Print and Go Back NFC North [Print without images]

Wednesday, January 19, 2011
DraftWatch2011: Kiper and McShay mocks!

By Kevin Seifert

Whether we're at the Epicenter of Humanity or not, there's no beating down ESPN's draft coverage. Mel Kiper Insider and Todd McShay Insider each weighed in Wednesday with mock drafts. You'll need an Insider subscription to see all of the picks, but I can slip you each man's choices for the two NFC North teams whose draft positions are locked in.

12. Minnesota Vikings
Kiper's pick:
Colorado offensive lineman Nate Solder
McShay's pick: USC offensive lineman Tyron Smith
Seifert's comment: I'm presuming Solder or Smith would be envisioned as replacements for two-year starter Phil Loadholt. I wouldn't count right tackle as the Vikings' biggest need, but an upgrade wouldn't hurt. Quarterback is the Vikings' top priority, but Missouri's Blaine Gabbert and Auburn's Cam Newton are already off the board in both mocks. McShay also has Washington's Jake Locker taken ahead of the No. 12 spot.

No. 13. Detroit Lions
Kiper's pick:
UCLA outside linebacker Akeem Ayers
McShay's pick: Solder
Seifert's comment: The Lions are expected to release veteran linebacker Julian Peterson, and Zack Follett's neck injury has left his future cloudy. So along with cornerback, outside linebacker ranks as the Lions' top need. If all things are equal, Ayers seems a smarter pick than Solder -- even if Gosder Cherilus had his moments last season.