Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC North [Print without images]

Friday, April 29, 2011
Vikings, Lions fill (very) secondary needs

By Kevin Seifert

We’ve had back-to-back interesting picks here in the NFC North.

The Minnesota Vikings were the first team to draft a tight end, Notre Dame’s Kyle Rudolph, with the No. 43 overall pick. The Detroit Lions followed by selecting Boise State receiver Titus Young.

The Vikings have been pretty set with starting tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, but it’s possible that new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave wants to run a two tight-end offense. The Vikings’ backup tight ends are Jim Kleinsasser and Jeff Dugan, both of whom are known mostly for their blocking.

Meanwhile, the Lions followed through on their plan to add depth at receiver with Young, a 174-pound receiver who could also return kicks. NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock referred to him as a “poor man’s DeSean Jackson.” Last season, receivers not named Calvin Johnson or Nate Burleson totaled 21 receptions for the Lions.

That the Lions passed on Miami cornerback Brandon Harris is curious but defensible. We’ll wait to hear from their decision makers before making a full judgment. But it is a face that the Lions still haven’t addressed two significant needs: cornerback or linebacker. More in a bit.