The 2011 NFL Draft is just over one month away and it's becoming clear that a quarterback will likely go No. 1 overall to the Carolina Panthers. Will it be Auburn's or will Missouri's Blaine Gabbert surpass him? In Brian Galliford's latest 2011 NFL Mock Draft for SB Nation, the Auburn star goes first overall to the Panthers, seeing that as a "smart money" bet right now.
If that does happen, does that create an opening for the Broncos to shop the No. 2 overall pick to a team that wants to draft Blaine Gabbert? Buffalo at No. 3 could always wait it out, but the Bengals at No. 4 could be interested, as could San Francisco at No. 7 and Tennessee at No. 8. But the Broncos look more likely to keep the pick, and Alabama's Marcell Dareus goes to the Broncos in this mock draft. He may be the safest of the entire defensive linemen pool who could go in the top 10 (Da'Quan Bowers, Nick Fairley, Robert Quinn and even Aldon Smith).
Where does that leave Blaine Gabbert? The Bills go with LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson, who may just be the top overall talent in the draft with the most immediate impact. That leaves Gabbert to fall to the Bengals with the fourth pick, since the Carson Palmer situation leaves the team without much at the position.
The third quarterback taken in this mock is Washington's Jake Locker, who goes to the Vikings at No. 12. The Broncos have scheduled a private workout with Locker (and they were at Missouri's Pro Day for Gabbert and Aldon Smith).
The NFL Draft runs April 28-30. Who will the Broncos select?