Best NFL Draft Picks Since 1980, Part V – NFC North

Today we are picking our best draft pick, since 1980, for each NFC North team.  Sit back, have a beer, and here we go!

Chicago Bears

Catt:

I didn’t realize that this Hall of Famer was drafted in 1981; I thought it was earlier than that. I’m glad that he made this list.  He was drafted in the 2nd round and his name is Mike Singletary.  Mike was also known as the “Monster in the Middle” a name given to Chicago Bear’s middle linebackers over the years.  Singletary was a Super Bowl Champion, a 10 time Pro Bowler, the NFL Man of the Year in 1990, a 2 time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and was named to the NFL 1980s All-Decade team.  Runner Up: Brian Urlacher.

Wicks:

Mike Singletary (MLB) – Those eyes man!  Singletary was drafted by Chicago in the 2nd round 38th overall out of Baylor.  He was nicknamed “Samurai Mike”, because of his intimidating focus and strength on the field that made him one of the most feared linebackers in history.  He was selected to 10 Pro Bowl’s, All-Pro 8 times, All-NFC from 1983-1991 and finally selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998.

Detroit Lions

Catt:

The easy pic here is Barry Sanders, drafted in the 1st round of the 1989 draft.  Sanders was selected to 10 Pro Bowls, he was also the NFL Most Valuable Player (1997), twice the NFL Offensive Player of the Year (1994, 1997), led the NFL in rushing for 4 seasons (1990, 1994, 1996, and 1997), NFL rushing TD leader (1991), NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year (1989), and the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade Team.  He also won the Bert Bell Award for Player of the Year, twice.  Runner Up: Calvin Johnson.

Wicks:

Barry Sanders – (RB) You could probably go Calvin Johnson here as well if you wanted.  They both ended their careers at the edge of their prime and were both the best at their positions when they retired.  But I grew up watching Barry Sanders break the ankles of the opposing defense, so I had to pick ‘em.  Sanders was drafted out of Oklahoma State University with the 3rd overall pick after he recorded 2,850 rushing yards averaging 7.6 yards a carry with 42 total touchdowns.  In his 10 year NFL career he averaged over 1,500 yards per season and ranks 3rd all-time in rushing yards with 15,269 and was selected the to the Pro Bowl in every year of his career.  Unfortunately, Detroit hasn’t been relevant since 1957 and Sanders never made it to a Super Bowl however he did play in the NFC title game in 1991, losing to the Washington Redskins.  Barry wasn’t without success, he had plenty of personal achievements such as, 6 time All-Pro, NFL Most Valuable Player (1997), 2 time Bert Bell Award winner, 4 time NFL rushing yards leader, 2 time Offensive Player of the year (1994, 1997) and NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year (1989).  In 2004, in his first year of eligibility, Sanders was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Green Bay Packers

Catt:

I know that here people will want to talk about Clay Matthews, Jordy Nelson, or Aaron Rodgers, but when the Packers used a 7th round pick back, in 1999; they got their money’s worth from Donald Driver.  Driver played 14 seasons in the NFL and 7 of those he had over 1,000 yards.  He was also selected to 4 Pro Bowls.  Not bad for a 7th round draft pick! Runners Up: Clay Matthews, Jordy Nelson, and Aaron Rodgers.

Wicks:

Aaron Rodgers (QB) – No need for a “Discount Double Check”, from 1980 to present, Rodgers is by far Green Bay’s best pick.  In 2005, Rodgers was slated to go high in the first round but dropped to 24th where he was eventually selected.  Sitting behind football great Brett Favre for three seasons gave Rodgers an edge that he took full advantage of.  Starting in 2008 after Favre moved on to the Jets, it only took Rodgers 2 seasons to win a Super Bowl and Super Bowl MVP honors.  The most accurate quarterback in history, he currently holds the league’s single-season passer rating record at 122.5 and the lowest passing interception ratio at 1.5 percent.  Presently, Rodgers has been voted to 6 Pro Bowls, 2-time NFL Most Valuable Player (2011, 2014), 2-time First-Team All-Pro, and Associated Press Athlete of the Year (2011).

Minnesota Vikings

Catt:

Adrian Peterson, while still active he already has the following awards: 7× Pro Bowl (2007–2010, 2012, 2013, 2015), NFL Most Valuable Player (2012), NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2012), 2× Bert Bell Award (2008, 2012), NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year (2007), 3× NFL rushing yards leader (2008, 2012, 2015), 2× NFL rushing touchdowns leader (2009, 2015), and NFL record 296 rushing yards in a game. Runner Up: Randy Moss.

Wicks:

Randall McDaniel (G) – It’s this simple…  I’m at a bar trying to finish this last pick of the NFC North and at this point, I’m not picking AP.  If you have a problem with it, I can take my belt off and hit you buckle first right in the balls.  Not the dick, but the balls.  Drafted 19th overall in 1988, McDaniel played 12 seasons in the NFL and started in 12 consecutive Pro Bowls. He was named a 9-time First-Team All-Pro, 10-time First-Team All-NFC, named to the NFL 1990’s All-Decade Team, and was widely known as the most versatile offensive lineman in history.  For all his glory, McDaniel was finally recognized in 2009 as he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his second year of eligibility.

That will do it for us in the NFC North.  Tomorrow we will bring you our picks from the AFC North.  Hopefully by then, Wicks has worked out his anger issues, or at least we can wrestle his belt away from him!

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