NFC North: Green Bay Packers
This one comes as no surprise, really. The Packers have been one of the most consistent teams the last few seasons, and have made the playoffs four years in a row. It’s tough to make any case that this team won’t continue that trend this year. You could point to Greg Jennings signing with Minnesota, but Green Bay has plenty of depth at the WR position to overcome that. The only team that is deeper at the position is the Denver Broncos, but we’ll get to them later.
I fully expect Jordy Nelson to dominate as Aaron Rodgers favorite deep threat. Nelson has been a beast on deep passes (no really, he has more TD’s than Calvin Johnson over the last two seasons). Last season he averaged over 15 yards per catch, a little below his 2011 average of 18.6 yards. Undoubtedly, Mike McCarthy will draw up plenty of deep passes for Nelson. Green Bay also has Randall Cobb, who had 80 catches, 954 yards and eight TD’s last season. After Cobb is James Jones, another capable WR who reminds me of a slightly thinner and faster version of Anquan Boldin.
Packers GM Ted Thompson spent a few picks in this draft on running backs. Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin should make an impact on an offense that finished 20th in rush yards and 25th in rush touchdowns. Green Bay also drafted Datone Jones, who could make an immediate improvement to the Packers pass-rush.
The Minnesota Vikings got better this offseason, but let’s face it, Christian Ponder is not Aaron Rodgers. When you have A-Rod, you have an advantage over every team in the NFL.