Rock out with your mock draft out: Mel Kiper

It's official: Blaine Gabbert is the love of mock draft makers across the Internet. The pick for the Carolina Panthers has evolved from Nick Fairley to the Missouri quarterback in recent weeks.

That's how ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. and many others see it. In his latest mock draft, Kiper says Gabbert's NFL Combine performance and possible rookie wage scale pushed him to the top. Fair enough.

At this point in the mock draft season, some picks are starting to solidify – Denver taking a defensive lineman second, Arizona taking Von Miller, Cleveland getting A.J. Green. They're all picks in Kiper's mock.

Still, there are a few spots where Kiper breaks the mold. With the 28th pick, he gives New England Leonard Hankerson. With the 32nd pick, he has the Packers taking Arizona pass rusher Brooks Reed.

We can't get much more into Kiper's mock because it's Insider content. But after the jump, more on the ascent of Reed as an early draft pick.

At the Combine, Reed dazzled with a stellar 1.54 seconds 10-yard split in the 40-yard dash. That was faster than A.J. Green and Von Miller. For the whole 40 yards, Reed ran 4.65, a very good number for a 263-pound converted defensive lineman.

There was little discussion about Reed prior to the Combine, but now he's being considered a first-round pick. At Arizona, he started 34 games and had 17 sacks over the past three seasons.

Still, it's hard to project Reed to the first round. He's a project and some playoff teams that want to fill a need might not want to spend time working a player up.

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