The mid and late rounds of the NFL draft are just as critical to a team’s success as the first and second rounds. Every year there are late round grabs that become starters, and even all-pros. Let’s take a look at some day two and three projections that will be perfect fits for the NFC North teams.
Offense: Jamie Newman – QB, Georgia
Before the start of the 2020 season Newman was one of the hottest names in all of college football. After an efficient season at Wake Forest in 2019, he was supposed to command the Bulldog offense going into 2020. Even though he sat out, Newman still has a ton of potential and throws a beautiful deep ball.
The Bears only have two quarterbacks on the roster right now anyway, so this move makes perfect sense, assuming they don’t grab one early in round one, but that would require trading up.
Defense: Talanoa Hufanga – Safety, USC
The Bears are stacked on their front seven on the defensive side of the ball, so secondary is the pick. The two starters at safety in Eddie Jackson and Deon Bush are a solid pair, but they have no depth. Hufanga is a complete prospect who can play all aspects of the safety position well, most notably tackling. Though he lacks top end speed, he can play in the box if needed and stuff the run.
Offense: Amari Rodgers – WR, Clemson
The Lions could very well grab Jaylen Waddle or DeVonta Smith with their first round pick, but they still lack depth in the receiver room. Quintez Cephus has a ton of potential, and free agent signees Breshad Perriman and Tyrell Williams have been streaky through their careers. Rodgers can be a prime time slot operator and also he provides a specialty in kick and punt return. This allows the Lions to not risk injury in the return game with their possible first round pick wideout pick.
Defense: Andre Cisco – Safety, Syracuse
This pick would definitely have to be with their third round choice (No. 72). Cisco has incredible range and seems to teleport to the ball, and then delivers the boom when he arrives. The Lions have a ton of depth at the safety spot but don’t have anybody that has that “wow” factor. Cisco is the complete package and could easily be the starter at the safety spot for Detroit.
Green Bay Packers
Offense: Ben Mason – FB, Michigan
The Packers are loaded with seven picks on the third and final day of the draft. There’s no reason that a team who doesn’t have a fullback shouldn’t grab one with one of those picks. The Packers run a ton of singleback and shotgun formation which doesn’t require a fullback, but when you look back at their 2011 Super Bowl season, you see an effective fullback with John Kuhn. Mason can provide effective pass protection, great lead blocking in the run game and on occasion carry the ball himself.
Defense: Jaylen Twyman – DL, Pittsburgh
There’s a belief that Twyman may have a low ceiling and not much room to grow, but in the Packers 3-4 that has great edge rushers like Rashan Gary and Za’Darius Smith, he should be effective. He’s strong at the point of attack and can push interior lineman backwards or use rip moves to throw them aside. Depending on how much he’s willing to transform his body, Twyman could potentially play all three down lineman spots to increase his chances of getting on the field early.
Offense: Sage Surratt – WR, Wake Forest
Due to opting out last season and having a less than desired 40 time, Surratt’s stock is dipping a little bit. Regardless, he is amazing at utilizing his 6’3” frame to shield defenders and makes contested grabs look easy. In a place where Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson will get most of the attention, Surratt will be able to work in single coverage against the presumed number three corner or possibly a safety.
Defense: William Bradley-King – DE, Baylor
Bradley-King was a graduate transfer from Arkansas State, who piled up 14.5 sacks in his last two years before heading to Waco in 2020. The Bears moved him around in different sets but he ultimately is most successful as a 4-3 weak side defensive end. He launches out of the three point stance and can use outside leverage to dip his way around opposing offensive tackles. To start his career he’ll be a situational but lethal pass rusher who fits perfectly into the Vikings 4-3 scheme.