NFC North Notes: Vikings, Packers, Lions

In dire need of secondary talent after allowing 4,596 yards through the air in 2013, the Minnesota Vikings supplemented the roster with three defensive backs on day 3 of the NFL Draft, writes Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Virginia Tech’s Antone Exum, Maine’s Kendall James and North Carolina’s Jabari Price will don the purple, white and gold after being drafted in the sixth, sixth and seventh rounds, respectively.

“It’s definitely going to be competition (in the secondary),” Price said. “Whether we know it or not, whether they know it or not, it’s going to be a competition. 

“And I’m willing to step up to the challenge.”

More news and notes from the NFC North…

  • The Vikings earned the lone A-plus from’s Chris Burke and Doug Farrar in their 2014 NFL draft grades writeup, calling it an outstanding haul for first-year coach Mike Zimmer. The Packers received an A, the Bears an A-minus and the Lions a B.
  • The Packers addressed needs without sacrificing talent, according to’s Vic Ketchman. General manager Ted Thompson makes his hay in the annual player selection meeting, and the nine players selected — highlighted by first-round pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix — should solidify a deep roster.
  • One constant in the Packers the last three decades has been a prolific offense highlighted by an elite quarterback. However, defense has been an issue, writes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and Thompson gave defensive coordinator Dom Capers “a nice offering” at the top with the selection of Clinton-Dix No. 21 overall. But with four defenders and five offensive players coming to Green Bay, it was an overall balanced draft for the Pack.
  • Lions Offensive tackle LaAdrian Waddle, offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and quarterback Matthew Stafford were pegged as winners by’s Justin Rogers. Waddle figures to remain the team’s right tackle after the team passed on Taylor Lewan. Lombardi has a new toy in tight end Eric Ebron with which to play, joining an already deep position. Stafford received an upgraded No. 2 receiver earlier in free agency — Golden Tate — and now has an upgrade at tight end. Named as losers by Rogers were linebacker Ashlee Palmer, defensive back coaches Tony Oden and Alan Williams, and tight end Joseph Fauria.
  • Bears general manager Mark Emery is giddy about the potential long-term payout of his eight draftees, finishing his third draft with Chicago and 16th overall. “These come in all varieties with how people work with one another,” Emery said via Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune. “And this was awesome.” 
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