For the past few weeks, all we've talking about is which quarterback the Panthers intend on taking in the fast approaching NFL draft. There have been many signals pointing to Rivera falling in love with Newton and wanting to take him 1st overall. Others say that Blaine Gabbert is the sound choice at quarterback, though we still haven't seen him throw, questions about his arm strength and accuracy will all be answered today at Missouri's pro-day. With Carolina also looking at Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett it seems the Panthers are doing their homework on every possible option in this draft to try to bring some life back into the most important position, and need, for this team. I honestly believe that the name called on draft day will either be Newton or Gabbert seeing as they offer the most upside of the QBs in this years draft. But many questions still remain: Do we go into 2011 with Newton, Clausen, and Pike? Do we sign a veteran FA to help guide our young QBs? Do we put Pike on the practice squad and re-sign Matt Moore? Whether we draft Gabbert or Newton I believe there is one option that we really MUST consider and that is signing a Veteran quarterback that can mentor and guide either of these young QBs through their first steps into the NFL. And with Newton being compared to a hybrid Roethlisberger/Vick, and Gabbert being quite a mobile quarterback himself there is one QB that I believe could be the best of both worlds to mentor these guys. That quarterback, to me, is Donovan McNabb!
McNabb was one of the more prolific passers of the past decade. Taking the Eagles to five Championship games and a Super Bowl where they lost to the Patriots. Now that is the model of consistency that Newton or Gabbert could definitely learn from. In his prime McNabb was a perfect balance of pocket passer/mobile scrambler and could very proficiently hit receivers deep in stride, extend the play if the pocket had too much pressure, and scramble for positive yardage if the pocket completely collapsed. McNabb spent the last season with the Redskins and had a less than ideal season. He is at odds with the coaching staff and Shanahan is not completely sure that he can be their franchise guy anymore. McNabb would be the perfect mentor for either Newton or Gabbert and, in my opinion, still has plenty left in the tank to be a very reliable stop gap while we groom our next quarterback of the future. What do you guys think? Would you want the Panthers to trade for McNabb to be a stop gap/mentor to our new QB?