Reviewing the 2006 NFL Draft: NFC North

It’s been 4 years since the 2006 NFL Draft and those selected have had time to make an impact on their respective teams.  In this new series of articles the writers at NFLMocks will be breaking down each team division by division and grading their drafts.  We will identify the top busts and the biggest sleepers and would love to hear your thoughts and opinions in the comment section of each post.

NFC North

Chicago Bears

Grade: C+

A running theme in their most recent drafts, the Bear’s went without a first round pick in 2006. A trade down with Buffalo yielded additional 2nd and 3rd round picks instead, which turned into S Daniel Manning and DT Dusty Dvoracek. However, neither pick has worked out as planned.  This offsesason the Bears traded LB Jamar Williams, a 2006 4th round pick, for S Chris Harris and used their first pick in the 2010 draft on S Major Wright. Dvoracek isn’t currently on any roster and Manning is a backup, but has shown he can be a dangerous return man. Speaking of dangerous return men, WR Devin Hester was selected with the Bear’s original 2nd round pick and is the by far the most prolific of the bunch. Hester played his best as a return man, a All Pro in 2006 and 2007, but has yet to find a way to utilize those talents as a wide receiver consistently. DE Mark Anderson, taken in the 5th, is expected to man the position opposite new Bear DE Julius Peppers. The Bear’s are hoping he rekindles the energy from his rookie campaign in which he registered 12 sacks. Both 6th round picks, RB J.D. Runnels and OG Tyler Reed, are no longer in the NFL.

Detroit Lions

Grade: F

This draft was just another piece of evidence in the case against Matt Millen vs the fans of the Detroit Lions. Only 1 player, S Daniel Bullocks (2nd), is still with the team and only two others, 1st round pick LB Erine Sims and 5th round pick OT Jonathan Scott are still in the NFL. Sims was recently traded to Philadelphia and Scott is a sub in Pittsburgh. Bullocks may be the only one still with the Lions, but he hasn’t made an impact and is most known for his lack of coverage skills. Not much can be said about this Lions draft class other than drafts like this help set up for 0-16 seasons.

Green Bay Packers

Grade: B+

The Packer’s had by far the largest haul in 2006 with 12 picks. WR Greg Jennings (2nd) and LB A.J. Hawk (1st) were the best of the group having been starters from the get go. OT Daryn Colledge (2nd) and LG Jason Spitz (3rd) have both played extensively, with Spitz currently projected as a starter and Colledge backing up most spots. CB Will Blackmon (4th) is recovering from a torn ACL, but has been a very productive return man. DT Johnny Jolly, taken in the 6th, is the last of the class still with the team. Jolly though will be facing drug charges in Texas one of these days and his status should be listed as available with an “*”. LB Abdul Hodge (Bengals), QB Ingle Martin (Chiefs), OT Tony Moll (Ravens), CB Tyrone Culver (Dolphins), and DE Dave Tollefson (Giants) round out the rest of the Packer’s picks, but found homes on other NFL rosters.

Minnesota Vikings

Grade: A-

The Vikings retained the most picks of any NFC North team, with 5 out of the 6 picks still with the team and 3 of those 5 starters. LB Chad Greenway (1st), CB Cedric Griffin (2nd), and DE Ray Edwards (4th) are established starters on the second straight NFC North Champion defense. Griffin is likely going to start the season on the PUP list after tearing his ACL in overtime of the NFC Championship Game, but reports of his recovery have been promising. Edwards is maturing into a deadly force on the defensive line, but has voiced his displeasure for not becoming a free agent this offseason, due to the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), by staying away from all team activities. He has said recently that he will join the team and sign his tender by the June 15th deadline. QB Tarvaris Jackson (2nd) has been the most polarizing player on the Vikings roster since he was drafted 64th overall because many fans believe he will never be a franchise QB. While that is most likely, he is one of the better back up QBs in the league and continues to learn behind Brett Favre. OL Ryan Cook (2nd) is the top backup at every O-line position and S Greg Blue (6th) is no longer playing in the NFL.

Top Bust Candidates: No 1st or 2nd round picks from the NFC North have busted out yet, but an argument could be made the the Lion’s entire draft was one big bust.

Top Sleeper Candidates: 5th Round Pick DE Mark Anderson, 4th Round Pick DE Ray Edwards

Which NFC North team had the best draft in 2006?

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Tags: A.J. Hawk Abdul Hodge Bengals Brett Favre CBA Cedric Griffin Chad Greenway Chicago Bears Chiefs Chris Harris Collective Bargaining Agreement Daniel Bullocks Daniel Manning Daryn Colledge Dave Tollefson Detroit Lions Devin Hester Dolphins Dusty Dvoracek Erine Sims Giants Green Bay Packers Greg Blue Greg Jennings Ingle Martin J.D. Runnels Jamar Williams Jason Spitz Johnny Jolly Jonathan Scott Julius Peppers Major Wright Mark Anderson Matt Millen Minnesota Vikings NFC Championship Game NFC North NFC North Champion NFL PUP List Ravens Ray Edwards Ryan Cook Tarvaris Jackson Tony Moll Tyler Reed Tyrone Culver Will Blackmon

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