|2011 NFL Mock Draft 5.0|
|Everyone knows the NFL is a quarterbacks league, but maybe never more so than in 2011. A little draft history might be in store this year at the position.|
NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock last week told me that eight quarterbacks might be taken in the opening three rounds, something that has never happened in the event's 75-year existence. Seven QBs have been selected in the first three rounds several times, the most recent being 2006.
Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert, Andy Dalton, Jake Locker, Christian Ponder, Ryan Mallett, and Colin Kaepernick should be the first seven passers off the board in some order, and if Iowa's Rick Stanzi cracks the top three rounds as well, we'll have a record.
Little wonder. With at least 10 teams having legitimate quarterback needs, and no free agency or trading period to precede the draft in this lockout-impacted year, there's only one way (at the moment) to acquire another option at the game's most pivotal position.
Reflecting that anticipated run on quarterbacks, I project four QBs making the opening round for the first time in my 2011 mock efforts. I've got Newton and Gabbert switching places at No. 1 Carolina and No. 3 Buffalo, No. 25 Seattle still taking TCU's Dalton, and I'm playing my hunch that Minnesota will trade back into the round to grab Locker at No. 28.
But I've still got two more weeks -- and two more mocks -- to change my mind.
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