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It's Feeling Drafty In Here

The NFL Draft is almost upon us, and like my Expat counterpart, I generally find it to be one of the most ridiculous events on the yearly sporting calendar. If we could only apply the same level of intense analysis and attention to detail to some of our thornier national problems as we do the draft I'm sure things would be in much better shape right now.

But, I digress. Despite my cynicism I'm actually pretty excited about this year's draft because of all the ex-Hogs who will factor in the mix. Here's a quick look at how last year's "Big Four" might fare:

* Darren McFadden. Naturally there are haters who prefer to obsess about his skinny calves rather than him blowing up the SEC for three years, but the general consensus is that he's the top talent in the draft. However, most of the teams picking first don't need a running back, so his future team is still very much in doubt. Earlier this week I was fretting about him going to the Raiders, but the latest buzz has him going to the Jets, who seem to be very interested in D-Dawg.

illustration by Mark Taliaferro/NW Ark Times* Felix Jones. The "experts" are telling us that Felix is a late first round pick, which wouldn't be too shabby at all. No one really knows anything, of course, but multiple mock drafts have him going to Dallas. That would seem to be a good on-the-field place for him to be, but he would be well-advised to decline any invitations to go strip clubbing with the team's newest cornerback.

* Peyton Hillis. In a classic example of the type of overthinking that permeates most draft coverage, the word is that Peyton's stock is dropping because he had a rough workout at the Scouting Combine in February. Only in the world of the NFL Draft would one bad day at a practice facility overrule the fact that he was money on the field for four years, but nonetheless he'll be a solid middle round pick for someone.

* Marcus Monk. Surely every Hog fan is pulling for him after the year he's had...passing up a solid NFL future to return for his senior year, getting seriously injured during preseason practice and then having a less impactful than hoped return to the field late in the season. The good news is that he performed well at the Scouting Combine and Pro Day and his stock is back on the rise. He won't be a top round pick (like he might have been last year), but his future is much brighter than it seemed a few months ago.