Now that the 2019 NFL Draft has come and gone, NFL.com’s Elliot Harrison has produced a fresh batch of league-wide Power Rankings.
Harrison moved New Orleans, Minnesota’s first opponent of the preseason, into the top overall spot, ahead of defending champion New England.
The Vikings set a franchise record in a seven-round draft by making 12 picks (view tracker) that were the most in the NFL.
Minnesota initially had five selections, which got bumped up to eight when three compensatory picks were awarded in February. After staying put in the first two rounds, General Manager Rick Spielman started a flurry of trade activity in the third and began banking late-round picks.
Harrison nudged Minnesota up one spot to No. 12 overall, mentioning the additions of center Garrett Bradbury in the first round and tight end Irv Smith, Jr., in the second because of how both players could help the Vikings running game.
Take a look at all of the Vikings 2019 NFL Draft Picks in photos.
What about the rest of the teams in the NFC North?
2018 Record: 12-4 (.750) | 2019 Opponents’ Strength of Schedule: (.430)
Selections made: 5 (started draft with 5 picks)
Round 3, 87th overall (from Detroit through New England): David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State Round 4, 126th overall: Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia
Round 6, 205th overall (compensatory from New England through): Duke Shelley, CB, Kansas State Round 7, 222nd overall (from Denver through Philadelphia): Kerrith Whyte, RB, Florida Atlantic
Round 7, 238th overall: Stephen Denmark, CB, Valdosta State
Harrison’s rank: 7 (up one)
Harrison’s take: “After some wheelin’ and dealin’ with the Patriots, the Bears tabbed David Montgomery (No. 73 overall) to join the mix after Jordan Howard’s exit. My colleague Daniel Jeremiah saw Montgomery as the second-best running back in the draft. Ultimately, Montgomery should be a more appropriate fit for Matt Nagy's offensive style than Howard was. … You’ll find plenty of critics who’ve downgraded the running back position so much that they would automatically pan the Montgomery pick. Your friendly writer is not one of them.”
Green Bay Packers
2018 Record: 6-9-1 (.406) | 2019 Opponents’ Strength of Schedule: (.488)
Selections made: 8 (started draft with 10 picks)
Round 1, 12th overall: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan Round 1, 21st overall (from Seattle): Darnell Savage, S, Maryland
Round 2, 44th overall: Elgton Jenkins, C, Mississippi State Round 3, 75th overall: Jace Sternberger, TE, Texas A&M
Round 4, 150th overall: Kingsley Keke, DE, Texas A&M Round 6, 185th overall: Ka’Dar Hollman, CB, Toledo
Round 6, 194th overall (from Seattle): Dexter Williams, RB, Notre Dame Round 7, 226th overall: Ty Summers, LB, Texas Christian
Harrison’s rank: 16 (up one)
Harrison’s take: “How good will be the Packers be in 2019? Much depends on whether or not the young receivers they drafted last year turn out, because, in a surprising development, they turned their nose up on the legion of mock drafters who thought they were in play for a wideout. Potential Game 1 starters from this year’s crop of rookies: Jenkins (No. 44 overall), Savage (No. 21). Not cheesy pick: Sternberger out of Texas A&M, a third-rounder (No. 75) who was the team’s fourth pick. NFL.com draft expert Bucky Brooks placed Sternberger in his top five tight ends by the end of the pre-draft process (batting cleanup behind T.J. Hockenson, Noah Fant and Irv Smith, Jr.).”
2018 Record: 6-10 (.375) | 2019 Opponents’ Strength of Schedule: (.504)
Selections made: 9 (started draft with 9 picks)
Round 1, 8th overall: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa Round 2, 43rd overall: Jahlani Tavai, LB, Hawaii
Round 3, 81st overall (from Minnesota): Will Harris, S, Boston College Round 4, 117th overall (from Atlanta): Austin Bryant, DE, Clemson
Round 5, 146th overall: Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State Round 6, 184th overall: Travis Fulgham, WR, Old Dominion
Round 6, 186th overall: Ty Johnson, RB, Maryland Round 7, 224th overall: Isaac Nauta, TE, Georgia
Round 7, 229th overall (from Miami): P.J. Johnson, DT, Arizona
Harrison’s rank: 20 (down one)
Harrison’s take: “The Lions took hold of the free agency period, giving their roster a pretty stiff jolt to contend in what has become a tight and stout NFC North. Tightening gaps in March means drafting to prevent for future gaps in April. Detroit did gain an instant starter in the process, making the call to the premier tight end in the great college football marketplace, T.J. Hockenson (No. 8 overall). ... LB Jahlani Tavai (No. 43) might have been a reach, but S Will Harris should serve to fix up Matt Patricia’s secondary.”