2011 NFL Mock Draft: Mel Kiper Praises Cam Newton, Picks Apart Jake Locker

Mel Kiper hasn't released a second 2011 NFL mock draft since dropping his first version on the world back in January, but he has made changes to his "Big Board" and picked apart some of the top prospects recently. On Friday, it was Cam Newton and Jake Locker in his cross-hairs, but both received strikingly different reviews. Newton, fresh off his workout in front of the media was praised by Kiper while Locker, fresh off a less than Stellar Senior Bowl performance, was picked apart.

Here's the video from ESPN.

Kiper opines Newton could find himself in the top-10, if not the top-five. It's the intangibles -- and the football smarts -- that will determine how high Newton goes, according to Kiper. While Newton's physical skills are clearly outstanding, it's going to take working through the interview process for teams in the top-10 to be completely sold on spending a high pick on the former Auburn quarterback.

Locker, on the other hand, drew a less than glowing review. After Todd McShay dropped Locker all the way down to the No. 25 spot, headed to the Seahawks, Kiper said he agreed with the assessment, and said Locker is falling right out of the first round. Kiper cited Locker's completion percentage and disappointing senior season while saying it's possible Locker falls to the second round. At the same time, Kiper said Locker going in the second round isn't necessarily a bad thing and doesn't mean he'll never make it in the NFL.

For more on the draft, check out our 2011 NFL mock draft StoryStream.

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