NFL Mock Draft IV Has Jim Harbaugh’s 49ers Taking Quarterback Blaine Gabbert, Redskins Taking Cam Newton


NFL Mock Draft IV Has Jim Harbaugh's 49ers Taking Quarterback Blaine Gabbert, Redskins Taking Cam Newton This might be the most important week of Cam Newton's life. As the combine kicks off Thursday in Indianapolis, maybe as much as three-fourths of the league will be eying the Auburn quarterback, who could be a top-three pick or could fall as low as the second round.

Newton's athleticism will surely wow the draft scouts, but his interview process — with his smarts on the field and his intelligence off the field both in question — will make the difference between millions and millions of dollars. Check where Newton is now, and then see where he winds up in the next few mock drafts, which will be a direct correlation with his performance over the next week.

Let's open up Mock Draft IV, the fourth edition of 13 mock drafts that will run every Thursday until April 28.

1. Carolina Panthers
2010 Record: 2-14
Needs: Quarterback, defensive tackle, outside linebacker, guard, wide receiver, tight end, defensive end
The Pick: Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley
Analysis: Whether the Panthers take Fairley or Da'Quan Bowers, they'll be setting themselves up with a franchise-caliber defensive lineman. But will Cam Newton or Blaine Gabbert entice them to take a quarterback?

2. Denver Broncos
2010 Record: 4-12
Needs: Defensive end, cornerback, safety, outside linebacker
The Pick: Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers
Analysis: Bowers was a wrecking ball in the ACC, and the Broncos are in good position to select an elite defensive player with this pick.

3. Buffalo Bills
2010 Record: 4-12
Needs: Quarterback, tackle, defensive end, outside linebacker, tight end, cornerback, safety
The Pick: Texas A&M outside linebacker Von Miller
Analysis: Miller remains the most logical choice here, and if he turns into the vicious pass rusher who many expect him to be, it could add a boost to Shawne Merriman's career on the opposite side.

4. Cincinnati Bengals
2010 Record: 4-12
Needs: Defensive end, quarterback, running back, wide receiver, inside linebacker, safety
The Pick: North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn
Analysis: Quinn's stock will rise this week if he proves to teams that he was productive with his workouts during his NCAA-imposed suspension.

5. Arizona Cardinals
2010 Record: 5-11
Needs: Quarterback, left tackle, guard, outside linebacker, cornerback
The Pick: LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson
Analysis: Peterson and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie would give the Cardinals two of the most athletic young cornerbacks in the league.

6. Cleveland Browns
2010 Record: 5-11
Needs: Wide receiver, tackle, guard, defensive end, inside linebacker, outside linebacker, cornerback, safety
The Pick: Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green
Analysis: Green caught 166 passes for 2,619 yards and 23 touchdowns in three seasons at Georgia.

7. San Francisco 49ers
2010 Record: 6-10
Needs: Quarterback, outside linebacker, defensive tackle, defensive end, safety, wide receiver
The Pick: Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert
Previous Pick: Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara
Analysis: Jim Harbaugh probably has enough confidence in his coaching ability to believe the 49ers won't have the top pick in the 2012 draft, which means they'll have no shot at Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. Gabbert will be the card he is dealt.

8. Tennessee Titans
2010 Record: 6-10
Needs: Quarterback, inside linebacker, defensive end, guard
The Pick: Alabama defensive lineman Marcell Dareus
Previous Pick: Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert
Analysis: With Gabbert moving up a pick, Dareus returns to the top 10 after sliding to No. 16 in last week's mock. Dareus would play inside in Tennessee's 4-3 defense.

9. Dallas Cowboys
2010 Record: 6-10
Needs: Tackle, defensive end, guard, safety, cornerback
The Pick: Colorado tackle Nate Solder
Previous Pick: Alabama defensive lineman Marcell Dareus
Analysis: This week will likely determine the pecking order of the draft's top-three tackles — Solder, Anthony Castonzo and Tyron Smith.

10. Washington Redskins
2010 Record: 6-10
Needs: Quarterback, right tackle, wide receiver, right guard, cornerback, safety, defensive end
The Pick: Auburn quarterback Cam Newton
Previous Pick: Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett
Analysis: Many believe Newton will have a good week in Indy, and that could mean he'll be the second Auburn quarterback taken by the Redskins in the first round since 2005.

Click here for picks 11-22   |   Click here for picks 23-33

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