SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday, April 29 and like most years, fans will be paying attention that night to what their favorite team is going to do.
South Dakota is a unique NFL location where there are six teams that are following quite closely in the area including the Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears.
Here is a look at what some sports analysts think will happen come Thursday night’s opening round:
Detroit Lions – Pick #7
The Detroit Lions are the first team to pick of the six South Dakota local teams to pick. The Lions made a major move this offseason trading longtime Detroit quarterback, Matthew Stafford, to Los Angeles.
That move brought Jared Goff to the Lions.
Detroit is said to need help at the linebacker, safety, cornerback and offensive lineman position, but many NFL analysts have them going wide receiver.
|ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.||Trade with Pats – #15 Micah Parsons – LB||Penn State|
|ESPN’s Todd McShay||Penei Sewell – Offensive Tackle||Oregon|
|CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco||Ja’Marr Chase – Wide Receiver||LSU|
|NFL Network’s Peter Schrager||Trade with Arizona – Take Christian Darrisaw (OT) at #16||Virginia Tech|
|KELOLAND.com’s Grant Sweeter||DeVonta Smith – Wide Receiver||Alabama|
There are several talented wide receivers in the 2021 draft class, but the question will be, which receiver will Detroit take.
Denver Broncos – Pick #9
Denver is in need of several positions including offensive lineman, linebacker, defensive lineman and running back.
Entering Wednesday, April 27, most people expected the Broncos to go quarterback, but then Denver made a trade for Teddy Bridgewater.
That now poses the question whether the Broncos will stay quarterback or go with another one of their positions.
|ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.||Justin Fields – Quarterback||Ohio State|
|ESPN’s Todd McShay||Justin Fields – Quarterback||Ohio State|
|CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco||Jamin Davis – Linebacker||Kentucky|
|NFL Network’s Peter Schrager||Trey Lance – Quarterback||North Dakota State|
|KELOLAND.com’s Grant Sweeter||Micah Parsons – Linebacker||Penn State|
Minnesota Vikings – Pick #14
The Minnesota Vikings are coming off a tough season where injuries and a struggling defense led to a 7-9 record.
Minnesota has added several talented defensive players throughout the offseason including Patrick Peterson, Xavier Woods, Nick Vigil, Dalvin Tomlinson and Stephen Weatherly.
With all these additions the glaringly obvious need for the Vikings is at offensive tackle, but a lack of tackles, may impact their pick.
|ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.||Christian Darrisaw – Offensive Tackle||Virginia Tech|
|ESPN’s Todd McShay||Jaelan Phillips – Edge||Miami|
|CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco||Trey Lance – Quarterback||North Dakota State|
|NFL Network’s Peter Schrager||Jaelan Phillips – Edge||Miami|
|KELOLAND.com’s Grant Sweeter||Rashawn Slater – Offensive Lineman||Northwestern|
If Rashawn Slater is still available at #14, the Vikings will take that opportunity. McShay has the Vikings taking him, but the other three analysts have Slater going earlier than the fourteenth pick.
Chicago Bears – Pick #20
The Bears picked up Andy Dalton, but Chicago is still looking to improve at the quarterback position.
Other needs for the Bears are at offensive line, wide receiver, defensive back and edge rusher.
|ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.||Elijah Moore – Wide Receiver||Ole Miss|
|ESPN’s Todd McShay||Christian Darrisaw – Offensive Tackle||Virginia Tech|
|CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco||Teven Jenkins – Offensive Tackle||Oklahoma State|
|NFL Network’s Peter Schrager||Rashod Bateman – Wide Receiver||Minnesota|
|KELOLAND.com’s Grant Sweeter||Teven Jenkins – Offensive Tackle||Oklahoma State|
Green Bay Packers – Pick #29
Defense is going to be the focus for the Packers in 2021 as they are coming off yet another successful offensive season.
The main needs according to NFL Network are cornerback, defensive line, offensive line, linebacker and wide receiver.
|ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.||Rashod Bateman – Wide Receiver||Minnesota|
|ESPN’s Todd McShay||Jamin Davis – Inside Linebacker||Kentucky|
|CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco||Creed Humphrey – Offensive Lineman||Oklahoma|
|NFL Network’s Peter Schrager||Elijah Moore – Wide Receiver||Mississippi|
|KELOLAND.com’s Grant Sweeter||Asante Samuel Jr. – Cornerback||Florida State|
To me, the Packers know where their downfalls are and following the struggles of Kevin King as a starting cornerback, I feel Green Bay goes cornerback and the Florida State CB (Samuel Jr.) should be a big help.
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City is one of four teams that don’t own a first round pick, following their trade with Baltimore.
The Chiefs added Orlando Brown Jr. to their offensive line, which makes their main focuses of this year’s draft to edge, cornerback, offensive line, wide receiver and tight end.