SportsRelocation.com - 2011 NFL Draft May Be The Year of the Quarterback
NFL Draft Could See Record Number Taken
Trying to predict the NFL Draft is a bit like picking the horses at Santa Anita. Inevitably a long-shot will come out of nowhere and you are left shaking your head wondering why you never saw it coming. With the NFL Draft right around the corner (April 28-30) one thing seems to be certain, though, and that is the consensus opinion that quite a few quarterbacks will be chosen in the first round. The trick, of course, is figuring out who goes where and when. What is really interesting about this group of talented quarterbacks is that there doesn’t seem to be a consensus on who will go first. All have talents, all have obvious drawbacks, which leaves coaches and general managers scratching their heads as the draft approaches.
Here are the leading quarterback candidates as we approach April 28th.
Cam Newton (Auburn): There is no doubt about the athleticism of Newton. At 6’6” and 250 pounds, he is a rare combination of strength and speed with a strong arm. Questions center around his accuracy and character.
Teams interested are many, led by Carolina and Cincinnati.
Jake Locker (Washington): Serious athletic gifts. At 6’3” and 230 lbs, he runs the 40 yd dash anywhere from 4.39 seconds to 4.5 seconds on a bad day, giving him running back speed in a linebackers body and the arm to make all NFL throws.
He would fit well with Mike Shanahan’s Redskins, or possibly Minnesota or Seattle. Decision-making and accuracy are concerns voiced about him.
Ryan Mallett (Arkansas): At 6’7” and 250 pounds he is a prototypical NFL pocket passer with great arm, the perfect fit for Minnesota.
Off-field issues and character are the knocks against him.
Blaine Gabbert (Missouri): A junior who flew under the radar most of this past season, he stands 6’4” and weighs in at 235 with nice pocket mobility and great accuracy.
The Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, and San Francisco Forty-Niner’s are all interested in this kid’s talents. Only knock on him is lack of arm strength.
The darkhorses in this race seem to be Christian Ponder from Florida State and Andy Dalton from TCU. Both have a nice combination of football smarts, good instincts, and accurate arms.
It will be a pretty interesting draft this year if for no other reason than the unpredictability of it. There are no “sure things” or “consensus number ones” in this draft but a whole lot of quality and seemingly unlimited potential. The only thing that can be agreed upon is that from five to seven quarterbacks will be millionaires by the end of day on April 28th.
By: Ikem Chukumerije
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