In this series, the Last Word on Sports NFL department will be selecting the best players in each division by their position. Offense in the NFC North is on the radar here. Without further ado, let’s delve into which players made the cut.
2020 NFC North All-Division Team: The Offense
Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers, Packers
Out of all the quarterbacks in the NFC North, excluding Nick Foles, Rodgers is the only one to have won Super Bowl MVP. Also, he is the face of the franchise up in the frozen tundra. Last season, Rodgers got the Green Bay Packers into the NFC Championship game against San Francisco. For his career, he has tossed for 46,946 yards and 364 touchdowns, enough to solidify his position on this list.
Running Back: Dalvin Cook, Vikings
Cook was taken in the second round in 2017 and since become a bell-cow in the Minnesota Vikings backfield that once held Adrian Peterson. In three seasons, Cook has rushed for 2,104 yards and 17 touchdowns. In two of his three seasons, the Vikings made the playoffs as Cook was a reliable option for both Case Keenum and Kirk Cousins. As of now, Cook will play in 2020 but is looking for a contract extension.
Wide Receiver: Davante Adams, Packers
In six seasons in Green Bay, Adams has become a reliable target for the Packers while helping the offense lead the team to three NFC title games. For his career, Adams registered 5,194 yards and 44 touchdowns. In the Divisional Round against Seattle in 2020, Adams caught eight passes for a postseason franchise record 160 yards and two touchdowns during the 28–23 victory.
Wide Receiver: Allen Robinson, Bears
Originally a member of the Jaguars, Robinson signed a three-year, $42 million contract with the Chicago Bears in 2018. The move helped the Bears offense and the defense as Chicago clinched the NFC North title. In six seasons, Robinson has amassed 4,749 yards and 33 touchdowns. Robinson also holds the Bears playoff record for most receiving yards in a playoff game with 143 yards against the Eagles in a 16-15 loss.
Wide Receiver: Adam Thielen, Vikings
The only player on this list to go undrafted, Thielen has proved once again that stars can come from anywhere. In six seasons in purple, Thielen has a total of 4,315 yards and 25 touchdowns. Thielen will now be looked at to enhance the development of rookie WR Justin Jefferson after the departure of former teammate Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills this past season.
Tight End: Kyle Rudolph, Vikings
Drafted in the historic 2011 NFL Draft out of Notre Dame, Rudolph worked his way up to becoming one of the league’s best players. On June 10, 2019, the Vikings signed Rudolph to a four-year, $36 million contract extension. This came after eight seasons and two Pro Bowls. Rudolph even scored the game-winning touchdown in the wild-card matchup against the New Orleans Saints.
Left Tackle: David Bakhtiari, Packers
Considered the best at his position, Bakhtiari stands as the clear choice for the blind side of the line. Since being drafted back in 2013, Bakhtiari has been a wall of granite while protecting Aaron Rodgers. In 2016, the Green Bay Packers signed Bakhtiari to a four-year, $48 million contract extension that included $16.7 million guaranteed and a $15 million signing bonus. He’s due for a new payday soon.
Left Guard: Pat Elflein, Vikings
Coming out of Ohio State as a center, Elflein was seen as a highly gifted prospect. Assumptions about his potential excellence came true as he entered his rookie season as the Vikings starting center, starting 14 games while missing two due to a shoulder injury. Following an impressive rookie season, he was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team. Since then he has been a bright spot on an overlooked offensive line that is in charge of protecting Kirk Cousins.
Center: Cody Whitehair, Bears
In 2016, the Bears decided to revamp their offensive line and took the Kansas State star. Whitehair started all 16 games at center. Before the 2019 season, Whitehair signed a five-year contract extension worth $52.5 million with $27.5 million guaranteed. He originally played guard for a while but moved back to center following the next player’s struggles there.
Right Guard: James Daniels, Bears
The Bears took the Iowa leader in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He started 10 games as a rookie, nine at left guard and one at right guard. Before the 2019 season, Daniels switched positions before reverting back to guard following the offense’s struggles. With help on the way in the form of Germain Ifedi, expect Daniels to take the next step in solidifying the front line of the Bears.
Right Tackle: Taylor Decker, Lions
The Detroit Lions have a player on this list. Drafted in the first round back in 2016 out of Ohio State, Decker has been a solid tackle for the Lions. In 2018, Decker caught a touchdown pass from Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, his lone touchdown in his entire life. On September 1, 2020, Decker signed a five-year, $70.35 million contract extension with the Lions.
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