Five questions about the NFL draft

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:27 PM ET

TORONTO - 1. Is there a franchise quarterback in this draft?

Four quarterbacks tend to stand out in this draft class. Auburnís Cam Newton (6-6, 248), Missouriís Blaine Gabbert (6-5, 240), Washingtonís Jake Locker (6-3, 230), and Arkansasí Ryan Mallett (6-7, 238). They range from extremely athletic (Newton) to average athleticism (Mallett). They have all had varying degrees of success. The interview process, more than anything they will show on the field over the next four days at this Combine will dictate the order in which they go.

2. Is A.J. Green, the No. 1 rated wide receiver in the draft, a game changer and worthy of a top 10 pick?

Green has all been sliding down the mock draft boards of late but he remains without question the No. 1 receiver on the board. Would a team like Cleveland, bereft of quality pass catchers, use its No. 6 pick on a guy like Green? Green is a special talent. Thatís almost unanimous? But in a draft year where there is so much talent at other key positions will Green fall based solely on the position he plays?

3. In a draft deep in defensive lineman is Nick Fairley of Auburn the king of the crop?

Fairley is at one or two on most draft boards but not everyone believes heís even the best player at his position. Both Warren Sapp and Mike Mayock of NFL network prefer Marcell Dareus of Alabama to the sack master from Auburn. Sapp says itís because Fairley doesnít use his hands and leans on his size and atheltic ability to overpower linemen. Mayock just sees Dareus as the better long-term prospect.

4. Is Mark Ingram the real deal?

Itís a draft weak in standout running backs but Ingram is the one whose name seems to pop up in the first round most often. Ingram is telling all who will listen that he has slimmed down considerably for the Combine. Supposedly that is to better his 40 time and it can push him up the first round ladder. Most though still view Ingram as part of a backfield by committee rather than the plough horse in a one-man running attack. Is that first round worthy?

5. How high will CB Patrick Peterson go in the first round?

Peterson, like Ingram has a considerable edge going into the Combine on the next best player at his position (cornerback) which would appear to be Prince Amukamara of Nebraska. But could, as some have speculated, Peterson actually make the jump and go first overall? Heís talking about getting his 40 time down to 4.2. Would that be enough? In a league where Darrelle Revis has pushed corners into the star realm normally reserved for quarterbacks and running backs, is it time a corner went first overall?


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