Mel Kiper was just on ESPN Radio's Mike and Mike show talking about the NFL draft prospects of quarterbacks this year. I'm paraphrasing here, but this is what he had to say:
- Cam Newton should be about the 7th rated overall prospect, but the demand for QB's, the lack of Andrew Luck, and the possibility of a rookie wage scale could push him up to #3. (He thinks the Panthers should give Claussen another shot this year rather than drafting Newton.)
- Blaine Gabbert is clearly the #2 rated QB and should go by the middle of the first round at the latest. (Why have I barely heard of this guy and he's a top pick?)
- He has Ryan Mallett's stock falling pretty fast, even out of the first round.
- He also has never liked Jake Locker as a first round pick.
- The guy who he thinks is rising on draft boards, and who he could even see being taken ahead of Locker and Mallett, is none other than Ricky Stanzi. I would never picture Stanzi leading an NFL team as a 2nd round pick.....wow.
(Note - when considering the credibility of Mel Kiper in 2011 please note that he had Obi Ezeh listed as a draft prospect at MLB for much of the 2010 season.)