Apparently, the word on the street is in order to beat the reigning NFC North champs, you have to draft a tight end. I guess I missed the memo.
In the first round of the 2019 NFL draft the Detroit Lions took former Iowa Hawkeye TE T.J. Hockenson with the eighth overall pick. The 6’5”- 250lb sophomore had 49 receptions for 760 yards, averaging 15.5 yards per catch but only had six touchdowns.
In round two, using the 50th overall pick, the Minnesota Vikings took TE Irv Smith Jr, a junior out of Alabama. He caught 44 passes for 710 yards and seven touchdowns. He averaged 16.1 yards per reception and weighs 241lbs at 6’4” tall.
Then, in round three, the Green Bay Packers used the 75th overall pick to select Jace Sternberger from Texas A&M. As a junior, Jace caught 48 passes for 832 yards and ten touchdowns. Standing 6’4” tall and weighing 250lbs, he averaged 17.3 yards per catch.
The trend here between these three NFC North teams is they all didn’t win the division last season. It seems they’re all using the same school of thought when it comes to taking down the Chicago Bears, and that’s a big bodied tight end to fight through the middle of the defense, into the secondary.
All three of the tight ends listed above average 15 yards per catch or more. With how dominant the Bears pass rush has been, and will continue to be, the remaining NFC North residents will resort to getting the ball out of the quarterback’s hands very quick and into the hands of a big body like these tight ends mentioned above.
It makes perfect sense to me why the Lions, Vikings, and Packers would take these three impressive tight ends. The Bears made their presence known last season, especially on defense. The rest of the division needs all the help they can get but I don’t think Matt Nagy is too worried.
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