We are now at part six of our eight part series looking at hypothetical divisional squads and teams for all eight of the NFL divisions.

Contents

    In previous articles we have looked at the AFC North, AFC West, AFC East And AFC South.

    Plus, yesterday we focused on the very strong NFC East.

    So now we move on to one of the weaker divisions in the NFC, if you believe the bookies, and that is the NFC North.

    The NFC North teams don’t rank too highly with bet365 Sport when it comes to chances of winning the Super Bowl in 2023/24, but even so, it will be interesting to see how their divisional squad and team shapes up.

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    Let’s now take a look at the NFC North teams supplying players to our 53-man NFC North squad.

    NFC North

    • Chicago Bears
    • Detroit Lions
    • Green Bay Packers
    • Minnesota Vikings

    A Recap Of The Rules For Squad Selection

    • All players must play at one of the four teams in the division stated.
    • All squads will be comprised of 53 players.
    • All squads will have their 53 players distributed across all positions with the same number of players picked in each position.
    • In addition to the 53 squad players, a starting Offense, Special Teams and Defense will be picked, as will a home stadium and head coach from the four teams in the division.

    Each squad will comprise of 53 players distributed as follows:-

    Offense (24 players)

    • Quarterback – 3
    • Running Back – 2
    • Full Back – 1
    • Wide Receiver – 6
    • Tight End – 2
    • Left Tackle – 2
    • Left Guard – 2
    • Center – 2
    • Right Guard – 2
    • Right Tackle – 2

    Defense (25 players)

    • Defensive Tackle – 4
    • Defensive Ends – 5
    • Inside Linebacker – 2
    • Outside Linebacker / Edge Rusher – 4
    • Strong Safety – 2
    • Free Safety – 2
    • Cornerbacks – 6

    Special Teams (4 players)

    • Kicker – 1
    • Punter – 1
    • Specialist Punt/Kick Off Returner – 1
    • Long Snapper – 1

    That’s the rules recapped so now let us continue and select our 53-man squad to represent the AFC North!

    NFC North – Squad Selection

    PosNameTeamRatingPosNameTeamRating
    OffenseDefense
    QBJustin FieldsChicago BearsA-DTHarrisn PhillipsMin. VikingsB+
    QBJared GoffDetroit LionsB-DTKenny ClarkGreen Bay P.A-
    QBKirk CousinsMin. VikingsA-DTIsaiah BuggsDetroit Li.B
    RBAaron JonesGreen Bay P.B+DTTJ SlaytonGreen Bay P.B+
    RBD. MontgomeryDetroit LionsB+DEAidan HutchisnDetroit Li.A-
    FBKhari BlasingmeChicago BearsA-DETrevis GipsonChic. BearsB-
    WRJustin JeffersonMin. VikingsA+DEDean LowryMin. VikingsB+
    WRAmn-Ra St BrwnDetroit LionsADEDemrcs WalkerChic. BearsB+
    WRD.J.MooreChicago BearsA-DEJohn CominskyDetroit Li.B
    WRKJ OsborneMin. VikingsBILBTrm. EdmundsChic. BearsA-
    WRMarv. JonesDetroit LionsBILBJordan HicksMin. VikingsB+
    WRChristian WatsnGreen Bay P.B+L/ERashan GaryGreen Bay P.B
    TETJ HockensonMin. VikingsAL/EMal. RodriguezDetroit Li.B+
    TEShane ZylstraDetroit LionsB-L/EPreston SmithGreen Bay P.B+
    LTChris. DarrishawMin. VikingsAL/ET.J.EdwardsChic. BearsB
    LTDavid BakhtiariGreen Bay P.ASSHarrison SmithMin. VikingsA-
    LGCody WhitehairChicago BearsBSSJaq. BriskerChic. BearsB+
    LGEd IngramMin. VikingsB+FSDarnell SavageGreen Bay P.B+
    CJosh MyersGreen Bay P.B+FSEd. JacksonChic. BearsB
    CFrank RagnowDetroit LionsA-COJaire AlexanderGreen Bay P.A+
    RGEzra ClevelandMin. VikingsB+COCJ Gar.JohnsnDetroit Li.A+
    RGJonah JacksonDetroit LionsA-COCam SuttonDetroit Li.A-
    RTElgton JenkinsGreen Bay P.A-COByron MurphyMin. VikingsB+
    RTPenei SewellDetroit LionsA-CORasul DouglasGreen Bay P.B
    Special TeamsCOEric StokesGreen Bay P.A-
    KRiley PattersonDetroit LionsBHead Coach
    PPat O’DonnellGreen Bay P.BHCDan CampbellDetroit LionsA
    KRKalif RaymondDetroit LionsB-Nominated Home Stadium (Capacity)
    LSPatrick ScalesChicago BearsBSTUS Bank Stadium (Vikings)(66,860)

    NFC North Squad Gradings

    Offense

    • Quarterbacks – B+
    • Running/Full Backs –  B+
    • Wide Receivers – B+
    • Tight Ends – A-
    • Offensive Line – A-
    • Overall Offense – B+

    Defense

    • Defensive Line – B
    • Edge Rushers – B-
    • Linebackers – B
    • Safeties – B
    • Corners – A-

    Special Teams

    • Kicker – B
    • Punter – B
    • Kick Returner – B-
    • Long Snapper – B

    Team Intangibles

    • Experience – B
    • Pace – B-
    • Physicality – B
    • Mental Toughness – B-
    • HC Effectiveness – A-

    NFC North Starters

    OffenseDefense
    PosNameTeamRatPosNameTeamRat
    QBJustin FieldsBearsA-DEAidan HutchisonLionsA-
    RBAaron JonesPackersB+DTHarisn PhilipsVikingsB+
    WR1Just. JeffersonVikingsA+DTKenny ClarkPackersA-
    WR2A.Ra St BrownLionsADEDemar. WalkerBearsB+
    WR3DJ MooreBearsA-OLBPreston SmithPackersB+
    TETJ HockensonVikingsAILBTrm EdwardsBearsA-
    LTC.DarrishawVikingsAOLBMal RodriguezLionsB+
    LGEd IngramVikingsA-FSDarn. SavagePackersB+
    CFrank RagnowLionsA-SSHarrison SmithVikingsA-
    RGJonah JacksnLionsA-CB1C.Gard.JohnsnLionsA+
    RTPenei SewellLionsA-CB2Jaire AlexanderPackersA+
    Special Teams
    KRiley PattersnLionsB PPat O’DonnellBearsB
    LSPatrick ScalesBearsB PRKalif RaymondLionsB-

    NFC North Starting XI Analysis

    • Chicago Bears – 6 starters
    • Detroit Lions – 9 starters
    • Green Bay Packers – 5 starters
    • Minnesota Vikings – 6 starters

    Strengths

    • Outstanding at cornerback
    • Very solid across the offensive line, with good back up depth too
    • One of the fastest quarterbacks in the league with huge potential to develop
    • Hugely talented trio of first choice wide receivers.
    • Excellent full back

    Weaknesses

    • Running back options not the best.
    • The NFC North team is markedly weaker in defense, notably on the line and at linebacker.
    • Special teams is a bit so-so.

    Key Player – Offense

    Justin Jefferson (Vikings) WR – Without doubt the most productive WR in the league and looks set to. break new ground in the position. Jefferson’s agility, speed and ability to catch almost any ball will make him a vital outlet for his QB.

    Key Player – Defense

    Aidan Hutchison (Lions) DE – With the pass rush looking a bit sparse for the NFC North, the Lions star pick from 2022 Aidan Hutchison needs to be the most effective pass rusher on the team to keep the pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

    Conclusion

    The NFC North has a very talented team as a group of starters, but at certain positions, such as WR and in defense, the strength in depth is not quite there of other divisions. Fields and Cousins give this unit a solid run/pass QB combo that would be interesting to see, but there are a few weaknesses on that defense compared to other teams.

    Overall Team Rating – B

    There are some outstanding players in this group, including at corner and wide receiver. However,  there is a lack of star quality in other areas of the team. The defense is especially a worry ahead of the secondary in particular, but the offense does have the quality to put up plenty of points.