Mel Kiper released his final 2011 NFL mock draft in advance of tonight's 2011 NFL Draft and he succumbed to the temptation of a man named Blaine. After weeks and weeks of predicting LSU CB Patrick Peterson to the 49ers, the coiffed one has changed his mind, bumping Peterson up to the Cardinals at number five and projecting Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert to the 49ers:
I picked Peterson to fall to this point in my previous mock draft, but I don't think he gets there this time around. He offers too much trade leverage. This time, I think Gabbert lands here. While Jim Harbaugh has taken the dignified route and stated how much he wants to work with Alex Smith, I think it's pretty fair to assume the Niners will be looking for a long-term solution for their new coach. Harbaugh's track record says he should have confidence he can turn Gabbert's solid skill-set into something at the NFL level. Like Newton, this isn't a quarterback you want starting games in 2011, but if San Francisco is patient, Gabbert is a player it can build with.
I know some folks are sold on Gabbert, but aside from my football-related questions, I just wonder if I can get behind a person named Blaine. It seems like the name of somebody from All My Children or The Young and the Restless. He would seem to be best served as the quarterback of a new LA franchise. And if this post is violating the personal attacks on players, well I guess it's worth it.
But in all seriousness, I just don't know if this pick happens. I say I don't know instead of I don't think because at the end of the day, what do we really know about Jim Harbaugh's QB preference, or Trent Baalke's thoughts on guys like Prince Amukamara or Robert Quinn or Cameron Jordan, or anything really. That's kind of a bogus line on my part, but the front office has remained as quiet as possible thus far. It makes things all the more interesting heading into today's draft. And also a little nerve-wracking....
For those wondering, Kiper's top six are: 1) Cam Newton, 2) Von Miller, 3) Marcell Dareus, 4) A.J. Green, 5) Patrick Peterson, 6) Julio Jones.