Mel Kiper's mock draft 2.0 has some finally amazing news, Cam Newton has remarkably shot up to his projected #3 overall pick. Which, if close to accurate means something amazing: the Redskins won't even have the chance to draft the bust-in-waiting. I never rule out anything with this team, like trading up, but realistically if Cam Newton goes in the top 9 picks, he will not be a Redskin next year. Buffalo taking another bust is also hysterical.
Here is Kiper's new Redskins pick:
* Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
Gabbert might be more ready than Newton to read defenses at the NFL level, and as a quarterback with very good accuracy, instincts and size, he could come into a franchise in Washington that might need him early. Gabbert is a guy whose stock rose a lot this year and will be under the microscope during the workout process. But what he doesn't give you is a quarterback who elicits a wide range of opinions or the boom-or-bust concerns many have with Newton and Ryan Mallett.
I'm still not happy, but this is progress. The key metrics on QB prospects are games started and completion percentage. His career completion percentage is 60.9% and he has started 26 games in college. These are solid numbers, but not spectacular, and not worthy of the #10 pick. If he played 1 more year at Missouri and continued his upward trend in completion %, Gabbert would be worth that #10 pick. I know this sounds ridiculous to non-stat people, but it's a law or something. As a comparison, he has pretty similar numbers to Ryan Mallett right now. In short, Gabbert is an NFL QB, but not a star, and definitely not worth the money he would get at the #10 pick. In other news, Andrew Luck is going to be an absurdly good prospect next year.
Who do I prefer? Of the choices available in Kiper's mock, I like Robert Quinn and Julio Jones as possibilities, but my preference is still for this team to trade down. Not only could we use the extra picks, but the biggest needs for this team are on the interior of the o-line. Once workouts start, hopefully the Redskins will tip their hand, showing they are not interested in a QB. Tipping their hand may be bad for business with other teams, but the anxiety reduction for us fans is more than worth it.
(Image courtesy of isportsweb.com)