NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks is handing out grades for each team following the 2010 NFL Draft. Check back daily as he breaks down each team, division by division.
Minnesota Vikings: B+
The Vikings routinely draft well by sticking to their philosophy of taking the best available player regardless of position. In adhering to the premise this year, they came away with three players (Chris Cook, Toby Gerhart and Everson Griffen) that could be key contributors in 2010. The selection of Griffen, in particular, was a great pick because he carried borderline first-round grades on most draft boards across the league until character concerns led to an unexpected drop during the draft. Given their talent-rich haul at value prices, the Vikings deserve kudos for their management of draft.
Round 2 (34th overall): Chris Cook, CB, Virginia
In adding the rangy cover man in Cook, the Vikings have a young player to plug in if Cedric Griffin is unable to start at corner come Week 1. Given Cook's size, athleticism and length, he should excel in the Vikings' two-deep scheme.
Round 2 (51st overall): Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford
Although Adrian Peterson remains the workhorse, Gerhart has the versatile skill set to contribute as a rotational player in the backfield. With his toughness and all-around skills, Gerhart is an ideal fit.
Round 4 (100th overall): Everson Griffen, DE, Southern California
The energetic pass rusher has excellent initial quickness, and Griffen's ability to pressure the pocket will undoubtedly earn him minutes in a deep Vikings' rotation. This is an excellent value pick, regardless of his off-field issues.
Detroit Lions: B+
The Lions entered the draft needing to add impact players on both sides of the ball, and they came away with two difference-makers in the first round. Ndamukong Suh gives the team a dominant force in the middle of the defensive line, and Jim Schwartz will take advantage of his exceptional skills to rebuild the Lionsâ porous defense. In Jahvid Best, the Lions nab a dangerous runner in the mold of âCJ2Kâ to alleviate the pressure on QB Matthew Stafford. Though the Lions didnât pick up an elite offensive tackle to provide Stafford with protection, the addition of Jason Fox gives them an intriguing developmental prospect at the position.
Round 1 (2nd overall): Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
Suh gives coach Jim Schwartz a disruptive interior player in the mold of Albert Haynesworth to build around. Given the fact that the Lions ranked 32nd in total defense last season, Suh's dominant presence should restore some of the roar in Detroit.
Round 1 (30th overall): Jahvid Best, RB, California
Best is the most instinctive runner in the draft, and his skills may flourish as the feature back in Detroit. Although his back-to-back concussions last season justifiably raise concerns, the Lions may have landed the player with the most potential to become the next "CJ2K."
Green Bay Packers: C+
The Packers rely extensively on the draft to bolster the talent on their roster, and the team addressed a few key positions this year. The addition of Bryan Bulaga provides depth at offensive tackle, and Morgan Burnettâs selection adds athleticism to their secondary at the safety position. Mike Neal gives the Packers another big body to use in their defensive line rotation, but the team failed to add a young corner to the roster, and the depth at the position remains a glaring weakness heading into the season.
Round 1 (23rd overall): Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
Although the Packers have a pair of veteran offensive tackles in Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher in place to start in 2010, Bulaga gives them much-needed depth and an eventual successor to develop for the future.
Round 2 (56th overall): Mike Neal, DT, Purdue
As a stout defensive lineman with outstanding strength and power, Neal gives the Packers another body to rotate in at end. Though his motor occasionally tails off due to his conditioning, he flashes outstanding talent when fresh, and could develop into a key contributor in their scheme.
Round 3 (71st overall): Morgan Burnett, SS, Georgia Tech
As an instinctive defender with outstanding range, Burnett has the ability to get over the top on deep throws. With Atari Bigby underperforming at safety, Burnett could be a surprising rookie starter in Week 1.
Chicago Bears: C
The Bears entered the draft with little ammunition based on a series of trades in 2009. However, they still landed a solid draft class with immense potential. While the selection of Major Wright will stand out as the pick that nets an immediate starter, it is the additions of Corey Wootton and Dan LeFevour that could pay big dividends for the Bears down the road. Both were expected to be early-round selections, and their production could easily surpass their draft status. Wootton, in particular, could emerge as a key contributor on a Bearsâ defensive line that needed to add another athletic player to the mix.
Round 3 (75th overall): Major Wright, FS, Florida
The selection of Wright is an attempt to finally shore up the free safety spot. He has solid overall skills and gives Chicago a steady presence in the middle of the field. Given the team's preference for playing two-deep coverage, Wright's consistent play is a welcome addition.
Round 4 (109th overall): Corey Wootton, DE, Northwestern
Wootton has the size and skills to play multiple positions along the line, and has the potential to emerge as a playmaker in the Bears' up-field rush scheme. A torn ACL in 2008 hindered his play last season, but he could outplay his draft status as he regains his health in future years.