Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson believes LSU CB Patrick Peterson is the best player in the 2011 draft, but that the Panthers will and should draft a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick.
"They have to get a quarterback," says Williamson. "Apologies to Patrick Peterson, who I think the world of." Williamson points to a good situation for a QB to be brought along in Carolina; the Panthers have a strong run game, a formidable offensive line, and solid young receiver prospects. He says he'd take Blaine Gabbert because "there's less downside" than Cam Newton.
NFL Network's Mike Lombardi believes that Mizzou QB Blaine Gabbert can "seal" the No. 1 pick in the draft with an "impressive" Thursday Pro Day.
Gabbert has an edge over Cam Newton in terms of character and off-field history, and his work ethic has drawn comparisons to Matt Ryan's. A recent SI.com report, however, stated that the Panthers' coaching staff "doesn't really love" Gabbert, preferring Newton. We have Newton No. 1 in our latest mock, but the top-five picks are as fluid as they've ever been this time of year.
No one knows what the heck is going to happen.