2011 NFL Draft: Where the Top 5 Quarterbacks Will Go

Jake KarmelCorrespondent IIApril 7, 2011

2011 NFL Draft: Where the Top 5 Quarterbacks Will Go

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    It's that time of year again. No, not the time for the NFL to actually get a labor deal hashed out. It's mock draft season. 

    Over the past few years, great QBs have come out of the first few rounds. Sam Bradford in 2010, Matthew Stafford, Mark Sanchez, and Josh Freeman in 2009 all have been quality products for their respective teams. 

    Lets take a look into the top 5 QBs for this year's draft and where they will end up. 

Number 5: Jake Locker

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    Height: 6-3. Weight: 227.  
    Combine 40 Time: 4.52. 

    Jake Locker was seen to be a top prospect for the 2011 class going into last years draft by many experts. Now, not so much. 

    Locker had an awful senior year. His Washington squad was no good. He threw for only 2,200 yards with 17 touchdowns—a big drop off compared to his junior season. 

    He showed issues at the Senior Bowl with accuracy. He is very inconsistent. 

    According to walterfootball.com, Locker completed 39-41 passes at his pro day but with no throws outside the numbers. 

    Also, a lot of people compare Locker to Jake Plummer. Plummer wasn't very good outside the Shanahan system. 

     

    Projection: Round 2 Pick 35—Cincinnati Bengals

    I remember when Carson Palmer was good. It was not long ago. With Palmer on his way out, the Bengals need someone to fill the void. Locker could be a solid investment in the long-run with the Bengals rebuilding.

Number 4: Colin Kaepernick

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    Height: 6-5. Weight: 233.  
    Combine 40 Time: 4.53

    Colin Kaepernick had a remarkable four years at Nevada. He threw 21 touchdowns and eight interceptions in his senior season with over 3,000 yards. He also had an outstanding 65 percent completion percentage. 

    Kaepernick also ran for over 1,200 yards with another 20 touchdowns. 

    The knock I have against Kaepernick is that his downfield accuracy is off. He misses receivers on longer pass plays. Also, Nevada's offense has not prepared him for the pros. He has to adjust from a pistol style offense to a more pro-style formation he would be running. That lowers his stock. 

     

    Prediction: Round 2 Pick 34—Buffalo Bills

    Kaepernick will be available when it comes time for the Bills to pick. He could be a good product with some training under Chan Gailey.

    The Bills are struggling at the quarterback position. Harvard grad, Ryan Fitzpatrick is good but not the answer. Neither is back up Brian Brohm. 

Number 3: Christian Ponder

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    Height: 6-2. Weight: 229. 
    Combine 40 Time: 4.67. 

    Christian Ponder is easily one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the entire draft. 

    His senior season he threw for 2,004 yards with 20 touchdowns and eight interceptions with a completion rate of 61 percent. 

    On his pro day, he looked great. He threw beautiful passes to Isaac Bruce. Also, as of March 17, he had nine scheduled workouts with anonymous teams. 

     

    Prediction: Round 1 Pick 25—Seattle Seahawks 

    Yes, I understand Matt Hasselbeck is still in Seattle. He proved at 35, he could still play. But he's 35.

    Hasslebeck does not have many more years left in the tank. When he leaves, who is his backup? Charlie Whitehurst? Please.

    Whitehurst is not the answer. Pete Carroll needs a fresh start with his number two QB. Ponder is very accurate and arm strength will come. Ponder fits perfectly in Seattle.  

Number 2: Blaine Gabbert

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    Height: 6-4. Weight: 234. 
    Combine 40 Time: 4.61. 

    Blaine Gabbert is easily one of the top QBs in the draft. 

    Gabbert is insanely accurate and shows great arm strength. Gabbert threw for almost 3,200 yards with 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions in his junior season at Mizzou. 

    Gabbert had exceptional pro days. He completed 47 of 50 passes with two drops. He showed he can throw the long ball and throw the short completions. 

    He can be a great leader and a great football player. 

     

    Prediction: Round 1 Pick 12—Minnesota Vikings 

    Minnesota Vikings are a perfect fit for Gabbert. 

    Gabbert is a very accurate, non-running QB. That is perfect for the Vikings' system. Joe Webb is not the answer while Gabbert could be. 

Number 1: Cam Newton

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    Height: 6-5. Weight: 244. 
    Combine 40 Time: 4.58. 

    As we all know, Cam Newton had a beyond exceptional final season at Auburn. He finished with a national title along with amazing statistics.

    Newton threw for 2,800 yards with 30 touch downs and only seven interceptions. He had a completion percentage of 66 percent!

    Newton also ran the ball well. He rushed for over 1,400 yards with another 20 touchdowns.

    A knock against Newton I've heard is he is not fit for the NFL. Running QBs never make it. Newton is the exception.

    Newton is a big guy. He's 6-5 and 244 pounds. Most unsuccessful running QBs (Chris Leak) are not 6-5 nor can they throw the long ball like Newton.

     

    Prediction: Round 1 Pick 1—Carolina Panthers

    Carolina found out Jimmy Clausen is not the answer. They found that out the hard way. It's time for the Panthers to revamp and Cam Newton is the perfect answer. He can run and throw. Defenses are going to have a hard time stopping Newton.