Mel Kiper's 2011 Mock Draft Includes Three Quarterbacks In Top 12

We heard from Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News who had five quarterbacks drafted in the top 12 and now we'll hear from ESPN's Mel Kiper who has just three quarterbacks in the top 12. 

Kiper has QB Cam Newton going No. 1 overall to the Carolina Panthers like the rest of the world. At No.7, he has the San Francisco 49ers selecting QB Blaine Gabbert and at No.12 he has the Minnesota Vikings rolling the dice with QB Jake Locker.

Kiper doesn't have the Cincinnati Bengals or Arizona Cardinals taking a quarterback at the fourth and fifth picks, respectively. That's a slight surprise as many people think one of those teams will go with Gabbert. However, his reasoning for the picks he did make -- WR A.J. Green to the Bengals and CB Patrick Peterson to the Cardinals -- makes sense.

Also notable is that he has CB Prince Amukamara falling farther than previously thought -- all the way to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the 20th pick. Many mock drafts over the past few weeks and months have him as a top 10 pick. 

One of the biggest fallers in the draft is DE Da'Quan Bowers. Once thought of as a potential No. 1 overall pick, Kiper has him going 24th to the New Orleans Saints. Some questions about his knee have killed his draft stock.

As Kiper suggests, it will take just one trade to completely throw months of mock drafts off track. 

The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft starts at 8 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, April 28th and SB Nation has everything you need to prepare for it - NFL mock drafts, draft projections, scouting reports, the full NFL draft order and more. Check it all out at SB Nation's NFL Draft Hub and our NFL Draft blog Mocking the Draft.

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