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Some of the teams in the top 15 picks in this draft are really stuck, partly due to the plethora of players on defense, a dearth of talent at specific positions that these teams need, and the absence of player trades or free agency. If a team cannot work a trade out of their draft spot, they will be forced to either reach for an inferior player or take the best available player regardless of position.
The following teams face this uncertainty:
You can argue effectively that the Panthers need help everywhere, but there are more than a few experts who feel that Cameron Newton isn't even close to being the best player in this draft.
Yet, partly because Carolina has indicated it can't progress with Jimmy Clausen at quarterback, the Panthers will probably make Newton the first pick in the draft.
So, let's say that Newton is the selection. What happens if the NFL's labor struggles are not settled until late summer?
The former signal-caller from Auburn has virtually no shot at learning the playbook or making an impact in his first season. That first training camp is crucial to quarterbacks, especially ones that are raw when it comes to playing in a pro-style offense.
Newton's long-term future might be permanently damaged because he has yet to operate under center due to the spread attack he ran with the Tigers.
The Cardinals, picking fifth overall, definitely need a quarterback, but they haven't been able to consummate a trade or acquisition for a veteran such as Kevin Kolb due to the labor impasse.
There is a good chance that both Newton and Blaine Gabbert will both be off the board and there is also no guarantee that a second-round option at quarterback will be to their liking.
San Francisco (seventh overall) and Tennessee (eighth overall) also need quarterbacks and will find getting a quarterback even more difficult.
The Redskins need a quarterback, a receiver, offensive linemen, and possibly a running back. Ok, the team desperately needs a new offense, but consider that both of the top two receivers in the draft, A.J. Green and Julio Jones will likely be off the board.
The 'Skins have a left tackle in Trent Williams but they could really use a guard or right tackle to replace injury plagued Jammal Brown. The 10th pick is too high for Anthony Castonzo, Mike Pouncey or Gabe Carimi.
Jake Locker and Ryan Mallett would be considered even bigger reaches. Running backs can be found later in the draft and Coach Mike Shanahan might have started that theory (i.e., Terrell Davis, Olandis Gary, Michael Anderson, Clinton Portis).
With the 15th overall spot, the Dolphins' options figure to even be more limited. It's still probably a reach to take Locker or Mallett at this point.
The team needs a second round pick, much like Carolina. Miami needs offensive line help, but mostly in the interior. Castonzo and Solder are not guards and Pouncey and Carimi aren't reportedly on their radar.
The Dolphins will need running backs but are also likely to wait till later in the draft and during free agency whenever that finally happens. Keep in mind; free agency running backs don't necessarily need a ton of training camp time to be effective.
Each of these teams listed and many more might have to put needs aside and just draft the best and most NFL ready prospect available, or face the consequences of wasting a first round pick.