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Friday, April 30, 2010
Spring Power Rankings: NFC North

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

NFL teams have completed the bulk of player acquisition via free agency or the draft. So now is as good of a time as any for ... ESPN.com's spring Power Rankings!

As you can see, our four expert voters -- the "expert" requirement by rule disqualifies me -- largely left our final 2009 NFC North rankings intact. The voters still see Minnesota and Green Bay as elite teams (top-6, anyway), with Chicago and Detroit in the lower third of the NFL. Let's take a closer look:

3. Minnesota Vikings
Ranking at end of 2009:
3
Note:
John Clayton had a low rank of No. 6. Blaspheme.
Seifert comment: This ranking surely is based on having Brett Favre at quarterback.

6. Green Bay Packers
Ranking at end of 2009:
6
Note: No doubts here. All voters put Packers No. 6 or No. 7.
Seifert comment: My big question: Has Green Bay done enough to improve its pass defense for the playoffs?

21. Chicago Bears
Ranking at end of 2009:
22
Note: Voters ranged from No. 20-22.
Seifert comment: So much of 2010 is unknown, including two new coordinators and revamped defensive personnel.

31. Detroit Lions
Ranking at end of 2009: 31
Note: All four voters came in at 31 "perhaps out of habit," writes voter Mike Sando of NFC West fame.
Seifert comment: As we get closer to training camp, the Lions will be a trendy pick as "most-improved" in the NFC.