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Cheese Curds, 4/13: Daniels named top WI pro athlete, Thompson's mid-round Draft successes

A Packer won a top honor at the Wisconsin Sports Awards yesterday, but it's not the player that many might have expected.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

For the last several years, Aaron Rodgers has been a shoo-in for the Professional Athlete of the Year award at the Wisconsin Sports Awards. This year, considering the struggles of the Green Bay Packers' offense, a new name took over that honor. It might come as a bit of a surprise, but the Packers' emotional leader on defense earned the award for 2015.

While we appreciate his constantly improving play over the past few years, we also look ahead to the future and the NFL Draft. Today's curds are filled with draft talk, from the list of players who will attend this year's event in Chicago to a discussion of what "Best Player Available" really means to looking at data to determine if we can predict which prospects are at greater risk for getting into legal trouble during their NFL careers.

We're just over two weeks away from the start of round one. April 28th can't get here soon enough.

Green Bay Packers DE Mike Daniels the Wisconsin pro athlete of year - ESPN
Daniels certainly deserves congratulations for the award, which he won over teammates Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, and Josh Sitton. Make no mistake: Daniels takes this as a badge of honor, but also as a reason to continue to elevate his play.

Green and Bold: How Strictly Will Packers Use Best Player Available Draft Strategy? | Cheesehead TV
This is a nice discussion of how team needs factor into the BPA approach. Jack Conklin is one name that is discussed as someone who could be a surprise first-round selection if he falls to 27.

Ted Thompson dominates NFL draft's 2nd round |
Under Thompson, the Packers have gotten significantly more playing time in terms of starts and games played from their second-round picks and fourth-round picks (like Mike Daniels, for example) than the average NFL team. Yes, part of this is because the Packers have stockpiled picks in those rounds due to trades and compensatory picks, but the record still reflects success there.

Here are the players who will be attending the 2016 NFL Draft in Chicago -
While it's no sure thing, the invite list tends to be players who are thought to go in the first round. This year there are few surprises among the invitees, but a few notable ones include Mississippi State DT Chris Jones, Florida safety Keanu Neal, and Clemson DE Kevin Dodd.

Using data to predict the arrest rates of NFL draft picks - ESPN
Prior arrest records have a correlation with predicting future rates of arrest, as one might expect. However, there is also a slight correlation with Wonderlic scores - lower scores tend to lead to a higher risk of arrests.

Which Recent NFL Free Agent Contracts Have Been the Most Cost-Effective? | numberFire
James Jones' contract from last season was judged to be the best value in recent memory, based on value added per dollar. That's one argument for the pro-Jones crowd to point to in advocating for his return in 2016.

'Packers Ticket Takeover Contest' finalists selected |
This year's ticket contest has five candidates, one of which will have their photo printed on every official ticket issued for one of the Packers' home games during the regular season.