2011 NFL Draft logo2011 NFL Draft

2011 NFL Draft: Could Five QBs Go in the First Round?

Robert WayerskiCorrespondent IApril 8, 2011

2011 NFL Draft: Could Five QBs Go in the First Round?

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    This quarterback draft class may not have the one "sure thing" quarterback, but it does have a lot of quarterbacks who had very productive college careers and should be pretty deep.

    Once, I read that Andy Dalton has received an invite to the draft I wondered just how many quarterbacks will be taken in the first round. Here is a list of the potential candidates and where they may land.

Blaine Gabbert

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Potential landing spots: Carolina, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Arizona or San Francisco

    Gabbert is the most highly rated quarterback by most teams (a few have Newton ahead of him), so I do not see him falling past No. 5. At worst, he should go to the Niners at No. 7.

    Chance of going in the first round: 100 percent

Cameron Newton

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Potential landing spots: Carolina, Buffalo, Arizona, Washington, Tennessee or Miami

    Cam Newton's off-field issues could cause him to fall slightly, but he is such an athletic talent that he could also go No. 1 overall. Think Vince Young with more natural throwing ability. Miami is probably the floor if he were to fall.

    Chance of going in the first round: 100 percent

Jake Locker

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Potential landing spots: Washington, Miami, or Seattle

    Despite all the talk of Locker's falling stock, I could see the Redskins taking him at No. 10, because he would fit well in a Mike Shannahan offense. I think Seattle would be the more likely spot, but you have to wonder if Pete Carroll wants to draft a quarterback after trading for Charlie Whitehurst last year.

    Chance of going in the first round: 60 percent

Andy Dalton

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Potential landing spots: New Orleans or Indianapolis

    Pro Football Talk reported that Dalton will visit the Saints and that Indianapolis has interest. I do not think that Dalton will last to the end of the second round, so it is a possibility that either team could use a first-round pick on him.

    Maybe this is a scare tactic by the teams against two of the faces of the player lawsuit on the league. Maybe the Colts and Saints have seen that drafting and developing a quarterback can get you a higher draft pick in a future draft while providing insurance (see Kevin Kolb).

    Chance of going in the first round: 25 percent

Christian Ponder

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    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Potential Landing Spots: Seattle or a team trading up

    Ponder would fit best in a West Coast style team, so I could see Seattle taking him if they decide to go with a quarterback. The other possibility is a team like San Francisco trading up into the end of the first to get him before the quarterback-needy teams at the top of the second round. 

    Chance of going in the first round: 20 percent

Colin Kaepernick

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    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Potential landing spots: ???

    Kaepernick's stock was really high for a while, but I think it has settled down to where is should be. He is a early to mid second-round quarterback. He will have to adapt to taking snaps from under center and his throwing motion needs to be changed.

    There is a slight chance that if there is a run on quarterbacks that someone could trade up into the end of the first round to take him but it is unlikely.

    Chance of going in the first round: 10 percent

Ryan Mallett

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    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    Potential Landing Spots: ???

    Mallett's decision making both on and off of the field have severely hurt his stock. Most of the teams that are looking at him draft high and would probably just wait until the second round to pick him, but like any other second-round graded player, it only takes one team to fall in love with you to get into the first round.

    Chance of going in the first round: five percent

Conclusion

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    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    So how many quarterbacks will be drafted in the first round?

    I am going to go out on a limb and say four.

    Newton, Gabbert, Locker and Dalton.

    Dalton is the wild card, but if teams hear that the Saints and Colts are interested, they will probably start taking a closer look. Still, I think both of those teams have genuine interest in him.

    Drew Brees is not the most durable quarterback, and it would be nice for a team to have a reliable back up for him. The Colts have never had a good backup for Peyton and he is already 35 years old. How many more good seasons does Manning have left in him?

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