In this series, we’ll be taking a look at every division’s best starting offense and defense comprised of players from each of the four teams in the division. On the offense we’ll be using an 11 personnel basis and on the defense we’ll be using a 4-4 front in fairness to all schemes with three corners and two safeties on the back end. Without further a do let’s dive in look at the NFC North, home of the Bears, Vikings, Packers, and Lions.
QB Aaron Rodgers- Green Bay Packers
Whether he plays or not, Rodgers is by far the best signal caller in the north. Even at the ripe age of 37 he won the MVP award for the third time after his stunning 2020 campaign. Rodgers carried the Packers to the NFC championship game and now is in a standoff with the Packers front office.
Projected Stat Line: 0 games played
RB Dalvin Cook- Minnesota Vikings
Now that Darrisaw in town, Cook’s stat line should only get better from here. He is the bonafide leader of this Minnesota offense and has proven that he is one of the most dynamic backs in the game. His combination of rushing and receiving prowess makes him the ultimate threat.
Projected Stat Line: 17 games played/323 carries/1,744 rushing yards/5.4 YPC/15 rushing touchdowns/47 receptions/437 receiving yards/9.3 YPC/3 receiving touchdowns
WR DaVante Adams- Green Bay Packers
Adams was arguably the best receiver in 2020 and with or without Rodgers I think he will keep his hot streak alive. He can take on any corner in the league and has proven himself to be borderline un-guardable thanks to his combination of physicality and route running ability.
Projected Stat Line: 17 games played/111 receptions/1,409 receiving yards/12.7 YPC/13 receiving touchdowns
WR Justin Jefferson- Minnesota Vikings
It’s been awhile since we’ve seen a rookie season like that of Jet’s 2020 campaign. He quickly overshadowed Adam Thielen and became the focal point of the Vikings passing attack. He and Vikings passer Kirk Cousins have great chemistry as evident by his team high 125 targets and 88 receptions.
Projected Stat Line: 17 games played/103 receptions/1,514 receiving yards/14.7 YPC/10 receiving touchdowns
WR Allen Robinson- Chicago Bears
Robinson has proven that through horrendous quarterback play in multiple sub-par Jags and Bears offenses, he can still thrive. Last season he hauled in a career high 102 receptions and has strung together two full 16 game seasons. Now that Fields is in town and the accurate Andy Dalton is the starter, Robinson has a chance to build chemistry with some of the best talent under center thus far in his career.
Projected Stat Line: 17 games played/110 receptions/1,298 receiving yards/11.8 YPC/9 receiving touchdowns
TE Cole Kmet- Chicago Bears
Personally I am a huge fan of Kmet and I think he could be one of the best tight ends in the league. Early on last year he proved he could be an effective blocker and a clutch pass catcher. Towards the end of 2020 his target volume went up and now in his sophomore season he could blow up in this Bears offense.
Projected Stat Line: 17 games played/55 receptions/501 receiving yards/9.1 YPC/8 receiving touchdowns
LT David Bakhtiari- Green Bay Packers
At the age of 29 Bakhtiari had the best season of his career and was a true shutdown blind side blocker. After a devastating knee injury, his 2020 season was cut short. I expect a huge bounce back from David and another shut down season for the Pack.
LG Elgton Jenkins- Green Bay Packers
The former Mississippi State Bulldog has been a stud since his first snap in the league. The 2019 second round pick is a true wall at the guard position and is a mauler in both pass and run blocking.
C Frank Ragnow- Detroit Lions
The Lions are starting to build their team in the trenches and who better to play in the middle than the league’s highest paid center. Ragnow is a bulldozer and is arguably the most complete center in the league. A great focal point for the Lions rushing attack.
RG Lucas Patrick- Green Bay Packers
The NFC North is very weak at right guard but Patrick isn’t too bad. He went un-drafted from Kentucky in 2016 and since has shined for the Green Bay Packers. The Packers have a solid line and tons of veteran talent for Patrick to learn from.
RT Penei Sewell- Detroit Lions
The Lions snagged the generational talent of a tackle eighth overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. Sewell is NFL ready and gets to start at right tackle so he isn’t thrusted into a blind side position. Sewell is going to shine for the Lions and will develop into the centerpiece for the Lions offensive trenches.
DE Danielle Hunter- Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings were without their pass rushing super star Danielle Hunter due to injury in 2020. Now in 2021 with a healthy body and a revised contract, Hunter is ready to pick up right where he left off. He is a wizard with his hands and shows great athleticism.
Projected Stat Line: 17 games played/73 TOTAL/55 SOLO/13 Sacks/4 Forced Fumbles/17 TFL
IDL Kenny Clark- Green Bay Packers
At the center of the Packers defensive line is one of the league’s premier run stuffers in Kenny Clark. Clark is incredibly powerful and will run through your favorite team’s center.
IDL Akiem Hicks- Chicago Bears
The Bears’ defense seems to be there strength and veteran defensive lineman Akiem Hicks is a big reason why. Hicks plays a penetration style of defense and always seems to be in the back field when his team needs him most. I expect a nice season from Hicks in 2021.
Projected Stat Line: 17 games played/46 TOTAL/29 SOLO/5 sacks/1 Forced Fumble/14 TFL
DE Romeo Okwara- Detroit Lions
I am a huge fan of Okwara and he finally showed the league last season how high of a ceiling he really has. Coming off a ten sack season, Romeo looks to prove he can be consistently dominant in the NFL. Now that Dan Campbell is in town, he will establish the pass rush as the focal point of his defense and Romeo Okwara will be the leading force.
Projected Stat Line: 17 games played/53 TOTAL/39 SOLO/11.5 sacks/2 forced fumbles/1 interception/14 TFL
OLB Khalil Mack- Chicago Bears
The most dominant defensive force in the north is non other than Khalil Mack. In the world of edge rushers Mack is one of the best to ever do it seeing as he plays a near flawless game. I think we’ll see a dominant season from Mack in 2021.
Projected Stat Line: 17 games played/58 TOTAL/33 SOLO/13.5 Sacks/4 forced fumbles/2 fumble recoveries/17 TFL
ILB Eric Kendricks- Minnesota Vikings
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer is known for his stout defenses and at the head of the snake is ultra talented MIKE linebacker Eric Kendricks. Kendricks is fast, superb in coverage, a reliable tackler, and one of the smartest linebackers in the NFL. Now that defensive star Danielle Hunter is back healthy and Patrick Peterson is in town to take over as CB1, Kendricks will have some help to have another great season for the Vikings defense.
Projected Stat Line: 17 games played/122 TOTAL/77 SOLO/1 sack/1 forced fumble/1 fumble recovery/2 interceptions/7 passes defended/6 TFL
ILB Roquan Smith- Chicago Bears
The 2018 eighth overall pick from Georgia had the best season of his career in 2020 and looks to have an even better one in 2021. Smith is going to be eligible for an extension and needs to put up eye popping numbers to really cash in.
Projected Stat Line: 17 games played/144 TOTAL/103 SOLO/3 sacks/1 forced fumble/1 interception/9 passes defended/18 TFL
OLB Za’Darius Smith- Green Bay Packers
The Packers made a splash in 2019 when they unloaded the BRINKS truck for Za’Darius Smith and that seems to be one of the best decisions they’ve made in recent memory. Smith has posted 26 sacks in the last two seasons and is poised to have an even better season in 2021 as the Packers may be relying on their defense a little more.
Projected Stat Line: 17 games played/55 TOTAL/40 SOLO/13 sacks/3 forced fumbles/2 fumble recoveries/16 TFL
CB Jaire Alexander- Green Bay Packers
One of the best cornerbacks in the league for the last two seasons has been Packers 2018 first round pick out of Louisville, Jaire Alexander. The one gripe against Alexander is that he doesn’t shadow every team’s WR1 but instead sticks to people with smaller size and on a certain side. Nonetheless he is a true shutdown cornerback and an exceptional ball tracker.
Projected Stat Line: 17 games played/55 TOTAL/40 SOLO/4 interceptions/16 passes defended
CB Jaylon Johnson- Chicago Bears
Even tho former Bears CB1 Kyle Fuller is now gone, a star is rising in the Windy City. Jaylon Johnson had an incredible rookie season as a cover man and looks to solidify himself as one of the elite cornerbacks in the game with a standout season as CB1 for the Bears.
Projected Stat Line: 17 games played/48 TOTAL/35 SOLO/3 interceptions/17 passes defended
CB Jeffery Okudah- Detroit Lions
I expect huge things from Okudah in 2021. New Lions DC Aaron Glenn is the Saints former DB coach who helped develop fellow Ohio State standout Marshon Lattimore to become one of the best in the league and he can do the same with Okudah.
Projected Stat Line: 17 games played/56 TOTAL/44 SOLO/3 interceptions/11 passes defended
SS Harrison Smith- Minnesota Vikings
Vikings veteran stud Harrison Smith has been one of the best safeties in the league for quite some time now and will probably continue his hot streak in 2021. Smith is a reliable tackler, an uber talented ball hawk, and most of all an intelligent leader on this Vikings defense.
Projected Stat Line: 17 games played/82 TOTAL/55 SOLO/3 interceptions/12 passes defended
FS Darnell Savage- Green Bay Packers
I am the chairman of the Darnell Savage fan club. When the Packers took Savage in the first round of the 2019 NFL draft I was elated to see that teams valued him as a first rounder as I did. Since entering the league Darnell has only proven me right. He is a bonafide ball hawk with incredible range and reliable tackling ability.
Projected Stat Line: 17 games played/84 TOTAL/58 SOLO/5 interceptions/15 passes defended
1.Green Bay Packers: 9
QB Aaron Rodgers, WR DaVante Adams, LT David Bakhtiari, LG Elgton Jenkins, RG Lucas Patrick, IDL Kenny Clark, OLB Za’Darius Smith, CB Jaire Alexander, FS Darnell Savage
2.Chicago Bears: 6
WR Allen Robinson, TE Cole Kmet, IDL Akiem Hicks, OLB Khalil Mack, ILB Roquan Smith, CB Jaylon Johnson
3.Minnesota Vikings: 5
RB Dalvin Cook, WR Justin Jefferson, DE Danielle Hunter, ILB Eric Kendricks, SS Harrison Smith
4.Detroit Lions: 4
C Frank Ragnow, RT Penei Sewell, DE Romeo Okwara, CB Jeff Okudah
RB Aaron Jones- Green Bay Packers
WR Adam Thielen- Minnesota Vikings
TE T.J. Hockenson- Detroit Lions
ILB Anthony Barr- Minnesota Vikings
SS Adrian Amos- Green Bay Packers
FS Eddie Jackson- Chicago Bears