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NFL Draft Top 30 Visits – NFC North

@DanT_NFL is looking at which players are being invited in for top 30 visits. Today we discuss the NFC North. Some of these names may surprise you!

One often under-reported part of the pre-draft news cycle is the top 30 visits. These visits will allow teams to work with players and explore if they would be a good fit. Before the NFL draft, each club has a limit of 30 invites to fly in out-of-town prospects for private interviews. Local college players don’t count against this number. Kenny Pickett, who played at the University of Pittsburgh, did not count against the 30 for the Steelers.

These visits are essential for dynasty fantasy football managers. It gives a glimpse of what positions each team hopes to acquire in the draft. This information is invaluable when looking ahead to older players who may be out of a job. We can get ahead of the news cycle and trade away players who may lose value. Today we will take a look at the NFC North.

I am using this article from CBS Sports to reference the visits. Not every team has used all 30, so it would be good to check back from time to time for an up-to-date list. 

NFC North

Detroit Lions

The Lions hold two picks in the first round of this year’s draft and are putting together a solid roster rebuild. With the first of those being the second overall pick, there are many options for the Lions to improve this year. Many are mocking them the edge rushers, and this list supports that hypothesis. As of this publication, they have met with all of the top three defensive linemen.

Detroit also holds the final pick in the first round. Multiple industry experts have them trading out of that pick. The 32nd overall pick holds value with the fifth-year contract option. 

Chicago Bears

  • WR Jalen Nailor (Michigan State)
  • WR Tyquan Thornton (Baylor)
  • TE Chigoziem Okonkwo (Maryland)
  • LB Brian Asamoah (Oklahoma)
  • OL Kenyon Green (Texas A&M)
  • DL Eric Johnson (Missouri State)
  • DL Esezi Otomewo (Minnesota)

Chicago is light on draft capital due to the Justin Fields trade-up last year. They have no first-round picks in this year’s draft class and have to wait until pick 39 to make their first selection. This Bears roster has holes all over the place and can use an influx of talent at all positions. A young quarterback needs a supporting cast, and until this point, Justin Field hasn’t received that. Hopefully, new general manager Ryan Poles can use the limited draft capital to build around Justin Fields. 

Minnesota Vikings

  • WR Danny Gray (SMU)
  • WR Tay Martin (Oklahoma State)
  • OL Aron Johnson (South Dakota State)
  • OL Jarrid Williams (Miami)
  • OL Cole Strange (Chattanooga)
  • OL Rasheed Walker (Penn State)
  • DL David Anenih (Houston)
  • DL Esezi Otomewo (Minnesota)
  • LB Cameron Goode (California)
  • LB Darien Butler (Arizona State) 
  • CB Jack Jones (Arizona State)
  • CB Kalon Barnes (Baylor)
  • CB Marcus Jones (Houston)
  • S Kerby Joseph (Illinois)
  • S Percy Butler (Louisiana)

The Minnesota Vikings hold the 12th pick in this year’s draft and have various needs throughout the roster. This list is a solid reflection on that principle; we see players from multiple positions. An interesting note on this list is that none of these players project as first-rounders. None of these players listed here will significantly impact fantasy football in 2022, and you can consider any Vikings players on your roster as safe. Could Minnesota have a firm grasp on the options at 12 and just be fine-tuning the mid rounds?

Green Bay Packers

Is there a better duo than Green Bay Packers and needing a first-round wide receiver? With Davante Adams departing for Las Vegas, there is a massive chair to fill in the wide receiver room. Green Bay now holds two picks in the back end of the first round of this year’s rookie draft. George Pickens and Treylon Burks are two names that could be there for either of those picks. They are also the only names with first-round grades that appear on this list. If Green Bay were to double-dip at the position, that would spell disaster for at least one receiver currently on the roster.

Gathering this information ahead of time will leave us fewer surprises on the draft weekend. Just because a player lands on this list doesn’t mean that team will draft them given a chance. Some of these visits may not work out, and that player may be removed from a team’s board. For other players, teams may have questions on their evaluation process that they need to clarify. This list should be one of many tools dynasty managers use to improve their squads this offseason.

This week, check back as we drop more top 30 lists and their potential impact. We are less than two weeks away from the NFL draft! Using this information, you might be able to get out of that aging vet before it is too late. You can find me over on Twitter at @DanT_NFL. Please give me a follow for the latest in dynasty fantasy football news and analysis. Beer recommendations and dog pictures are always welcome!

Another excellent tool for dynasty managers is a #NerdHerd membership. Membership will get you exclusive access to our prospect film room. We have hundreds of players and multiple games for each. All film has been cut into easily digestible videos from two to ten minutes in length. Exclusive for my readers, you can use the promo code ‘LUNA’ to get 15% off any #NerdHerd membership.

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