2011 NFL Mock Draft: Patrick Peterson And The Blaine Gabbert Connection

SB Nation released their latest 2011 NFL Mock Draft and once again they have Patrick Peterson slipping down to the 49ers with the seventh overall pick. As they suggest, the 49ers would likely be gleeful at this sort of development:

7. San Francisco 49ers: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU. A very large number of people believe that Peterson is the best player available this year. He certainly has the fewest question marks. Should he slide this far into Round 1, San Francisco would sprint gleefully to the podium to pick him.

The key once again is the inclusion of Cameron Newton and Blaine Gabbert. If two quarterbacks can slide into the top six picks, the 49ers would find themselves in a rather enviable position. The team would have some quality talent on the board and the option to either grab one of them or deal down for a small bundle of picks.

Where this gets a little more interesting is this Thursday. We've been going through the various NFL Pro Days at college campuses and this Thursday March 17 is the Missouri Pro Day. This is significant because Gabbert did not throw during the NFL Combine. He'll be in a relatively controlled environment during his Pro Day, but it will at least give scouts a bit more to look at when evaluating him. I doubt he throws too poorly on his Pro Day, but a poor performance could be just enough to drop him out of the top six. A strong performance will not hurt his stock but I'm curious how much weight it would be given since it is a Pro Day and not the Combine.

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