Badger Bits: Thursday NFL Draft Rumors

Ladies and gentlemen, tonight is the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft! To celebrate the occasion, I recommend calling over your buddies, ordering a few pizzas, and cracking open some brews. Or you could be like Joe Thomas and go fishing on Lake Michigan. If you have any special draft day traditions, feel free to share them in the comments section. So what's the latest buzz with our Badgers on this big day? Let's find out.

Running back John Clay put up 3,413 yards and 41 touchdowns in his three seasons at Wisconsin, but gaudy college statistics alone can't ensure you'll be selected in the NFL Draft, writes Jim Polzin at Madison.com. It just shows how different the two games are (no matter how many times your friend says that Alabama could beat the Detroit Lions).

Mike Mayock offers his opinions on Lance Kendricks, John Moffitt, Gabe Carimi, and J.J. Watt. For my money, Mayock is one of the best draft analysts out there and he seems pretty spot on with his comments.

Click through for more NFL Draft-related Badger news and rumors.

There's a fairly good chance that a Wisconsin Badger could end up on the Dallas Cowboys by the time the first round wraps up tonight. Kevin Lyttle at the Austin American-Statesman says that J.J. Watt is a Cowboy target, and Dallas may also consider trading down from their ninth pick and taking Gabe Carimi.

Adam Holt at the Badger Herald rues the fact that the draft has turned into a circus. He also dislikes how much lip service teams give to 'character' but proceed to then only focus on players' talent when draft day rolls around.

Gabe Carimi chatted with ESPN SportsNation yesterday. You can check out the chat transcript here. Also, here's a phone interview Carimi had with FoxSports.com.

New Mel Kiper mock draft out! Insider only. This time he has Watt going to San Diego at 18, but also says that "It wouldn't at all surprise me to see Watt taken much earlier. He has that mix of relentlessness, size, talent and awareness that any coach would love." Meanwhile, he now has Carimi going to Kansas City at 21. If this (somehow) holds, expect a much improved AFC West next season.

John Dudley of the Erie Times-News has a rare mock draft in that he has Carimi being selected ahead of Watt.

JJ Watt tweeted yesterday: "Just left a private dinner reception with President Obama. ". I'm sure Watt represented the University of Wisconsin superbly to the president of the United States.

Alright, that's it for me. Enjoy the draft tonight folks. I wish all of your teams the best of luck when it comes to the goal of drafting more Pro Bowlers than busts.

Bucky's 5th Quarter is your home for the most in-depth NFL Draft coverage regarding your favorite Wisconsin Badgers. Stay tuned for the latest news, projections and draft analysis all week long and be sure to follow us on Twitter @B5Q.

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