It's here! The 4th Annual NFL Draft Party. Stephen Kelley of WQOW TV-18 joins me for yet another edition of this popular event. His mock draft features some sweet old-school logos and analysis. Since Bob Bradovich is out sick for the second time in almost 20 years at WQOW, we recorded earlier today (and the audio for just that segment is right here).
Here's my take: I think the Packers will draft a safety. There are guys late in the first round who can step in from day one. Who these could be, just look at any of the top 2-4 safety prospects. Green Bay could also defer to a later round or trade out--safety is not a difficult position to find starters at in the NFL. They've found guys in the 2nd-4th rounds in the past. I think the other place they look at is interior line. While they have some guards locked up for a long time, they may look at center or at a guy who can play all over the line. That may come later as well. I don't think they pick a running back in the first round. Finally, I doubt Green Bay will even pick in the first round at all--somebody is going to want a guy who slides late (maybe not a QB) out of the top 15. I'm thinking WR or one of those stud guards.
The Vikings, meanwhile, can do pretty much anything they want. They could trade up to target a guy high. They could trade one of their first-round picks and move back with more draft picks. Or, they could grab a pair of impact guys in one of the deepest parts of the draft--the late first through third rounds--and immediately improve two spots. I think one of them will be a CB, and the other will be a WR. The Vikings are solid up the middle except at MLB, but they're not very good on the edges. CB/WR are big needs, and the impact guys will probably be gobbled up by the time they are on the clock tomorrow.
I think that two QBs go in the top 15--Geno Smith and Ryan Nassib. I think that the RB streak continues. Despite mocks early having few WRs go in the first day, as many as 5 could be drafted. My favorite WR in the draft is Stedman Bailey out of WVU. Tavon Austin is very good, but Bailey is my favorite player not from Wisconsin in this draft. Lineman on both sides will dominate the first two days (yawn), linebackers like Manti Te'o or Jarvis Jones will be the headliners but not the best ones at their position this year, and defensive backs will be the most important (read: boom or bust) position this year. I also don't think anybody will take a kicker in round 3 again.
-The Brewers lost last night. Panic! No, really. Calm down Brewers fans, you're bound to lose a game or 80 between April and September.
-Milwaukee battles the Heat tonight at home. Losing means it's over...despite one more playoff game remaining. Winning means it's not quite over, but it's probably over. And word is Larry Sanders has a bum wheel. Sorry, LARRY SANDERS!
-Teams return to the diamond and track today. Get the highlights from WQOW TV 18 right here after the 6 and 10pm sportscasts tonight with Stephen Kelley.