After years upon years of the Green Bay Packers winning division title after division title in the NFC North, things changed in 2017, and even more in 2018. The Minnesota Vikings took the division crown with a 13-3 record in 2017 and the Chicago Bears surprised in 2018, finishing with a 12-4 record under rookie head coach Matt Nagy. What all this means is that the NFC North is getting better as a division, and with good teams, come good players. So, the time has come to dive into the best offensive players in the NFC North division.
2019 All-NFC North Team: Offense
Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers, Packers
Out of the four starting passers in the North, there is not much of a debate about whether Rodgers is the best of the bunch. Arguably the best and most talented quarterback in the entire league, Rodgers easily takes the cake for the best passer in his division.
2018 was one of Rodgers’ worst seasons as a professional, though. Despite Rodgers starting every game and the Packers going 6-9-1, Rodgers still showed why he’s worthy of this award. The seven-time Pro Bowler threw for 4,442 yards, 25 touchdowns to just two interceptions and completed 62.3 percent of his passes — all while battling a knee injury suffered in Week One.
Running Back: Aaron Jones, Packers
This was certainly a tough choice, all things considered. The Detroit Lions have a promising young back whose limit is the sky in Kerryon Johnson, Minnesota has the exact same thing in a healthy Dalvin Cook and Chicago boasts a swiss army knife in Tarik Cohen.
Among his NFC North counterparts, though, Jones has proven to be the best of the bunch thus far. Dating back to his rookie campaign in 2017, Jones showed just how talented he really is. Beyond that, all while being severely underutilized by former Packers coach Mike McCarthy, Jones had a fine season in 2018, toting the rock 133 times for 728 yards and eight touchdowns.
Wide Receiver: Davante Adams, Packers
Well, one thing’s for sure: the Packers’ offense is loaded. And Adams is one of the biggest reasons why. Easily Rodgers’ favorite target, Adams has earned Pro Bowl nods in each of the past two seasons, but he made a name for himself as a touchdown machine in 2016. In that 2016 campaign, Adams caught 75 passes for 997 yards and 12 touchdowns, taking the league by storm.
With high expectations heading into 2017, Adams did not disappoint, recording 74 receptions for 885 yards and ten touchdowns. The 2018 season was Adams’ best to date, however, as he caught 111 passes for 1,386 yards and 13 touchdowns, all career-highs.
Wide Receiver: Stefon Diggs, Vikings
While Green Bay’s offense is loaded, Minnesota has quite a duo at receiver. Diggs is nothing short of a young star and he will continue to be Minnesota’s top receiving threat for many years to come. Diggs is coming off of his best season in 2018, where he caught 102 passes for 1,021 yards and nine touchdowns, all of which are career-highs.
Slot Receiver: Adam Thielen, Vikings
Once a player nobody knew about, Thielen has become a star in the NFL. His emergence in Minnesota’s offense has been spectacular, as he’s become one of the NFL’s most elite receivers, doing his damage primarily from the slot.
Thielen burst onto the scene in 2017, where he recorded 91 receptions for 1,276 yards and four touchdowns, to go along with his first Pro Bowl nod. Thielen built on his breakout campaign in 2018, posting 113 receptions for 1,373 yards and nine touchdowns, all of which are career-highs.
Tight End: Kyle Rudolph, Vikings
Just recently signed to a five-year extension, Rudolph leads a talented tight end group in Minnesota. Not only is he seemingly better talent and production wise than his NFC North counterparts, but his veteran leadership has also proved valuable for young players like David Morgan and Irv Smith Jr.
Throughout his career with the Vikes, Rudolph has started 104 games, catching 386 passes for 3,787 yards and 41 touchdowns. Rudolph earned a spot on the 2017 Pro Bowl roster as well.
Left Tackle: David Bakhtiari, Packers
When looking at the left tackles in the NFC North, Rodgers’ blindside protector stands out much more than the others. During his six-year career with the Packers, Bakhtiari has proven to be a durable and more than capable starter, and his 2018 First-Team All-Pro honors more than back that up.
Left Guard: Frank Ragnow, Lions
It took a little bit, but a Detroit Lion finally made this list. Despite only playing one season in the league, Ragnow’s rookie season in 2018 was a good one. The 22-year-old Ragnow started all 16 games for the Lions and played better than most rookies do at such a difficult position to become a good player at in the pros.
Center: Corey Linsley, Packers
Much like his teammate Bakhtiari, Linsley has proven to be a durable and capable starter in the NFL over his five-year career. Though Linsley has yet to make the Pro Bowl or be recognized as a First-Team All-Pro, his play over the years in the middle of the Packers’ offensive line shows he is deserving of those honors.
Right Guard: Kyle Long, Bears
What is sure to be a surprise to many, the first Chicago Bear on this list has finally been revealed. Although, what is certain to not be much of a surprise, multiple Bears players figure to appear on the All-NFC North Defense Team. Back to Long, though. His play for the Bears cannot go unnoticed. Over his six-year career, Long has started 72 games, earning Pro Bowl nods in each of his first three seasons.
Right Tackle: Bryan Bulaga, Packers
Rounding out the All-NFC North Offense Team is Bulaga, who in the eyes of many NFL fans, is one of the better players at his position in the NFL. Over the course of his eight-year career, Bulaga has started 95 games for the Packers and has more recently been recognized as one of the NFL’s best tackles.