The Combine Report: 2016 NFL Needs – NFC North

By:  Barry Barnes, Founder

Other than using the vehicle of the NFL Draft to solve an immediate need, teams look to the selection process to build depth. For expected injuries and overall development, constructing a solid roster from top to bottom is essential for clubs’ success. Players must be teachable, hungry and ready, which is why the NFL Regional Combine is significant.

NFL teams should build according to their division. If a squad can collaborate the right athletes, and they can executed the system well enough to dictate their actions on the field, skies the limits.

In the NFC, the NFC East was labeled as the horrible division last season, due to its collective performances. Statistically, the NFC East wasn’t the inferior division.

The NFC North division was.

Collectively, the NFC North scored the least points in the conference with 1,426, but allowed the most points in the NFL (1,730).

The NFC North is a passing division, borderline finesse. They have a form of a running game in the Minnesota Vikings because of ball carrier Adrian Peterson.

However, the NFC North won’t be taken seriously for having a potential Super Bowl contender, unless they have a squad, or two, who demonstrates a successful running attack and can make stops.

Fortunately, the NFL Regional Combine has some players from this year’s session to help the division toughen up.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS (Current RC Players: WR Adam Thielen and CB Melvin White)

2015 record (11-5), .688

The Vikings were ahead of schedule in their development in becoming a threat to the Green Bay Packers for the NFC North crown as they won the division last season.

Albeit, in order for the young pirates to demonstrate that they are the new voyagers to set sail on top of the division, the Vikings need more depth for stability.

And the RC was equipped with prospects.

The Vikings were instrumental in the search for new talent as their scouting division was plugged into the NFL Regional Combine platform this year.

Here are some of the athletes the Vikings may ink:

Needs: Guard, Safety, Wide Receiver, Linebacker, Defensive End 


Givens Price (Nebraska), Sharp, strong, aggressive, light on feet, uses foot and hands well.

Isaac Sampson (Alcorn State), Powerful, uses hands well, solid footwork.

Robert Blodgett (Buffalo), Huge, explosive, athletic, solid footwork.


Mikael Charland (Concordia), Big, good speed, decent ball skills, aggressive

Xazier Murry (Oklahoma Panhandle State), balance, decent speed, solid footwork

Bobby Watkins (Central Arkansas), Decent footwork, moves well, good closing speed.

Wide Receiver

Devonn Brown (Lamar), fundamentally sound, solid ball skills, excellent route runner, decent speed, crisp movement.

Dezmon Epps (Idaho), highly skilled, strong hands, decent speed, cuts well, solid footwork.


P.L. Lindley (Oklahoma), Decent ball skills, quick, strong, agile, good feet.

Troy Beddoe (Cortland State), Explosive, strong, moves well.

Adam Brandt (Southern Illinois), Gets low, big, moves fluently, decent hands and speed.

Defensive End

Keenan Brown (Langston University), Balance, moves well, decent hands and decent)

Kingsley Ibeh (Washburn), Huge, powerful, fluent, strong hands.

GREEN BAY PACKERS (Current RC Players: DB Chris Banjo)

Radir Annoor/

2015 record (10-6), .625

The loss of wide receiver Jordy Nelson disrupted the quarterback Aaron Rodger and the Packers offense last season, but they still manufactured a playoff appearance.

As Rodgers gets older, he needs better support from his backfield. And the defensive front must stop the run.

Needs: Linebacker, Defensive End, Cornerback, Running Back


Derrick Lawrence (Tabor College), Long, strong hands, decent speed and ball skills.

Justin Owens (Stephen F. Austin), Great balance and footwork, fluent, decent hands.

Tyrone Ward (Hampton), Explosive, great speed, solid ball skills, complete athlete.

Defensive End

Aaron Karlen (Wisconsin Stevens-Point), Powerful, very fluent and balance, great speed, solid ball skills.

Brandon Jones (Widener), Decent speed, moves well, strong, quick first step.


Anthony Beaver Jr. (Central Washington), Good hands, solid ball skills and footwork, decent speed.

John Wingo (Presentation College), Long, fast, decent hands and speed.

Ryan Pollard (Rice), Quick and balance, moves well, solid footwork, decent speed and hands.

Running Back

Darryan Ragsdale (Alcorn State), Keeps ball high and tight, moves well, runs strong, power runner.

Radir Annoor (Tennessee Tech), Natural, strong, quick, has burst, decent hands and speed.

Daryl Virgies (Virginia-Lynchburg), Freakish athlete, powerful, explosive, decent hands, runs hard, solid speed.

DETROIT LIONS (Current RC Players: DT Stefan Charles and LB Brandon Copeland)

John Smith/

2015 record (7-9), .438

The Lions never ceases to disappoint. With talent the Lions have, they should consistently compete, instead of struggling. The Lions must get better defensively and their running game was not a thing a beauty as they finished dead last in the league (83.4).

Needs: Defensive End, Linebacker, Offensive Tackle, Cornerback , Running Back

Defensive End

Hunter Little (Columbia),  Extremely mobile, balance movement in his change of direction, strong hands and decent speed.

Dante Holmes (Northern Michigan), solid speed, decent ball skills and footwork.

Roy Robertson-Harris (Texas-El Paso), Fluent in move, quick first step, powerful, runs hard.


Keyen Lage (South Dakota), Good speed and ball skills, decent hands, moves well, solid footwork.

David Wilkerson (Lenoir-Rhyne), Strong, solid ball skills, great footwork, quick first step.

Kentrell Reynolds (West Georgia), Fast, aggressive, balance, fundamentally sound technique.

Offensive Tackle

Alfred Thomas (Morehouse), Fluent in movement, powerful, uses hands well, solid footwork.

John Weidenaar (Montana State), Huge, light on feet, strong hands

John Smith (Howard), Athletic, powerful, explosive, great hands and footwork.


Brandon Justin (Central Methodist), Great ball skills and footwork, decent speed.

Eric Rawls (Kentucky State), Tacking Machine, good hands, decent ball skills and speed/

Quincy Adams (Navy), Solid build, strong hands, decent speed, physical,

Running Back

Tobias Lofton (Nicholls State), Elite speed, explosive, great balance, decent hands, solid footwork.

Jarrod Lynn (North Texas), Powerful, runs hard with high stride, huge, good ball skills.

Cary Littlejohn (Catawba), Solid speed, footwork and ball skills, patient, burst.

CHICAGO BEARS (Current RC Players: LB Danny Mason)

Daree Goodwin/

2015 record (6-10), .375

The Bears continues to struggle with chemistry. They have good parts, but the Bears must play well, with confidence, on a consistent basis from both sides of the ball. Nevertheless, protecting quarterback Jay Cutler has been an issue and the Bears will need all men on deck to have a successful 2016 campaign.

Needs: Offensive Tackle, Tight End, Defensive End, Safety

Offensive Tackle

Leonard Wester (Missouri Western), High motor, uses hands and feet well, quick.

Ryan Bubulka (Upper Iowa), Nasty, athletic, good speed, explosive.

Mathu Gibson Jr. (Wingate), Smart, fast, light on feet, excellent hands and footwork.

Tight End

Daree’ Goodwin (West Liberty State), Great ball skills and speed, solid footwork, physical, runs hard.

Dillion Barrett (Ole Miss), Hugh, strong hands, solid speed and footwork

Joe Theus (Georgia), Elite long snapper, solid ball skills and footwork, strong, decent speed

Defensive End

Trent Corney (Virginia), Tackling machine, good speed and hands, solid footwork, mobile.

Justin Zimmer (Ferris State), Crazy strong, powerful, agile, decent hands and speed.

Jake Ceresna (Cortland State), Big, strong edge rusher, moves well, decent speed and ball skills.


Michael Williams (Lock Haven), Physical, good speed, solid ball skills, moves fluently.

Ardy Holmes (Charlotte), Graceful in movement, solid hands and speed, balance, solid coverage skills.

Kelvin Deveaux (Coastal Carolina), Fast, solid ball skills and footwork, closing speed, balance.

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