Explaining the mock draft

So you've had a few hours to ruminate over the NFL Blog Network's 2010 mock draft. I'm glad to see the comments are flowing over on the NFL Nation blog as well. Now it's time for me to justify, make excuses for and/or weakly defend my choices for Detroit, Green Bay and Minnesota.

Detroit Lions

Position: No. 2 overall

Pick: Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh

Justification: We've been through so many angles on this pick that we forget what should be the Lions' top priority: Choosing the best player available. There is some debate about whether Suh will be a better pro than Oklahoma's Gerald McCoy, but there is no doubt (in my mind) that Suh was the better and more productive college player. Ultimately, I sided with past history over future projection.

Green Bay Packers

Position: No. 23 overall

Pick: USC tackle Charles Brown

Making excuses: Esteemed NFC East baron Matt Mosley immediately took a shot at this decision, calling Brown a "project" whose selection allowed Philadelphia to grab Boise State cornerback Kyle Wilson. I found myself in the no-man's land we first discussed last month. The top four tackles were off the board, as was Idaho guard Mike Iupati. Texas linebacker Sergio Kindle went at No. 22. I gave some thought to Texas Christian linebacker Jerry Hughes, but I decided I would rather have the next-best left tackle rather than the next-best pass-rusher. Packers general manager Ted Thompson has taken "project" players before (defensive tackle Justin Harrell). And there is no indication the Packers are looking for an immediate starter at left tackle considering the contract they gave Chad Clifton.

Minnesota Vikings

Position: No. 30 overall

Pick: Florida guard/center Maurkice Pouncey

Weakly defending: I know a quarterback would have been the more interesting choice, but my decision was not to use the No. 30 overall pick on Florida's Tim Tebow or Texas' Colt McCoy. The Vikings could probably trade back into the top or possibly middle of the second round and still get either player if that were the case. Minnesota's roster is such that it can pick for value at every spot in the draft. When I looked at the remaining players on the board, I thought Pouncey was the best. The Vikings might have their board stacked differently, but I think they'll take their highest-rated player here. In the short-term, Pouncey would put some pressure on center John Sullivan and right guard Anthony Herrera.