner holding down the tackles and TJ Lang at guard.

Ragnow’s NFL.com draft profile says:

“Three-year starter and team captain who brings a desired level of physical demeanor to the field each game. Ragnow won’t wow you with foot quickness or athleticism, but he takes smart angles to his blocks and shouldn’t be limited by scheme. His size, power, and anchor is a big plus as is his ability to swing over to guard if needed. Ragnow could struggle to stay connected to blocks against athletic interior linemen with quick hands, but his baseline play is equal to a solid NFL starter.”

The post How the NFC North drafted in Round 1 appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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