If you have read any of my stuff in the past you know that I think Newton will be an excellent pro. That part I have made clear. I do see the red flags that scouts and coaches talk about. Newton, at some point, will have to deal further with the pay for play accusations. The franchise that takes him has to be prepared for that as much as Newton does. If I were a general manager I would take that risk, even at number one overall.
Gabbert is considered, by virtually everybody, to be the number two quarterback prospect in the draft. Some argue that he should be the first quarterback off the board. I don't see it. I see Chase Daniels putting up better numbers than Gabbert in the same offense. I see game tape. Gabbert has the physical skills that scouts like but show me where they have translated to outstanding football production. I've gone with the talking heads on this one, I have to assume some of them are better informed than myself, but I'm not sure Gabbert should even be the second quarterback drafted.
-A.J. Green and Julio Jones
I have been a big fan of Jones during his college days. I will admit to seeing more tape on Jones than Green. Some debate has been raised about which of these guys should be the first wide receiver taken this year, so I did some research. Both of these guys look like they could be great, but I would take Green if they were both sitting there available. Green has some out of this world talent going on and the work ethic to back it up.
A few months ago Fairley was getting hyped as a potential top pick. That noise has died down and most people seem to agree that Marcell Dareus is the best defensive tackle available. I would have to agree that Fairley has potential but I see him as a huge risk. If my team was looking for a defensive tackle, I would pass on Fairley. There are safer prospects at that position this year, I would take Corey Liuget before Fairley if my job were depending on it.
The conspiracy theorist in me thinks all the negative talk about Locker has to be coming from teams who want him to slide in the draft. I have read articles, from people who consider themselves educated on this subject, suggesting that he may end up playing safety in the NFL. Locker is going to be a very good professional quarterback and should be taken in the top half of the first round. He will be a steal if he's not.
Considering the quality depth at defensive end, and the legitimate long term concerns about Bowers knee, I would remove him from my board completely.
Dalton is starting to get a little more love as we get closer to draft day. If I'm looking for a quarterback in this draft, I would take Dalton before guys like Mallett, Ponder, Kaepernick and Gabbert. That's right, I think Andy Dalton will be a better professional quarterback than Blaine Gabbert.
Houston is being viewed as a late first to early second round guy. I don't think he is getting enough respect for the potential he possesses as an edge rusher. NFL teams that run 3-4 defenses are always looking for that 4-3 defensive end who can make the switch to outside linebacker. They draft these guys early and often with mixed results. Houston made the switch in college with very good results and gave scouts a year of game tape to evaluate. I think he will end up being one of the top pass rushers to come out of this draft.
-Mark Ingram and Mikel LeShoure
Short and sweet on this one. Both will probably be good professionals. I would not hesitate to take LeShoure over Ingram. Call it a hunch.