We just passed along a prediction from ESPN's Adam Schefter that Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert will be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft. Schefter's connected so I thought that was a notable prediction by him. Don Banks of SI.com has also joined the Gabbert to Carolina train.
Here's what Banks said in Sports Illustrated's latest 2011 NFL mock draft:
History says the top-rated quarterback winds up going first overall in the draft, and that's a trend that has held true in 10 of the past 13 years (from the start of the Peyton Manning era in 1998 on). Before all is said and done on the evening of April 28, I expect Gabbert to emerge as the most pro-ready passer available, and that means he'll eventually distance himself from Cam Newton and work his way into Carolina's plans.
This is sound thinking. Quarterbacks do often go No. 1 overall, especially to a team like Carolina without a definitive starting quarterback. And Gabbert may just be the most pro-ready passer which would put him ahead of others. Gabbert's considered a smart player as well so learning the playbook quickly would presumably be something he's capable of.
As of March 16, Gabbert seems to be the most popular choice for the No. 1 pick. Of course, things can (and will) change plenty leading up to April 28.
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