Originally posted on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 4/26/12

The NFL draft begins tonight with the first round in primetime. Earlier today, Jon discussed the folly of trying to compare Robert Griffin III to anyone past or present.

Now, let’s look ahead to tonight’s festivities and predict who each of the NFC North’s four teams will pick in the first round.

Minnesota Vikings – 3rd Pick

A trade down makes sense for the Vikings, who need quantity at many positions versus quality at just one position.

The consensus pick is for USC left tackle Matt Kalil, although recent chatter has Morris Claiborne from LSU as the pick.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Vikings trade down to the #5 pick with Tampa Bay, who might want to trade up to secure running back Trent Richardson from Alabama. This move would still ensure Minnesota of either Kalil or Claiborne and would net them a possible 2nd round pick as well.

Prediction: A trade down to #5 and the pick is Morris Claiborne-CB-LSU

LSU's Morris Claiborne is the consensus best defensive back in the draft.

Chicago Bears – 19th Pick

The Bears and new GM Phil Emery should have a number of options with this pick (outlined here). The consensus seems to be a defensive end or an offensive tackle, possibly a wide receiver.

With Chicago already signing WR Brandon Marshall and deep draft pool of wide receivers, look for the Bears to firm up either side of the line.

Prediction: Melvin Ingram-DE-South Carolina

Detroit Lions – 23rd Pick

With an offense led by Matthew Stafford and Calvin “Megatron” Johnson, upgrading a line that gave up six sacks to Minnesota’s Jared Allen last season is in order.

More time for the Stafford-Johnson connection means more wins for the Lions and another playoff appearance.

Prediction: Cordy Glenn-OT-Georgia

Green Bay Packers – 28th Pick

The Packers defense managed only 29 sacks last season and ranked 27th, just a year removed from their 47 sacks and tied for 2nd ranking in 2010. Obviously this needs to improve and Clay Mathews, Jr. needs some rush help.

The Packers will look for a ready-made contributor for next season.

Prediction: Shea McClellin-OLB-Boise State

*****

Do you agree/disagree with any of these predictions? Chime in below.

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