2011 NFL Draft: Focus On The Positives.

There's a lot of quarterback talk flying around and everyone's got an opinion. I think it's safe to say that a lot of the time, it's a merciless brutalizing of a given draft prospect. It's not like it's unjustified; if any franchise has a right to be skeptical and cynical about quarterbacks, it's us. We've suffered through a lot of terrible quarterback play in the few short years that Steve's been gone, but at the same time, chances are we're going to end up with one of these throwers of dead pig in the draft and it's high time we start forcing ourselves to like them, no matter how much they remind us of Kyle Boller

Now, I don't think I'm qualified to be giving some super-duper in depth analysis on any of these guys, leave that to Kiper McShay SuperHorn, but what I can do is throw off some things that strike me as positives with each one, just to help everyone look on the bright side of life!

Jake Locker, Washington: Yes, he's got accuracy issues, and yes, he plays in a system  black hole of suck where gramsey would've been his best receiver, but that argument only goes so far with me. He was playing in a decidedly weak conference in terms of the defenses he regularly went against (with some obvious exceptions) that ranged from average to crummy. However, I really like the idea of an athletic quarterback and Locker is a notoriously hard worker, so I know that even if he fails, he busted his butt the whole time. Somehow that makes it better. He seems like an OK dude, I think I'd like him enough to wash the taste of...you know what, no. Not. Touching. This one. Is he the poor man's Tim Tebow? Perhaps. I don't really know what that means though, I was just trying to draw parallels to some other QB's in the league that can run a little bit. Fun fact: gramsey actually was Locker's number one receiver last year. 

Blaine Gabbert, Missouri: From the outside, this guy looks like the one. He's got the intangibles, he's a hard worker, he certainly looks the part, and he's got a pretty nice arm. His main knock was that he put up roughly the same numbers Locker did in a pass-happy offense, but it's clear that all the tools are there and hey, everyone's got their cross to bear! He's a good enough runner to escape trouble and a pretty decent passer from what his workouts have shown. I don't know how he is when the pocket's collapsing, but I've been told he's not so hot. I don't know what it is, but I can't see him doing poorly in the NFL. Worst case scenario: Gabbert starts off like Jason Campbell did with the poor line play, crappy receivers, and constantly changing play-books that lead to very mediocre results and then resurfaces in Minnesota or something as a serviceable NFL starter. Call it a premonition or something. 

Cam Newton, Auburn: The catalyst for debates all over MCM, it's not a stretch to say that Cam Newton has at some point been more of a spark for debate than politics and religion combined (which, come to think of it, is probably a good thing because all of those things are awful topics for a football website). I'll be the one to say it; I think Cam Newton has a pretty damn good chance to succeed. There doesn't seem to be much wrong with his delivery, he just needs to keep working on the short/intermediate and he should be fine. This is a guy who completed nearly 67% of his passes in college and was a threat to run it to the house every time he took off. While I think it's extremely unlikely that he falls to the Titans at 8, I wouldn't be too upset with the pick. This guy can be Mike Vick plus 40 pounds. Or he could be Heath Shuler, you know, either one. 

Ryan Mallett, Arkansas: Everyone's favorite (alleged...) crack-fiend making an appearance in the first round? Still? Yeah, I think so, the fact that he could easily be the best QB to come out of this draft will cause someone to pull the trigger on him, if it's the Titans then we're looking at an extremely wide open play-book that features a lot of go routes for Kenny Britt and some wide open running lanes for Chris Johnson. Well, he's a statue in the pocket, but when you have 8 of your 11 guys in coverage, he's not really going to have to move very often. 

Andy Dalton, TCU: I mean yeah, why not? Stranger things have happened. Dalton definitely seems to be the redheaded stepchild of the bunch (pun definitely intended) amongst the experts, but I know how high everyone is on this guy, I can't just leave him off. What Dalton lacks in star power he makes up for with his smarts and pinpoint accuracy. I heard the pre-shoulder surgery Drew Brees comparison a couple of days ago and lol'd heartily, but I'm not gonna lie, I kinda see it. I maintain that he's kind of a reach at 8, but if they end up taking him I'd probably be pretty stoked just to have the guy. 

So come on folks! Lighten up a bit! 

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