Wisconsin Badgers news, 5/7: Rounding up 2014 NFL Draft rumors

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Will Chris Borland or Jared Abbrederis hear his name called first in this weekend's NFL Draft? There's a poll below for your voting pleasure.

Mock draft chatter is finally nearing an end as the 2014 NFL Draft kicks off Thursday. The great debate that ensues: which former UW star will be selected first? It essentially comes down to Jared Abbrederis and Chris Borland, whose draft slots range from the first to fourth rounds. My choice for who gets selected first? The "too small" linebacker, though you can never underestimate an infatuation one NFL general manager might have with Abbrederis. Vote below!

Sports Illustrated MMQB's Greg Bedard echoed the prediction, tabbing Borland as Montee Ball's new teammate in Denver with the 31st overall selection. Likewise with ESPN.com's Mel Kiper, who slotted Borland in the 34th pick held by the Washington Redskins ($). The same also came from Draftek, which predicts Borland will land with Green Bay at No.85 Borland is an alternate choice three picks before with the Chicago Bears.

Within that same mock, Abbrederis snuck into the end of the third round with the New Orleans Saints. Beau Allen was tabbed in the sixth round by Wisconsin's second NFL team, a.k.a. the Houston Texans, and Jacob Pedersen and Ryan Groy were predicted to go in the final round to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Dallas Cowboys, respectively.

While Borland may get a nicer financial contract upfront than Abbrederis, the former Wautoma product has the work ethic and tenacity to succeed at the next level. The concussions are a legitimate concern, but he's a great route-runner and has a knack for the football. Andrew continues our draft series, breaking down the wide receiver's NFL-ready game.

As it stands, the Badgers boast 24 players in the NFL.The best of the bunch? Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson, of course. The worst? Gabe Carimi takes the cake.

Switching gears to focus on Bo Ryan and the boys. I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but the 2014-15 team has the potential to be the best to ever put on the red and white uniform. Sports Illustrated's Luke Winn has the Badgers No.3 in his final college basketball power rankings. Winn, who formerly wrote for the Wisconsin State Journal, touts big man Frank Kaminsky as the early front-runner with Duke's Jahlil Okafor for the Naismith and Wooden awards.

What is the Big Ten's best post-spring position? The Badgers' running attack is on the ballot, but it's hard to argue against Michigan State's defensive line, which played an integral part in the Spartans' stellar 2013-14 defense. Who will lead the Big Ten in rushing next season? Um, Melvin Gordon? Damn it, who put the question mark on the teleprompter?! Keep an eye out for Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah, who is ultra quick off the edge. The two squads will meet at Camp Randall Stadium on Nov. 15.

Quick Hitters

The 2017 Big Ten Basketball Tournament will no longer be held in the vicinity of the Midwest, shipping out instead to our nation's capital and the Verizon Center. What do you think of the decision? Are you a fan of a different venue? Are you more of a traditionalist? Do you love your couch (and drink of choice) too much to even care where it is? Vote in the poll in that link!

The Washington Post says this move is just the beginning of the conference stretching its wings on the East Coast, especially in D.C.

Simply put, Madison is great:

UW 2015 hockey recruit Brock Boeser was traded within the AHL from Sioux City to Waterloo.

Marquette doesn't even have a football program, so I don't understand how it had more undergraduate applications than UW in the fall of 2013.

Video of the Day

I'll always remember John Stocco executing the ever-so-perfect quarterback sneak on a third-down play in the waking seconds of Wisconsin's 2005 victory against Michigan on a brisk September night. I was fortunate enough to be in attendance, and my dad and I are still convinced the play was in the back pocket of Barry Alvarez from the get-go after Stocco threw the ball away on first and second down.

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