2011 NFL mock drafts are all the rage right now, and while I promise not to inundate you with a post on every mock being thrown out there, I always find it worthwhile to bring up the work of the fine folks over at the National Football Post.
We've been down this road with Bunting before. All the way back in mid-November, when the Bills were still in contention for the first overall pick, Bunting was linking Newton to Buffalo - even if the Bills ended up with that top pick.
Bunting's rationale for projecting Newton to Buffalo is quite similar to the rationale he put forth in November: he likes Newton's ability to "spin the football" through the unpredictable winds of Ralph Wilson Stadium, and he likes Newton's ability to extend plays under pressure behind the Bills' "poor" (his word) offensive line.
Newton has certainly seen his NFL draft stock rise in 2011. A virtual unknown in the pre-season thanks to his being kicked out of Florida and later landing at Auburn, Newton's incredible, Heisman-winning season - which included 48 total touchdowns on his part - was marred only by a pay-for-play scandal surrounding him and his father, Cecil.
GM Buddy Nix and head coach Chan Gailey will both undoubtedly like Newton's raw physical tools, but these are two men who value intangibles, intelligence and character, as well - and in particular at the quarterback position. For those reasons, it's quite possible that they rank other prospects ahead of Newton come April.