Before Andrew Luck decided he was going to remain at Stanford for his senior year, he was regarded as the likely No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft. It was largely assumed that the Carolina Panthers would draft Luck and build their future around him. Now that Luck has eliminated himself from the 2011 draft, it's anybody's guess as to who the Panthers will draft with their first pick. The four big names are A.J. Green, Da'Quan Bowers, Nick Fairley and Patrick Peterson. Four different draft analysts may pick four different players for Carolina to select.
There may be a new school of thought, though. Will Carolina's need for a quarterback outweigh their need for a No. 1 receiver, a pass rushing defensive end, a dominant defensive lineman or a shut down cornerback? Many believe that the Panthers may pass up on the "top-four" to select Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft.
Now, I don't know much about Blaine Gabbert (other than the fact that he doesn't have time to bleed and he thinks chewing tobacco makes you a sexual Tyrannosaurus..... GET IT?) but some draft analysts make a strong case for him to be selected first.
Quarterbacks have gone No. 1 overall eight out of the past 10 years. CAA, which represents Gabbert, has represented seven of the past eight overall No. 1 picks. Despite playing in a spread offense at Missouri, Gabbert is the top-rated quarterback and is the kind of player Carolina could sell to its fans.