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2011 NFL Draft: Blaine Gabbert May Benefit From Teams Reaching

One of the interesting points about the 2011 NFL draft right now is that there hasn't been a free agency yet. With the upcoming lockout, we really have no idea if there will be a free agency this year. It appears the two sides, the NFL and NFLPA, have a shot at getting something done next week.

But if they don't, there won't be free agency meaning all those teams that would normally fill their rosters via free agency will have to do that through the draft. For teams needing a quarterback, that means they may have to reach and that could, potentially, help Blaine Gabbert, although Gabbert's not considered much of a reach anywhere, except perhaps No. 1 to the Panthers. 

Here's what Pat Kirwan of NFL.com said on the subject and it makes sense:

Teams that need a quarterback are going to have to consider reaching for one, or there might not be a lot to pick from by the time they draft again. Carolina, for example, picks first overall but doesn't select again until the first pick of the third round. Can Cincinnati, which owns the fourth overall pick, really call Carson Palmer's bluff? The Redskins might not love a guy like Jake Locker enough to take him with the 10th pick, but who will be there when they pick again in the second round (No. 41)? What choice does Minnesota have at No. 12 ifJoe Webb is the only QB under contract and a realistic trade isn't possible?    

That could end up helping Gabbert because he'll be almost assured of going in the top five if teams are going to start reaching. In reality, no one's really sure how team will respond if there is no free agency.