Should he declare for the 2011 NFL Draft, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is the clear, consensus No. 1 pick in the draft. Looking beyond Luck, and picking through the 2011 NFL mock draft, it’s easy to see why this isn’t the year to find a quarterback of the future. Of the top picks — Luck, Cam Newton, Jake Locker, Ryan Mallett — only one, Luck, doesn’t have serious questions.
The order these quarterbacks are taken in the latest mock draft breaks down like this.
No. 1: Andrew Luck: Obvious choice here. If Luck comes out early, the Carolina Panthers will quickly snatch him up. He’s just that good.
No. 12: Cam Newton: Newton had a stellar, Heisman-winning season at Auburn in his first year. With questions surrounding his eligibility, there’s little doubt he’d come out. But is his athletic ability, playing against college competition, masking deficiencies that will show at the NFL Level?
No. 21: Ryan Mallett: A system quarterback is how Mallett was describe. He’s got a strong arm and passes the eye-test, but has seemingly fallen off the radar.
N/A: Jake Locker: Not in the first round right now. I’d expect that to change as Locker impresses at workouts. Again, Locker is a physical specimen, but there are questions about his ability to read a defense and decision making. The intangibles are there, but is the ability to be a quarterback at the next level?
Stay tuned as we run down the mock draft in the next few months ahead of the true NFL Draft in April.