NFL Draft 2011: 5 Players Who Could (Should) Be the First Pick

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NFL Draft 2011: 5 Players Who Could (Should) Be the First Pick
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Day one of the NFL Draft is just a few weeks away, which means that right now the Carolina Panthers are on the clock.

It seems like every mock draft on the Internet has the Panthers drafting a quarterback on April 28, 2011.  According to them, new regimes mean new signal callers.


That may be true in some (most) scenarios, but if the Panthers draft a quarterback with the number one overall pick, they could be making a big mistake.

In the first place, they drafted two quarterbacks last year: Jimmy Clausen from Notre Dame and Tony Pike from Cincinnati.  Granted, Clausen didn't look great under center last year (157 of 299 for 1558 yards, three touchdowns and nine interceptions) but he was a rookie.

In 1983, a rookie quarterback by the name of John Elway had 123 completions on 259 attempts. He also threw seven touchdown and 14 interceptions for a quarterback rating of 54.9 (last year Jimmy Clausen's rating was 58.2).


Eventually, John Elway turned out to be a pretty good (Hall of Fame) quarterback.

Of course if the Panthers feel like Cam Newton (Auburn) or Blaine Gabbert (Missouri) is a franchise quarterback, they've got to pull the trigger.

But that means that they think that Newton or Gabbert is going to be the next Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, or Tom Brady.

Probably not.

The best thing about Carolina's situation is that they are so bad (you don't get the first overall pick because you're good) no matter who they take, it's most likely a position of need.

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