The latest SB Nation NFL mock draft is out, and there's a new projected No. 1 pick for the Carolina Panthers. Because the likely No. 1 pick, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, decided to return to school, the Panthers will now need to go in a different direction. SB Nation's Brian Galliford projects Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers as Carolina's selection. Bowers is powerful pass rusher who could emerge as the team's new version of Julius Peppers. Under this scenario, the Panthers would likely stick with Jimmy Clausen as their starting quarterback.
More of the same is projected for the Denver Broncos at No. 2. Patrick Peterson, a cornerback from LSU, is the Broncos' selection for the second week in a row. He might be the best player available with Bowers off the board, though there's always the possibility of signing free agent cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. However, free agency's start date is unsettled with the looming battle over a new collective bargaining agreement.
With Luck out of the draft, who becomes the top quarterback in the draft? Well, this mock draft has the San Francisco 49ers selecting Auburn's Cameron Newton. New head coach Jim Harbaugh would be making a splash with Newton, but will it work out?
Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert declared for the draft and could be a target of the Washington Redskins, according to this mock. Gabbert? McNabb? Grossman? That seems to be a bigger conundrum than the Denver Broncos have with Tim Tebow.
Colorado Buffaloes cornerback Jimmy Smith sneaks into the back of the first round, going No. 32 to the New England Patriots. Can teammate Nate Solder fin himself in the first round come April?