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Blaine Gabbert is the top QB in 2011 class

Cam Newton may be better in a few years, but Blaine Gabbert is this class' top QB right now. US Presswire

Adam Schefter often answers reader questions in his blog. Got a query of your own? Submit it here.

Q: KC Joyner wrote an article last week about how Ryan Mallett is the No. 1 QB prospect ahead of Blaine Gabbert. I kind of agree that Gabbert's hype has come out of nowhere and Mallett has better physical skills. Do you agree with Joyner?

-- Roger (Conn.)

A: Not this time, Roger. KC knows what he's talking about it and his opinion is reliable, but I've had too many smart teams tell me that they believe Gabbert is the top quarterback in the class. One person at Gabbert's pro day last week emailed me after his workout. He wrote of Gabbert: "Not as good as Sam Bradford. Better arm than Matt Ryan. He is like Stafford, but smarter and a better athlete, though his arm is not as good as Stafford's. He is the best QB in this draft. Good, smart kid that will only get better and better. Some GM will savor him for the next 10 years."

Now again, this is not to say Mallett also won't be successful in the pros; I like Mallett. And this is not to say that ultimately, Cam Newton might turn out to be the best QB in this draft class. But based on the dozen or so people I've spoken to about this over the past few weeks, Gabbert is the top QB right now.


Q: Adam, do you think the Atlanta Falcons will draft a WR in the first round to take some pressure off of Roddy White or will they look elsewhere with their first pick?

-- Adam (Pa.)

A: I don't see them taking a wide receiver in Round 1, Adam, but it also depends on who is available. Few people would have thought that Dez Bryant would have slid where he did last season, and the Dallas Cowboys moved up to grab him -- so anything can happen. But in a perfect world, I see Atlanta going with an offensive lineman, a linebacker or even another cornerback. But it's hard to see a wide receiver in Round 1 -- just doesn't seem like the style of Atlanta's general manager Thomas Dimitroff.


Q: With the new kickoff rules that the NFL is implementing, which teams will be most affected? I would say the Chicago Bears are No. 1, since they relied so heavily on great starting field position. What do you think?

-- Sarah (Calif.)

A: Sarah, the rules have not been approved yet -- that's what this week's owners meetings in New Orleans are for. Coaches will be told about the proposed rule changes Monday, and a vote will be taken Tuesday morning. If it gets the necessary votes, it will pass. While it would hinder the Bears some, Devin Hester is more dangerous on punts than kicks, and this rule change -- in which kickoffs would be moved up from the 30-yard line to the 35, and in which touchbacks would be moved to the 25-yard line instead of the 20 -- would impact kicks more than punts. So it wouldn't help the Bears, but I don't know how much it would hurt them, either.


Q: Adam, my St. Louis Rams made a huge turnaround last season thanks to Bradford. I know that it seems they are targeting Julio Jones at No. 14, but who else do you think they would go after to improve the team?

-- Tyson (Houston)

A: I'm not convinced they're targeting Jones at No. 14, Tyrone. That's the popular thinking, but the popular thinking is seldom right when it comes to the draft. For starters, many are skeptical that Jones will even be available at No. 14. Then there is the fact that there are going to be so many free agent wide receivers that it's possible the Rams could address another area before they address wide receiver in Round 1 of the draft. The team could use another cornerback, another offensive lineman and another running back. And yes, it does have a big hole at wide receiver. But the Rams will find one in free agency whenever it begins, and they also will get one somewhere high in the draft, but not necessarily in Round 1.