Missouri Tigers QB Blaine Gabbert is entering the 2011 NFL draft and, with QB Andrew Luck staying at Stanford, the path to the number one pick is wide open. No one is quite sure who it will be but one of Gabbert's agents says he has a shot to be the first quarterback taken.
"We believe that he has a chance to fight to be the No. 1 quarterback taken in the 2011 draft," said Ben Dogra, one of Gabbert's representatives at Clayton-based CAA Football. "And if history repeats itself, if you're the first quarterback taken, you have a legitimate chance to be a top 10 pick."
With the top pick, it all comes down to whether the Carolina Panthers, who hold the number one pick, want a quarterback. They drafted QB Jimmy Clausen in the second round last year but he struggled in his rookie season. The Panthers were reportedly interested in Luck before he decided to stay at Stanford. That suggests they have some interest in quarterback though it's not clear if they were interested only because it was Luck, who was considered the top quarterback prospect by a long shot. Many recent NFL mock drafts have the Panthers going defense so perhaps that's where they're leaning.
However it shakes out, the chances of Gabbert becoming a top 10 pick are looking good. By many accounts, he'll be one of the first two quarterbacks taken which likely means a top 10 pick. It's just a matter of who wants to pull the trigger.