- Kevin Seifert, NFL Nation
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Mel Kiper's latest ESPN.com mock draft features a mixture of need and value for the NFC North teams. Let's take a look:
Kiper's pick: North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn
Seifert comment: Kiper had the draft's top two quarterbacks off the board with the first four picks. He doesn't consider his third-ranked quarterback, Washington's Jake Locker, a smart choice at No. 12. That order of events would leave the Vikings with a talented player, but not a clear answer at quarterback. Quinn is well-regarded edge rusher who is suited for either a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme, and the Vikings are expected to bid farewell to starting left end Ray Edwards. They would have to thoroughly investigate Quinn, who did not play in 2010 because of an NCAA suspension for accepting gifts from an agent.
13. Detroit Lions
Kiper's pick: USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith
Seifert comment: For months, media draft analysts have seen offensive line value at this segment of the draft. In this mock, Smith is the first offensive lineman off the board. Smith's stock hasn't dropped despite a limited showing at the scouting combine, and he could figure as a long-term replacement for left tackle Jeff Backus. Kiper didn't give the Lions a cornerback here because LSU's Patrick Peterson and Nebraska's Prince Amukamara are already off the board. Kiper has his next cornerback, Colorado's Jimmy Smith, going late in the first round.
29. Chicago Bears
Kiper's pick: Colorado offensive tackle Nate Solder
Seifert comment: Going this late would represent a significant slide for Solder, an athletic 6-foot-8 mammoth who could play left or right tackle. The Bears should be pretty happy if this scenario occurs. Solder would give the Bears additional flexibility to arrange their best five linemen in a coherent Week 1 starting group.
Kiper's pick: Arizona outside linebacker Brooks Reed
Seifert comment: Kiper refers to Reed as a "sleeper" in his class with strong instincts and good enough speed to get to the passer in a 3-4 scheme. My guess is the Packers will take an outside linebacker here only if value suggests they should. It's a need, but not to the extent that general manager Ted Thompson will move past his core philosophies.