NFC North Links: Bears, Vikings, Packers

It seems likely that the Bears will bring in a quarterback for some camp competition, and that player could come from the draft, writes’s Michael C. Wright. The writer thinks the team would only select a quarterback in the first two rounds, and he bases that off of quotes from team GM Phil Emery.

Emery has studied “developmental quarterbacks” since the 2006 Draft (Jay Cutler‘s year) and discovered that “developmental theory doesn’t hold a whole lot of water.” The research showed that since that draft, there hasn’t been a long-term starting quarterback selected later than the third-round (the 2012 draft is considered a “blip on the radar”).

Emery elaborated on his findings:

“So, to get a high-quality quarterback, you’ve got to draft them high. Most of the starters in this league come from the first and second round. So that’s where you need to take a quarterback. So when you talk about quarterback every year, they have to be somebody you truly believe will beat out the second and third quarterback that you perceive on your roster. And if not, history shows that you shouldn’t make that pick.”

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFC North…

  • The previous Bears regime did not value safeties, but that could change under Emery, Wright mentions in the same article. Considering the increasing importance of the position and the relative lack of depth on the squad, it wouldn’t shock Wright if the team selected a safety in the first round.
  • It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, but the Vikings have declined the fifth-year option on quarterback Christian Ponder, confirms FoxSports’s Alex Marvez (via Twitter).
  • The fifth-year option is a “key benefit” in selecting a player in the first round, and that is why the Vikings may be inclined to select a quarterback earlier than later, writes’s Ben Goessling.
  • It would be tough for the Packers to pass up Calvin Pryor if he’s sitting there at the 21st pick, writes’s Rob Demovsky. Of course, as the writer points out, it’s unlikely the safety would fall that far.
  • In the same article, Demovsky expresses his belief that the Packers will select a tight end early in this year’s draft. Wide receiver could also be an option in the later rounds. The team lost receiver James Jones this offseason and likely won’t bring back tight end Jermichael Finley.
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