ESPN's Todd McShay spent a few minutes in a conference call on Wednesday discussing Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert and Auburn QB Cam Newton. Many 2011 NFL mock drafts I read have both players going high in the draft around the top 10-12 picks.
Obviously with Auburn's national championship there's been some heavy buzz on Newton but Gabbert's been rising since the end of the season as well. Both have established themselves as the top two quarterbacks in the draft (although the NFL Combine can change things).
Here's what McShay said on both:
"Gabbert and Newton are very different players. Gabbert is more polished. Newton has rare overall physical tools, but there's also more boom or bust potential there with him," McShay said.
McShay was also asked to compare Gabbert and Newton to the two Super Bowl quarterbacks, Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger. That's why you're going to see some stories out there that suggest McShay compares Gabbert to Rodgers. That's true -- sort of.
It'll be interesting next week at the NFL Combine when teams can sit down with these players and get to know them. I think you'll see some guys rise as a result of that and others will be hurt by it. It's unclear how the Combine will affect both quarterbacks but right now no one has a good handle on which quarterback will be drafted first. NFL Network's Albert Breer went as far as to say the No. 1 overall pick isn't ruled out for Newton.