Jan 5, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) gestures a first down in the third quarter of the NFC Wild Card playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Ranking The NFC North: First Place, The Green Bay Packers

The NFC North has been one of the most competitive division in the NFL for the last three seasons with each team registering at least one 10 win season over that time. After successful offseason acquisitions through the draft and through free agency this season shouldn’t be much different. This is one of the few divisions in the NFL where each team has a chance of winning the division.

Offseason Moves:

The Packers have claimed the last two NFC North titles due in part to stellar quarterback play in Aaron Rodgers and because the Packers excel in retooling their roster through the draft. This season was no different as they added a top 10 talent in defensive end Datone Jones with the 26th pick in the draft, and arguably the best running back in the class in Eddie Lacy in the second round 61st overall, a steal to say the  least.

Another area of the draft the Packers excel at is finding starters in the mid to late rounds. This year it looks like the Packers found another late round gem in Charles Johnson At 6’2, 215 lbs Johnson has the size and speed, 4.40 forty, to play a long time in the NFL. At division II Grand Valley Johnson registered 128 catches for 2,229 and 31 touchdowns. He may not have the experience playing against top division one talent, but he has all the makings of a top flight receiver in the NFL, and what better time to draft a player like Johnson with the departure of the Packers top receiver in Greg Jennings.

Why The Packers will win the NFC North:

They might not have the most talented roster overall in the NFC North, I think that title goes to the Lions and Vikings, but they are the best coached team and have the best players at the right positions and develop their young players quickly. Much like the New England Patriots, the Packers are a model for the “next man up” philosophy when losing a player via free agency or injury.

The gap isn’t as wide as it has been in the past between the Packers and the other teams in the division, but going into the 2013 NFL season, the Packers have done enough this offseason to maintain the top spot in the NFC North.

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Tags: Aaron Rodgers Charles Johnson Clay Matthews Green Bay Packers NFC North

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