DraftWatch: Kiper Mock 1.0

Mock drafts tend to be more speculative as you move deeper in the draft, so this year we’ll have to be judicious about citing them. At this point, the NFC North has only one pick in the first 22 spots of the draft’s first round. By the time we get to Green Bay at No. 23, the pool of potential selections will have grown substantially.

That said, there are some interesting selections in Mel Kiper’s first mock draftInsider of the 2010 draft season. You’ll need an Insider subscription to see the whole thing, but I’m proud to say I’ve been authorized to bring you his three NFC North picks. (Remember, Denver owns Chicago’s first-round pick as part of the Jay Cutler trade.)

Here are the choices, followed by some moderately insightful comments from yours truly:

Detroit Lions

Selection: No. 2 overall

Player: Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy

Mel says: Getting McCoy both fills a big need for the Lions and is an extraordinarily good consolation prize for any team unable to get [Ndamukong] Suh. McCoy makes his living in opponents' backfields and is such a talent he could have landed in this position last year had he declared as a redshirt sophomore.

Seifert says: I don’t think the Lions have any more pressing need than defensive line. As crazy as it sounds, though, I can’t help wondering whether St. Louis will be tempted to go with a quarterback at No. 1 overall. If so, Suh falls to the Lions. We can dream, right?

Green Bay Packers

Selection: No. 23 overall

Player: USC safety Taylor Mays

Mel says: If you had told Green Bay in August that it could get Mays at No. 23 overall, the Packers would have been thrilled. An extraordinary athlete, Mays might have suffered against expectations, but the Pack hit a home run with Clay Matthews … out of USC last year, and Mays both fills a need and has great potential.

Seifert says: There’s nothing wrong with adding a great athlete, no matter what position he plays. Safety is a complicated situation for the Packers. The contracts of both starters are expiring. Atari Bigby and Nick Collins will be restricted free agents if the NFL moves to an uncapped system, as expected. I have no reason to expect the Packers plan to jettison one of them, but depth behind two free agents isn’t a terrible idea.

Minnesota Vikings

Selection: Around No. 30

Player: Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State

Mel says: Need meets value here. Robinson is the second-best corner in the draft, and Minnesota should be happy to grab him this late. Robinson has the chance to step in and contribute.

Seifert says: The Vikings got by this season with starter Antoine Winfield missing six games, but no team should bypass a good cover corner. I still maintain that quarterback is the Vikings biggest need entering this draft.