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March 24, 2011

Mock draft v3.0: New QB name at the top?

We're down to five weeks before the draft, and if you look at mock drafts elsewhere, they're all over the board with the Panthers' pick.

It's not surprising. The Panthers likely don't know who they're picking, yet.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said at the NFL owners meetings this week the team is 60 percent through its evaluation process. The Panthers will start bringing in candidates for the No. 1 pick in the next week or so, including 'the big three' among quarterbacks: Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Mallett.

Rivera insisted the Panthers are serious about positions other than quarterback. And while he said Jimmy Clausen received too much of the blame for last year's 2-14 finish, Rivera was hardly effusive with his praise of Clausen, saying only coaches and the front office would see if last year's second-round pick fits somewhere in the Panthers' plans.

We're doing things a little differently this week, getting the beat writers and/or columnists that cover the teams holding the top five picks to make the selections below.

Another difference? The quarterback at the head of the draft.

1. Carolina: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

0324gabbert Maybe it was a case – like figure skating judges – of saving the best marks (or remarks, in this case) for last. But Rivera seemed to rave about Gabbert, whom team officials worked out and met with last weekend in Missouri before Rivera attended the owners meetings.
Rivera mentioned Gabbert's size, arm, touch and footwork, but said he was most impressed with Gabbert's “presence.” When coaches start talking like that, it usually means they like the whole package.

--Joseph Person, Charlotte Observer

2. Denver: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

It's early and either Nick Fairley or Marcell Dareus could go here, but John Fox was a long-time defensive backs coach as a college and NFL assistant and said he's "never seen a corner'' with the size-speed combination Peterson has.

-- Jeff Legwold, Denver Post

3. Buffalo: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

Ryan Fitzpatrick is a serviceable starter, but not the long-term solution. Despite more pressing needs on defense, the Bills roll the dice on Newton in hopes he'll develop into the franchise signal caller the team has longed for since Jim Kelly retired in 1997.

-- Allen Wilson, Buffalo News

4. Cincinnati: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

With the odds of Chad Ochocinco coming back being extremely slim and Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell going into the final year of their contracts, the Bengals are going to need a game-breaking receiver and top target for whomever throws the ball.

-- Joe Reedy, Cincinnati Enquirer

5. Arizona: Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M

Ken Whisenhunt has tried to implement a Steelers-like 3-4 defense now for four years. He's on his third defensive coordinator, having fired the first two. One of the biggest reasons for the failures is that the team hasn't been able to develop outside linebackers. If scouts are right, Miller would fill an immediate need as a pass rusher off the edge. Last year's starting outside linebackers, Joey Porter and Clark Haggans, will be 34 when the season starts. Both are under contract but Porter probably will be cut because of money ($5.75 million) and performance (5 sacks last year.).

--Kent Somers, Arizona Republic

Posted by Observer Sports on March 24, 2011 at 03:52 PM | Permalink

Comments

The Cardinals are taking a Quarterback. They'd be suicidal not to do that.

Posted by: Authority | Mar 24, 2011 4:25:23 PM

Mock draft changes every day/week. Funny how 1 minute on Newton, Bowers, Marcell D, now Gabbert. It could be a smokescene to trade down, but we will never know though.

"Rivera mentioned Gabbert's size, arm, touch and footwork"

Was this said about Newton as well lol? just asking.

Posted by: mark j | Mar 24, 2011 4:36:33 PM

"The Cardinals are taking a Quarterback. They'd be suicidal not to do that."

1. Didn't they drafted 2 Qb's in John S and Max Hall last yr? I thought they did and Ken W is very high on John S btw. Adding another rookie Qb would be stupid in my eyes. Especially with no veteran Qb to mentor the guy along being thrown into the starting lineup when he should sit and learn for a yr or 2.

Posted by: mark j | Mar 24, 2011 4:42:23 PM

Drop down a few spots, get the best DT available and get back into the 2nd round. Trade for a vet QB and you have a competitive team next year..if there is a next year.

Posted by: mikey | Mar 24, 2011 5:05:41 PM

Drop down a few spots, get the best DT available and get back into the 2nd round. Trade for a vet QB and you have a competitive team next year..if there is a next year.

Posted by: mikey | Mar 24, 2011 5:05:41 PM

Picking later round QB's is something every team does it does not mean the same thing as picking a top pick QB, not even close.

They factor into Arizona's decision even less than Clausen should influence the Panthers choice. I vote for Gabbert, but Cam has amazing marketing appeal = $$$

FYI Skelton was picked in the 5th round and Max Hall was an undrafted free agent.

Posted by: Sportsdon | Mar 24, 2011 5:10:55 PM

Somewhere right now, Darin Gantt is pulling handfulls of hair out of his head while reading that Joe slotted Gabbert in as the Panthers pick. According to Gantt this is impossible!! To hear him talk Cam Newton is better than Michael Vick with Montana's arm so no way the Panthers pass on him for a QB with "presence"

Posted by: Fred | Mar 24, 2011 5:53:36 PM

"Somewhere right now, Darin Gantt is pulling handfulls of hair out of his head while reading that Joe slotted Gabbert in as the Panthers pick. According to Gantt this is impossible!! To hear him talk Cam Newton is better than Michael Vick with Montana's arm so no way the Panthers pass on him for a QB with "presence".

lmao Darrin G has major hate on Gabbert, he just doesn't but into the hype as other do though. Which I can understand, but drafting a 2-3yr project in Newton isn't the way to go.

They won't be given a playbook along no tc/ota's how can they transition from a spread to pro-style? So they won't be making an impact day 1.

This yr Qb class is weak, I don't trust Hurney with Qb's. Especially with the #1 overall pick.

Posted by: lol | Mar 24, 2011 6:09:27 PM

So I wouldn't be in shock if they could find a trade partner and trade down. I would take a chance on C Ponder in the 2nd round, if they can get and early 2nd round pick. Rumors has it he had jump in front of Locker as the 2nd best Qb behind Gabbert.

I think he will be the best Qb in this yr draft.

Posted by: lol | Mar 24, 2011 6:20:27 PM

The Panthers are NOT taking a QB ,but are trading back so STOP with the Gabbert/Newton debate!

Posted by: qb | Mar 24, 2011 6:45:00 PM

Gabbert makes the most since. Great size, arm, good stats, intelligence and leadership qualities. Oh, and he plays the most important position on the field which happens to be the Panthers' greatest need. Done and doner.

I agree with Joe's mock except I got Dareus to Denver, Peterson to Cleveland and Quinn to San Fran.

Posted by: gradyhog | Mar 24, 2011 7:03:07 PM

"Gabbert makes the most since. Great size, arm, good stats, intelligence and leadership qualities."

Good stats? Your joking right? He has mediocre stats and don't tell me he had no receivers. If you are listed as a franchise Qb, you have to make everybody around you better.

None of these Qb's are worth a top 5 pick. They won't be day 1 starters, and when was the last time a player selected in the top 5 sat and learn.

Fans are very quick to label a player as a bust after their rookie. Wouldn't be surprise the same happends to Gabbert without being given a 2nd chance.

If they were to again have a top 3 pick and Luck, Barkley, or Landry J was to comes out. You don't think they will consider selecting one of those guys who are 100x better than them? With less flaws at that.

Posted by: lol | Mar 24, 2011 7:10:33 PM

Thanks lol for bringing up Barkley and Jones. There will be other good QBs in next year's draft besides Luck! Sheez! People act like Luck is a sure thing. I like the kid but I would be happy with Barkley or Jones, especially Jones.
As far as this year, if we don't take Cam with the #1, then we don't need to take any QB there. Gabbert probably is a great kid but his pocket presence is terrible. He won't be able to start right away either so I'm not sure how people consider him any less of a risk than Cam and Cam's upside is higher because he's a superior athlete. So lets trade down , get a 2nd rounder and if Mallett is there, take him. We wouldn't have to do all this is if Hurney wasn't such an idiot and we still had the first pick of the 2nd round. I'd be happy with any extra picks we could get to go along with Peterson,Dareus, or AJ Green.

Posted by: Swag | Mar 24, 2011 7:54:33 PM

Blaine Gabbert looks like Jay from Mallrats.

Posted by: Jimmest Fredetter | Mar 24, 2011 7:58:57 PM

If Person is right, the Panthers would be foolish to waste the top pick on Gabbert. He will be available farther down and is not #1 on anyones board in the Top 5, maybe top 10. Carolina can get Gabbert plus a couple more picks if they want.

Posted by: Phil | Mar 24, 2011 11:36:24 PM

Not always so easy to trade out of #1, have to take who will help you the most if you can't get value. With the teams at the top of this draft, those top 2 QB's will both go top 5ish so if you like one of them you have to pull the trigger. Would be nice to have that 1st pick in the 2nd if they had not made a god awful trade to lose it.

Posted by: NNJack | Mar 25, 2011 1:32:53 PM

No-brainer Gabbert and Mallet are far and away #1 and #2 QBs to be picked. Either could be a winner and it would good to get both if possible. The franchise QB situation would be fixed perfectly for the next 10 years or more.

Newton needs to go head on up to Buffalo where OJ was drafted from SoCal since its only a couple blocks from Canada and his next stop with the CFL if hes lucky. He would never be a starter as QB but moved to TE. No arm. Problem child.

Posted by: Vince | Mar 25, 2011 3:27:22 PM

You guys are starting to look like Mel Kiper. Just put a different name in our slot for each mock draft, and you will HAVE to be right. For one of them...

Posted by: David | Mar 25, 2011 3:53:39 PM

" Either could be a winner and it would good to get both if possible"

Drafting both Gabbert and Mallet would be stupid period. Whoever fit the scheme should be drafted. 1 of them that is, not both.

Posted by: lol | Mar 25, 2011 4:14:02 PM

vince, it would be insane to draft qbs, there would be a riot. also, if no one likes clausen then what about Pike? good size, nice arm, he had like 5 minutes total play time. give him and clausen the chance, draft Green, and if neither qb works out draft one next year. that way, qb will be set and wr will be set.

Posted by: BigChow | Mar 25, 2011 6:15:05 PM

Newton will be the # 1 QB taken whether he is the best or not. Mallett and Gabbert are a toss and both will be available after 5. Trade the pick unless you're taking the best player available.

Posted by: Phil | Mar 25, 2011 8:50:26 PM

Gantt has been pushing Newton and slagging Gabbert for the past couple of months what does he expect HIS poll to turn out like. You may as well run it on Bus Cook's twitter site, it would be just as unbiased.

Posted by: robert ethan | Apr 7, 2011 1:56:51 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.

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