The 2021 season is kicking off, which means half of the League's franchises are undefeated and every fan base is full of excitement.
Given all that excitement, it’s easy to forget that only a handful of teams can truly argue their spot as the NFL’s top franchise.
But, what if we took a step back and analyzed divisions by their top-end talent?
With the majority of major roster moves set, the Sprint decided to do just that, taking the best players at each position to make eight super teams.
Today is the sixth day of an eight part series, where we’ll unveil a different division’s roster each day. But first, a few ground rules.
Each team was put together by a panel of one. I’ve tried my best to maintain a 13 man set (3 WR, 1 RB, 1 TE) on offense and a 4-2-5 set (4 linemen, 2 LB, 5 DB’s) defensively, but have flexed some of the rosters to best fit the strength of each division. I’ve also strayed away from rookies, where possible, as they’re unproven in the professional environment.
Today we’ll cover the NFC North
Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers (GB)
- Regardless of his issues with the Packers front office, Rodgers showed his down year in 2019 was an outlier. The reigning MVP has now made two consecutive NFC Championship games and would benefit from having more than just Davante Adams at his disposal.
Running Back: Dalvin Cook (MIN)
- One of the most dynamic backs in the NFL, Cook is one of the league’s top three dual threats.
- Also receiving consideration: Aaron Jones (GB)
Wide Receiver: Davante Adams (GB), Justin Jefferson (MIN), Allen Robinson II (CHI)
- A combination of arguably the best veteran and rookie receivers in 2020 with Adams and Jefferson, the group only made better with the ever consistent Robinson.
- Also receiving consideration: Adam Thielen (MIN)
Tight End: T.J. Hockenson (DET)
- Hockenson gets the nod over Green Bay’s Robert Tonyan due to his youth and upside as he tries to show his effective 2020 was not a fluke.
- Also receiving consideration: Robert Tonyan (GB)
Offensive Line: Taylor Decker (T - DET), Elgton Jenkins (G - GB), Frank Ragnow (C - DET), James Daniels (CHI), Brian O’Neill (T - GB)
- The offensive line loses some power without the availability of Green Bay Stalwart LT David Bakhtiari who is on the PUP list following last year’s ACL tear.
Defensive Line: Danielle Hunter (DE - MIN), Akiem Hicks (DL - CHI), Kenny Clark (DT - GB), Romeo Okwara (DE - DET)
- Seeing Hunter and Okwara coming off the edge would scare just about any quarterback. The only thing that would scare them more, adding a premier edge rusher as an OLB.
- Also receiving consideration: Za’Darius Smith (DE - GB)
Linebacker: Khalil Mack (CHI), Eric Kendricks (MIN)
- The combination of Mack’s ability to stop the run and get after the passer mixed with Kendricks’ 90+ coverage grade in 2020 creates a tantalizing combination.
- Also receiving consideration: Roquan Smith (CHI)
Cornerback: Jaire Alexander (GB), Jaylon Johnson (CHI), Patrick Peterson (MIN)
- Alexander’s role as a true number one corner is undisputed, but his veteran running mates come with a few more questions.
- Also receiving consideration: Jeff Okudah (DET) before his injury
Safety: Harrison Smith (MIN), Darnell Savage (GB)
- A pair of do-it-all tools, Smith and Savage create a tantalizing amount of versatility.
- Also receiving consideration: Eddie Jackson (CHI)
The NFC North’s all team is built just like most of the division’s four rosters centered around a strong run game on offense and the ability to get after the quarterback on defense. The addition of Rodgers helps elevate the pass game significantly on offense, too.
Pass rusher. You know a position is deep when Za’Darius Smith is left out and another premier option is moved from the line to OLB.
The offensive line, which wasn’t stellar before the loss of Bakhtiari, looks a bit suspect outside of Frank Ragnow.
I feel like a broken record but Za’Darius Smith is a defensive Swiss Army knife who can fill multiple roles but doesn’t make the cut with the bevy of pass rushers in the division.