Needy teams shouldn't wait for second round to draft a QB

Listening to at least two team executives and multiple draft analysts, there seems to be a growing expectation of a first-round run on quarterbacks in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Put another way, if a team has interest in selecting a quarterback, it might not be able to wait until the second round to do so.

The troubling part of that assessment for many teams in the market for a signal-caller is that this shapes up as a quarterback class with enough question marks from top to bottom to create more comfort for clubs to take one in the second round or lower.

If Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik and Tennessee Titans vice president of player personnel Ruston Webster are right, such opportunities figure to be minimal.

Dominik recently was quoted as saying he believes as many as six quarterbacks could be taken in the first round. Webster recently commented that five could be gone within the first 32 picks. Other draft analysts share that view.

If you're a team with a top-five or top-10 pick, you might be OK with taking one of the two quarterbacks widely expected to be chosen in that vicinity: Auburn's Cam Newton and Missouri's Blaine Gabbert.

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But if you're considering Washington's Jake Locker, Arkansas' Ryan Mallett, Nevada's Colin Kaepernick or Florida State's Christian Ponder, you might not have the luxury of waiting until the second round to pick one of them.

There is rampant expectation among NFL player-personnel types that multiple trades will be made specifically for teams wanting to move up or down in the first round for a quarterback.

For a team that wants a quarterback, the rule of thumb in this year's draft might very well be: You snooze, you lose.

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