Predicting the 1st round of NFL draft

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As the noise in the theater reaches a crescendo, with chants from blue-shirted Giants fans of “MAN-TI, MAN-TI,” the Giants indeed fill their need for an inside linebacker with good instincts, passion and leadership skills.

ARTHUR BROWN, ILB, KANSAS STATE

20. CHICAGO (10-6)

There won’t be as much noise when the Bears step up. There will be the same need for a linebacker, especially with Brian Urlacher gone. They find their man in Athens, Ga., a player who could play inside or outside.

ALEC OGLETREE, LB, GEORGIA

21. CINCINNATI (10-6)

With the Andre Smith free agency situation still cloudy _ do the Bengals really want him back? _ Cincinnati makes a move to put pressure on the veteran. Or to let him walk.

D.J. FLUKER, OT, ALABAMA

22. ST. LOUIS (10-6), pick from Washington

Wisely, the Rams went with Vaccaro at No. 16 and still get the wideout to boost their passing game at this spot.

DEANDRE HOPKINS, WR, CLEMSON

23. MINNESOTA (10-6)

With two selections in the next three slots, Minnesota is going to help itself on defense both times. First up, yes, the Vikings see plenty of value in that Notre Dame linebacker.

MANTI TE’O, ILB, NOTRE DAME

24. INDIANAPOLIS (11-5)

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