Newton going No. 1 sets different tone for latest mock

All it takes is a couple of weeks, a few pro days, some personal interviews, and further film review to adjust some of the thinking teams start doing as we get closer to the NFL draft. We're about a month out, so the confluence of misinformation is being dealt hard.

What is becoming more apparent is that the more people who make actual football decisions perform their due diligence on Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, the more he seems to be liked. As I've written before, people are now sorting through the character concerns and starting to pay more attention to the football player.

I've spoken with too many people who say they're not overly worried about Newton's persona and ability to lead, and that his potential to play well early and for a longtime is very enticing. With the momentum he's gained, Newton enters my top 10 in this mock draft after I previously had him slipping to Minnesota at No. 12.

In fact, I've got him going No. 1 overall to Carolina and, as a result, this mock looks quite different than my first -- especially because Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert slides out of the top spot.

Two developments this week could also affect things moving forward: North Carolina's pro day on Thursday and the feeling teams take away regarding defensive end Robert Quinn and, maybe more importantly, defensive end Da'Quan Bowers' private pro day on Friday at Clemson.

Bowers was once mentioned as a possible No. 1 overall pick, and if he has a strong pro day that he can follow up with strong private workouts and solid interviews, his stock could rise drastically. Most important for him is how he checks out on follow-up medical evaluations and how his arthroscopically repaired knee looks for the projected long haul.

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