Mike Mayock is high on him. Others, including NFL scouts, are not. But if your team is looking for a prototypical, developmental quarterback in the 2011 NFL Draft, Blaine Gabbert should still be your guy. In the latest 2011 NFL Mock Draft at SBNation.com, I've made Gabbert the Buffalo Bills' pick at No. 3 overall.
We know why the Bills are consistently linked not to Gabbert, but to Cam Newton: Chan Gailey's comments about a new wave of quarterbacks bred at the high school and college levels. Newton is a rare physical specimen, in that he has the physical prowess of a classic statuesque pocket passer, and the athletic ability of a much smaller, quicker player. As a result, NFL experts are agog at the idea - justifiably so - of teaming Newton with Gailey.
Here's the thing, though: it's not 2026, and the best NFL offenses still have elite passers, not athletes. Gabbert's upside is higher as a passer than Newton's, and he also offers a degree of athleticism and out-of-pocket ability rarely seen in a player his size. Likewise, the Bills offer the same opportunities to Gabbert that they do Newton: a chance to sit and learn behind Ryan Fitzpatrick, and a coach that will accentuate the player's strengths.
I don't think it's a lock that the Bills will eventually favor Gabbert over Newton, and they certainly haven't made that final determination this early in the pre-draft process. Just don't discount Gabbert quite yet.