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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Cam Newton To The Vikings, Blaine Gabbert 1st Overall

Two roads diverged at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. Elite quarterback prospects can not travel both, so a decision had to be made. The road less traveled by quarterbacks at the Combine; participating in the throwing drills and giving yourself a chance to show off your talent, but also a chance to fail in front of scouts. Then the one far more worn; where prospects elect to play it safe and not throw for scouts; resting on their laurels from the previous season.

Blaine Gabbert took the road more traveled, and Cam Newton the road far less; and in the latest edition of the 2011 NFL Mock Draft at SB Nation, that appears to have made all the difference (English Major'd). Gabbert, who didn't take a chance to potentially fail climbs all the way up to first overall to the Panthers; while Newton, who didn't look particularly impressive during his throwing drills, falls to twelfth to the Vikings. Here is their rationale for the pick.

Quarterback is a need. Newton has immense potential. Leslie Frazier is an excellent coach that can handle challenging personalities, and offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave has done great work with young quarterbacks. This seems like an ideal fit if Newton lasts this long.

Newton would have been much higher in this Mock Draft if he hadn't chosen to participate in the throwing drills at the Combine. I guess NFL talent evaluators aren't really handing out A's for effort these days. As for Newton's fit on the Vikings, I think it could be a good one. The Vikings need a quarterback and Newton has the talent to become the best player in this draft. He'll need a lot of work, but if the Vikings are willing to be patient, than he could pay off in the end.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.