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ThePudge
02-02-2011, 08:17 PM
Carolina’s Dilemma: Picking First in a Weak Draft


This year the first pick in the NFL Draft belongs to the Carolina Panthers. The team formally announced that they wanted Stanford Quarterback Andrew Luck with this top selection, but when he went back to school someone made a lot of money. The John Fox era is over in Carolina, enter former Chargers Defensive Coordinator Ron Rivera. With a laundry list of needs, the Panthers could use an upgrade at almost every position. It’s up to Rivera to decide what he’s got in young Jimmy Clausen and where the first overall pick would be used. Like the Miami Dolphins in the 2008 NFL Draft, there’s no obvious #1 and no prospect in this class screams “can’t miss.”

There are many comparisons to be drawn between Carolina’s situation this season and the decision that Miami faced just three years ago. That 2008 Draft lacked a sure-fire top player and graded out fairly weak at the top. The Dolphins, under a new regime, had holes at most positions and were forced to choose from: the Quarterback (Matt Ryan), the unanimously safe offensive talent (Jake Long), and potential defensive cornerstones (Chris Long, Vernon Gholston.) Similarly, Carolina could be tempted by the Quarterback: Auburn’s Cameron Newton. They could target the safe, offensive building block: Georgia Wide Receiver A.J. Green. Defensive-minded Ron Rivera may want to add a cornerstone in that side of the ball in Auburn Tackle Nick Fairley or Clemson End Da’Quan Bowers. If the Panthers choose not to re-sign Richard Marshall or are unable to, LSU Cornerback Patrick Peterson even becomes a viable possibility.

Five positions. Five players. One pick. What’s the best business move, and is that the best move from a strictly football standpoint? The possibilities are numerous but without a viable top prospect or most glaring need, it’s a crap-shoot projecting the First Overall Pick in 2011.


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A.J. Green – Georgia
6’4Ľe 214e 4.48e
#1 Wide Receiver - #1 Overall

It's not very often that a receiver comes along that is as smooth, dynamic, and as long as A.J. Green. After coming to Georgia as a highly touted recruit, Green paired with 2009 1st Overall pick Matthew Stafford to form an electric 1-2 combination. The Bulldogs weren't shy using him as a freshman as he was featured in the deep, vertical passing game, across the middle of the field, and working the sidelines beyond the sticks. Though he came to school a bit raw, Green has obviously worked hard to become a crisp route-runner. He's developed moves to beat the jam and he shows the elusiveness after the catch needed to create big plays from next to nothing.

What makes A.J. Green a truly special prospect is his incredible catching radius, which ranked second to none at the college level. Green is sudden, he's fluid, and he's gifted in jump-ball situations, but where he really shocks you is the type of plays he can make away from his body. Simply put, if you put the ball in his zip code he's going to come down with it. He shows exceptional hands, body-control, and awareness all packaged with tremendous natural length at 6'4. Coming into college, Green was a bit slight in stature but it looks as if he's made efforts to add muscle mass and I wouldn't be shocked if he weighed in around 215 by the Combine.

This season he was once again without much in terms of a supporting cast in Georgia's offense. Freshman Quarterback Aaron Murray played admirably, but Green’s numbers would have looked absolutely gaudy had he gotten to play with him two years from now. He is the most proven receiver in the class with an extreme amount of talents and very little weakness as a player. It’s not likely that A.J. Green will get past Cincinnati at 4th Overall.

Pros
+ Catching radius is incredible; can catch anything in his area & above his head
+ Can make any play; goes vertical, across the middle, works the sideline
+ Extremely fluid; moves very smoothly, gets in and out of breaks well
+ Top body control in the air and on the sideline
+ Shows excellent awareness; very aware in the air, of defensive backs, and of his position on the field
+ Tall (6'4) and long-limbed
+ Elite deep threat; will always be a weapon over the top
+ Great concentration, tracks the ball into his hands
+ Good leaper with long arms; can really climb the ladder to bring a ball down
+ Very fast for his size; long-legged, creates separation & isn't caught from behind
+ Elusive after the catch; can make the first defender miss and spring plays
+ Beats the jam with moves, hands, and suddenness
+ Good understanding of the game; finds soft spots in the defense
+ Makes tough plays in traffic, will come down with contested balls
+ A matchup nightmare, has given Patrick Peterson all he can handle
+ Greatly improved route runner with experience in an NFL-style offense
+ Runs hard with the ball in his hands and is tough to bring down
+ Very dedicated, competitive, & smart with a desire to be the best
+ Good effort, always plays hard and is a wiling run-blocker
+ Impressive college production against SEC competition

Cons
- Slightly over-aged, will be a 23 year old rookie
- Needs to continue to add muscle to his frame
- Missed four games in 10’ due to suspension
- Leaving college without putting up 1,000 yards or 10 Td's once
- Would benefit from more reps crossing the middle of the field
- Slight injury history: hurt shoulder in 09’. Missed three games
- May not be blessed with sprinter's speed, needs to continue to develop his complete game

Why the Panthers will select A.J. Green First Overall
Carolina went and used their first pick last season (51st Overall) on Quarterback Jimmy Clausen. Though he struggled in 2010, it was apparent the team was receiving lackluster play from the Wide Receiver position. Steve Smith may not be washed up, but he’s far from a #1 receiver and his future with the team may be in jeopardy. A.J. Green may very well be the best prospect in this draft class and as close to a sure thing as you’ll have. If the team chooses to go forward with Clausen, they’ll want to do everything possible to help the young signal-caller. Green is a future top-tier receiver in the NFL and gives the Panthers a #1 target for the next decade.


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Cameron Newton – Auburn
6’5Ľe 241e 4.65e
#1 Quarterback - #4 Overall

No player burst onto the college football scene this year quite like Auburn Quarterback Cameron Newton. His name appeared in the media for all the right and wrong reasons during the season. In leading his Tigers to their first National Championship victory since 1957, Newton was named a First Team All-American and won the Heisman trophy, all despite being a subject of a serious NCAA investigation. Days after the title game, he chose to give up his eligibility and enter the 2011 NFL Draft.

The demand for a franchise Quarterback has never been greater in the NFL. Still, with the size of the investment teams must make these days when picking high in the draft, it’s important that they don’t get it wrong. The interview process may be as important for Cameron Newton as his actual workouts. Quarterback coaches and Offensive Coordinators may come to the conclusion that his flaws are all very coachable. On the other hand, some franchises will not have the patience to take eight to sixteen games to let him sit and learn.

He surely can’t be expected to be a serious running threat in the NFL; however, he has the feet to escape the pocket and pick up first downs a la Aaron Rodgers or Josh Freeman. He’ll be groomed as a pocket passer and it will take some patience from the team that drafts him. Despite a sizeable learning curve, Newton possesses all the tools to be a top-notch pro Quarterback in the mold of a young Donovan McNabb or Ben Roethlisberger.
Without a clear-cut top Quarterback in this class, Cameron Newton will be battling to be the top player selected at his position. He’s raw, inexperienced, and still a bit of a mystery character-wise; however, he is among the draft’s most naturally gifted players and perhaps one of the greatest physical specimens to ever play the position. Newton’s tremendous upside will entice Quarterback-needy teams early come April.

Pros
+ Excellent size at roughly 6’5 240; sees the field well
+ Very strong arm
+ Displays exceptional escapability
+ Throws with terrific velocity and touch
+ Tremendous athlete who is a threat to take off at any time
+ Throws well on the move
+ Great leader on the field
+ Flashes elite accuracy though inconsistency in mechanics is apparent
+ Throws a very pretty deep ball
+ Shows vision and elusiveness in the open field
+ Tough and powerful; won’t go down without a fight
+ Incredibly productive; Heisman Trophy winner
+ Very competitive and passionate
+ No injury history
+ Success came in the face of great adversity during the season

Cons
- Lacks refined footwork; too often throws flat-footed or off his back foot
- Comes from a spread-option scheme that kept reads very simple
- Only one year of starting experience
- Questionable Intelligence; could take some time to digest an NFL playbook
- Accuracy and focus can be inconsistent
- Occasionally holds the ball too long
- Will have to answer serious questions about maturity and his past
- Throwing mechanics can be improved
- Raw pocket awareness; was encouraged to use his feet a lot at Auburn
- Projects as a guy that may take time to develop as a pocket passer
- Running ability will be largely negated at the next level

Why the Panthers will select Cameron Newton First Overall
Sometimes great teams can find a way to get by with average play at the Quarterback position, but most acknowledge that a strong QB is the foundation of any perennial-playoff team. The Panthers greatest struggles a year ago stemmed from the position and Ron Rivera realizes he may not want to put all his team’s marbles in Jimmy Clausen’s basket. The team already had committed itself to a new Quarterback in Andrew Luck before he decided to go back to school, so it’s clear they see it possible to upgrade the position. Cameron Newton is this draft’s top signal-caller. He possesses elite physical tools, an impeccable college track record, and may be the charismatic face of the franchise needed to stir up excitement in Carolina. Risk factor is huge when considering Newton’s checkered past and lack of polish, but no player in this draft class offers higher reward potential for this barren offense.


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Da’Quan Bowers – Clemson
6’4e 277e 4.72e
#1 Defensive End - #3 Overall

Due to being a highly touted 5-Star recruit, the expectations for Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers were set ridiculously high. He was an elite pass-rushing recruit that looked to be the Tigers replacement for 2007 Top 5 pick Gaines Adams. For two years, Bowers struggled with his weight among other barriers that made it tough for him to get going at the college level. During his freshman and sophomore campaigns, many would describe him as pudgy, slow, or even invisible at times. It's tough to argue with those statements because Bowers, despite receiving plenty of playing time, remained relatively quiet and unproductive (at least as a pass-rusher.)

Perhaps because he realized this was more or less his "contract year," or perhaps because coaches urged him, Da'Quan lost almost twenty pounds in the offseason to get down to a much slimmer 270 or so. The result of that weight loss and extra year of coaching was a whole new player. He was a First-Team All-American and the winner of the Bronco Nagurski Award as the best defender in the country. Considering his size, Bowers has rare closing speed and athleticism. He's developed several reliable pass-rush moves and simply lived in the backfield this past season.

A couple traits that have stood out in Da'Quan's play throughout his college career are his ability to track the ball and his ability to finish plays as a solid, secure tackler. In three seasons, Bowers accumulated 179 Tackles from his Defensive End spot and this season he finished second on his team with 74 stops. He's a smart defender that has really found his stride as a pass-rusher and the sky appears to be the limit in terms of NFL upside. In a breakout season, he finished with an incredible 26 Tackles for Loss and led the nation with 15.5 Sacks. While he may lack an elite first-step, he should be able to put up big sack numbers in the pros with his recognition skills, strength, and speed.

Rarely do we see such a great physical specimen put it together like Bowers wound up doing in his Junior season. As an NFL prospect he also has everything you look for intangibly. He’s smart, positive, has a clean record, and is a very well-spoken young man; he even plays guitar in his father’s gospel band on weekends. He’ll likely only draw great interest from 4-3 teams high in the draft and will be capable of playing Left End or Right End in that scheme. There’s no reason to believe that Bowers won’t come off the board in the top three selections with such a high demand on players of his caliber at the position.

Pros
+ Incredible closing speed for his size
+ Terrific recognitions skills
+ Excellent in pursuit, makes tackles behind the line of scrimmage and down the field
+ Prototypical size at roughly 6’4 275 with great physique
+ Secure, wrap-up tackler that can lay the lumber
+ Great strength and impressive power for a college end
+ Long-limbed end that can hold up to double teams
+ Tremendous natural athleticism, could play at any weigh between 265-295
+ Motor that never sleeps; plays with good energy and stamina
+ Three-down player
+ Uses his hands to disengage from blockers
+ Extremely effective and productive run-stopper
+ Has versatility in the 4-3, could play almost anywhere on the line
+ High character; well-spoken and a team leader
+ Very productive college career, First Team All-American as a Junior
+ Durable, missed only two games in college due to injury

Cons
- Only one season of great production as a pass-rusher
- Lacks an elite first-step
- Won’t really appeal to 3-4 teams
- Is neutralized sometimes by better pass-blocking tackles
- May never be a 15+ Sack player in the NFL
- Lacks elite anchor strength in his lower body
- Struggled to get anything going against Boston College, even though he went up against Anthony Castonzo for less than half the night

Why the Panthers will draft Da’Quan Bowers First Overall
The departure of Julius Peppers left Carolina without a difference-maker in the front four. Instead of using one of last year’s draft selections target a defensive lineman, the team chose to address it’s passing game. The jury is still out on whether that was the right decision, though the early indications point to no. The team finished in the bottom half of the league in Sacks and 23rd against the run. Da’Quan Bowers would instantly be a major upgrade at Defensive End opposite young Charles Johnson. With young reserves in Greg Hardy and Everette Brown, the addition would give the team depth, stability, and talent at the position. He’s a high character player that will be one of the safer picks in the draft. An equally effective run and pass defender, Bowers would be the cornerstone of the defense for years to come.


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Nick Fairley – Auburn
6’4˝e 299e 5.1e
#1 Defensive Tackle - #5 Overall

There could be an argument made that Nick Fairley played as indispensible a role as Quarterback Cameron Newton for the Auburn Tigers’ National Championship-winning team. No player dominated big games this season quite like big number 90. After entering the season as a virtually unknown rotational tackle, Fairley burst on to the scene and into the backfield in 2010. It’s hard to believe he was playing at the JUCO just two years ago. He was unstoppable in must-win games for the Tigers this season, playing an invaluable role when the team was locked in close battles with South Carolina, LSU, Alabama, and Oregon.

Nick Fairley showed the ability to take over games with a blend of quickness, power, and ferocity. In addition to possessing prototypical size, he displays excellent athleticism on the football field. He enters the backfield at will with a great first-step, quick hands, and a variety of pass-rushing moves. He has an extremely strong bull-rush which helps him to split double-teams and push linemen into the backfield. His production this past season rivals any Defensive Tackle in recent memory; he was a First Team All-American and the Defensive MVP of the National Championship. Like Ndamukong Suh, Fairley clearly is an intimidator on the field and he plays with rare energy & ferocity. He’s a violent penetrator who fits best at 3-Tech in any 4-3 scheme. His immense ability made him unstoppable at that position at the collegiate level.

Talent-wise, Nick Fairley stacks up with the best of Defensive Tackle prospects. On the field this year he was on par with 2009 top three selections Gerald McCoy and Ndamukong Suh. Unlike those players, Fairley’s character will undoubtedly be something teams must look into. Though he has no history of trouble off the field, he certainly lacks discipline on it. By the end of the regular season he’d earned a reputation for being one of the dirtiest players in the country. If he’s unable to tone it down when he needs to, he could really shoot his team in the foot in the NFL with more sensitive rules protecting Quarterbacks. His lack of intelligence and professionalism is a concern that could push him down some boards. Still, he should be selected very high on draft day, likely fitting into the first five picks. If he’s mature enough to handle the pressures and responsibilities of being a pro, he could develop into a dominant force and the cornerstone of a front seven.

Pros
+ Explosive off the snap,
+ Extremely powerful, very strong
+ Devastating bull-rush, drives blockers back and splits double teams
+ Dominated top competition, definition of a “big-game player”
+ An intimidating presence, plays mean, nasty, and isn’t short on energy
+ Terrific pass-rusher, lives in the backfield and terrorizes QBs
+ Prototypical size at roughly 6’4 300
+ Long-limbed with good anchor strength; can control & manipulate blockers
+ Very good athlete for his size, can dunk a basketball
+ Uses his hands to disengage, very quick and can be violent
+ Above average motor, can play three-downs
+ Only a slight learning curve, is ready to contribute immediately
+ Very productive Junior season, First Team All-American
+ Durable, hasn’t missed a game the past two seasons

Cons
- Only one year of production and relevancy
- Undisciplined player who takes stupid penalties
- Lacks intelligence and is not well-spoken
- Needs to continue to work on his technique
- Has “boom-or-bust” prospect written all over him

Why the Panthers will select Nick Fairley First Overall
Carolina has lacked a dominant interior presence since they started as an expansion team. Currently the team lacks any effective players at the position, the depth chart is very thin, and Defensive Tackle looks to be their greatest need. Defensive-minded coach Ron Rivera knows the game is won in the trenches and will look to add talent in the middle. Fairley was one of the best players in college football this past season and may be this draft’s greatest talent. He should be an instant impact player and would offer the most significant & immediate upgrade to the Panthers roster.


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Patrick Peterson – LSU
6’1e 211e 4.35e
#1 Cornerback - #2 Overall

Coming into the season Patrick Peterson was touted as a rare physical specimen, the best Defensive Back in the country, and the elusive Top 5 prospect at the Cornerback position. Despite lofty expectations, he managed to live up to the billing. Peterson was named a First Team All-American, was the winner of the prestigious Thorpe Award, and also added a Bednarik Award to his shelf as the nation’s top defender. By midseason most casual fans knew him as one of the most dynamic talents in college football. He became an Internet celebrity due to his astounding punt returns and even garnered a bit of Heisman Trophy hype early on. It was a no-brainer for him to declare for the NFL draft after the season and a decision that could not have shocked any within the program or fan-base.

Not every year do we see such a physical specimen that has started to put it together on the field the way Patrick Peterson has. At roughly 6’1 210, he possesses the size to matchup against any pro receiver. He’s chiseled, he’s long, and he plays to his size, often covering his opponents’ biggest receiver. His incredible physique may only be eclipsed by his ability to run. Simply put, the guy can flat-out fly. Peterson is a shocking athlete with great explosiveness, agility, coordination, and straight-line speed. Though teams will rarely challenge him, he has displayed terrific ball-skills and anticipation when the ball leaves the Quarterback’s hand. He’s a very good tackler capable of delivering powerful hits. There is some concern about the fluidity of his hips, but he should be able to answer those questions at the NFL Combine, where he will show up roughly 10 pounds lighter than his 2010 playing weight (220.)

Some draft analysts may begin to refer to Patrick Peterson as the Calvin Johnson of the Cornerback position, and I can’t say I disagree. Where Johnson was the prototype receiver, Peterson appears to be the prototype corner. He has everything teams look for when scouting a Defensive Back and will have a chance for NFL stardom at any position he plays. There are no schematic limits to his abilities and the absence of an injury history makes him one of the safer top picks in this draft class. Peterson will likely come off the board within the first five picks on draft day. He could be the highest rated Cornerback prospect since Charles Woodson coming out of Michigan.

Pros
+ Tremendous closing speed, very fast in straight-line
+ Great agility, quick feet, changes directions well moving forward
+ Very good ball skills; great anticipation, hands, and awareness
+ Shutdown corner down the field, not one to try to throw over
+ Solid, secure, wrap-up tackler capable of making crushing hits
+ Has size at roughly 6’1 210 to challenge any pro receiver
+ Smart football player who doesn’t give up a lot down the field
+ Possesses startling physique, both chiseled and long-limbed
+ Naturally incredible athlete with fluidity & sprinters speed
+ Dynamic with the ball in his hands; a threat to go the distance every chance he gets
+ Strong enough to outmuscle even big receivers for jump-balls
+ Is big and physical enough to re-route receivers at the line
+ Versatile; talent will allow him to play anywhere in the defensive backfield
+ Offers Special Teams value, returned both punts and kicks at a high-level
+ Productive and highly decorated, First Team All-American, Thorpe Award winner
+ Very durable, has no significant injury history to this point
+ Consistently battled the most gifted receivers in the nation in the SEC
+ High character; humble, well-spoken, motivated, and mature
+ Can play right away, should be able to contribute from day one
+ Finished college with 30 career starts

Cons
- Will have to prove the fluidity of his hips at the NFL Combine
- Gave up a lot underneath to Alabama’s Julio Jones and Texas A&M’s Jeff Fuller
- Could stand to improve his open-field tackling a bit
- Got off easy this year in the SEC not having to face A.J. Green or Alshon Jeffery
- Might have been carrying a bit too much weight this season at 220+
- Plays at a position rarely deemed worthy of a Top 5 Overall selection

Why the Panthers will select Patrick Peterson First Overall
If the Carolina Panthers choose not to re-sign Richard Marshall, or are unable to, then Patrick Peterson makes a whole lot of sense with the first pick. In a passing league, or more importantly a passing division, a lockdown corner can be invaluable. Without Marshall in the picture, the team lacks a player capable of sticking their opponents’ best receiver week-in and week-out. Peterson is a rare talent at the position and perhaps the caliber of player we won’t see for years to come. Newly appointed Head Coach Ron Rivera will make sure the secondary won’t be operating with gaping holes in 2011, and Patrick Peterson could be exactly the type of elite talent to make a huge difference in Carolina for the next decade.


Final Verdict

There’s no denying that here in late January the race for the First Overall Pick is wide open. Carolina has only just begun to form relationships with these prospects at the most basic level. Projecting this pick is an enormous guessing game and will be that way for months. Head Coach Ron Rivera is evaluating what he has in place and the results of his assessment won’t be known until the NFL Draft. The team will surely use smoke-screens and be purposely ambiguous throughout the process. Up into the week of the draft itself, I expect the Panthers will be negotiating with each one of the players I listed in this article. My gut guides me toward three favorites, chosen perhaps for positional reasons over sheer value. Those three would be: Cam Newton, Nick Fairley, and Da’Quan Bowers.

If the draft were held today, it would almost certainly be Bowers or Fairley. It’s important to note the draft will occur in late April, after the Panthers have gotten a chance to talk to each player at length and watch each player workout. Though he appears to be the best fit and perhaps the most talented player in the class, Nick Fairley lacks some professional traits and may not prove himself to be a suitable face of this struggling franchise. Da’Quan Bowers is one of this class’ safest bets, but with some promising young players at the Defensive End position, the Panthers may not be racing to add another so high on draft day. That leaves me with Cameron Newton.

Out of the players I listed, Newton seems like the least likely at this point to go First Overall and rather the most likely to fall out of the Top 10 all together. He won’t throw at the NFL Combine, so teams will be watching him throw in a controlled, choreographed setting at his Pro Day. His workout will create a buzz around the league and should cement him as the top Quarterback on most boards in this weak class. His charismatic personality will help him say all the right things during the pre-draft process while coming across as mature and driven. Carolina’s Achilles heel a year ago was their Quarterback play. The common theory is: if you don’t have a franchise Quarterback on the roster then you better make it the off-season’s top priority. I think that’s exactly what they will do. Jimmy Clausen will be a nice stop-gap starter while Newton learns to NFL game and may wind up building some trade value & get a chance to start elsewhere in 2012. So, although it is dependent on a whole lot of early speculation, I’d like to endorse Cameron Newton as my prediction as 2011’s First Overall Pick to the Carolina Panthers.


-Ryan Lownes

49erNation85
02-02-2011, 08:27 PM
Very nice right up again Pudge .It will be interesting come draft .I highly doubt they draft Newton .They do have a big problem selecting at 1.Might be worth it to trade down if they can.April can not get here soon enough I tell you.

BeerBaron
02-02-2011, 08:32 PM
Defensive minded head coach, the fact that there is no clear cut top QB, and the devaluing of WRs on most teams leads me to believe it will be between Fairley and Bowers.

And the fact that the Panthers have a bit more young talent at DE than DT tips the scales towards Fairly in my mind. I'm going to stick with him as the projected pick until proven otherwise.

SenorGato
02-02-2011, 08:33 PM
Very cool write up...I vote none of the above...Robert Quinn...if not I'd go Peterson since I don't think Fairley touches Suh as a prospect.

bucfan12
02-02-2011, 08:44 PM
Heres the scenario with Carolina:

If they feel they can develop Jimmy Clausen into their starting QB for the next 5-8 years or so, then you take A.J. Green. Carolina has struggled finding WR help over the past 5 years with Jarrett, Colbert, and most recently Laffell and Edwards (too early to call them busts, but didn't show much).

If they are definately holding out for a true franchise guy, then maybe you take Fairly, Quinn, or Bowers. I think it's going to be Fairley as many have him or Bowers (mostly Fairley) as the top player in the draft.

How I'd rate my top 5 prospects:
1. Fairely
2. Peterson
3. Green
4. Bowers
5. Darius

Nebula
02-02-2011, 08:55 PM
Just go AJ Green. You have too, you just have too...

CLong4Heisman
02-02-2011, 08:57 PM
In college Jimmy Clausen was successful by throwing jump balls to Golden Tate and Michael Floyd. In order for him to have similar success I believe that Green should be the pick. Smith is not getting any younger and outside of him they have 0 playmakers at receiver.

I would not say QB because if Clausen continues to play poorly, you have a legit shot at either Luck or Barkley.

TACKLE
02-02-2011, 09:09 PM
In college Jimmy Clausen was successful by throwing jump balls to Golden Tate and Michael Floyd. In order for him to have similar success I believe that Green should be the pick. Smith is not getting any younger and outside of him they have 0 playmakers at receiver.

I would not say QB because if Clausen continues to play poorly, you have a legit shot at either Luck or Barkley.

Two things...

1. Jimmy Clausen sucks and isn't fit to lead a franchise.
2. NO NFL teams plan on throwing a season in order to have a shot at a player who is still in college. It doesn't work that way. Cam Newton is a much better player than Barkley anyways.


Great work Pudge. For me it comes down to both the Auburn players for the #1 pick. I lean towards Fairley right now because Rivera is a defensive minded guy who has always made D-Line a focal point. But with that being said, Cam is a much more likely option than most are recognizing at this point. I think its easier to impress throughout this process than sometimes gets lead on. Newton's stock should climb steadily as QB's always get pushed up anyways. I expect his scripted pro-day workout to be nothing short of phenomenal. Obviously the interview process will be big but he's a very charismatic guy who has shown that he can stay cool under questioning and adversity. Someone is going to fall in love with this guy and it could very well be the Panthers. For them if its that close between Newton and another player, I don't see how they can't go with the QB.

yourfavestoner
02-02-2011, 09:13 PM
Just nitpicking one tiny thing because I didn't get to read all of it, but why do you think Newton's running ability will be negated at the next level? People said the same things about Young and Tebow, and they have both proven to be very effective runners at quarterback.

It just seems that every mobile QB that doesn't have Mike Vick elusiveness gets that tag these days.

bucfan12
02-02-2011, 09:15 PM
Two things...

1. Jimmy Clausen sucks and isn't fit to lead a franchise.
2. NO NFL teams plan on throwing a season in order to have a shot at a player who is still in college. It doesn't work that way. Cam Newton is a much better player than Barkley anyways.




We all think that and I certainly don't like him either. However, a 2nd round pick is rather high when investing in a player, especially QB, so I can Carolina drafting Green and seeing if putting some players around Clausen will help him improve. I just don't see them giving up on him after 1 year.

If he tanks again, well then they will probably have the choice or Luck or Barkley and go QB next year. If I were them, I would not take Gabbert at 1 at all, however, a lot of strange things happen after the combine/workouts. (Remember, some had Clausen as a top 5- 10 pick, even some at 1 and Tebow a 2nd-3rd rounder) Things change and Carolina could still very well fall all over Gabberts physical tools and character and work ethic.

I don't think they will, but I wouldn't be surprised if he emerges as the #1 pick.

Roddoliver
02-02-2011, 09:20 PM
I think AJ green is a can't-miss prospect. Amazing WR. It does not feel that good to take a WR 1st overall, and it's not their priority. The Panthers have bigger needs. But if they want a safe bet, low bust risk... AJ Green. You draft the kid and know that your group of WRs just got a lot better.

diabsoule
02-02-2011, 09:22 PM
My vote is A.J. Green. He seems like a can't miss prospect and the safest prospect to get at #1

will99890
02-02-2011, 09:44 PM
I say Fairley should be the pick, with Cam Newton the second option.

If everything works out well in Fairley's first few years of development (continuity,health, and motivation), they could have a Kevin Williams type player to disrupt offenses. Fairley does have some bust potential, but I would feel a lot safer taking him over Bowers (plus Everette Brown, Greg Hardy, and Charles Johnson is a very solid group of young pass rushers).

Cam Newton is crazy athletic and seems like a good teammate as well. SO much upside it's ridiculous. I would MUCH rather select him at 1 than be forced rely on Jimmy Clausen.

To the people suggesting AJ Green: unless the rookie pay scale changes, I don't see any receiver going number 1. Megatron couldn't do it, and I doubt Green will.

gpngc
02-02-2011, 09:58 PM
Also, with the probable implementation of a rookie wage scale, there is a possibility that the #1 pick could be traded.

Unlike other years, a new wage scale would likely mean that the difference between the financial investment at #1 may not be so much heftier than the commitment at say, #6.

So if a team falls in love with Green, Bowers, or Fairley enough to deal a pick or two to move up, it's possible this year that the first pick (or any high pick for that matter) is traded. Again, in years past no one wanted to give up additional picks AND pay $5-10 million more guaranteed to a rookie.

The Panthers also don't have a second round pick and have holes everywhere. Like Pudge pointed out, there is no clear right answer like Luck would have been. Trading down and adding another pick or two is something that could actually happen for once.

ellsy82
02-02-2011, 10:13 PM
You could go either way here.

A) As stated, outside of Smith they have zero playmakers. Said that, Green would seem like a great guy to pair with Steve Smith.

B) The Panthers front 4 have been ineffective. Brown showed flashed, but will be unable to consistently pressure the QB. They can't defend the run or get pressure. Bowers can provide both of those things. His upside in tremendous.

Depending on how you'd like to start rebuilding, from an offensive or defensive standpoint, you go with Green or Bowers.

I personally would go with Bowers. Another great write-up, Pudge.

Bald_81
02-02-2011, 10:22 PM
I was unaware how lucky and fortunate the Rams were to have the opportunity to select Bradford but also Suh and McCoy if they chose to go in another direction compared to who the Panthers have to choose from this year. Most of that is due to Andrew Luck, but regardless I feel very bad for Panthers fans right now hopefully the player they pick turns out to be an absolute stud.

...
02-02-2011, 10:29 PM
They need a DT a whole heck of a lot more than a DE. I doubt Bowers will be the pick.

jtice2003
02-02-2011, 10:36 PM
Ehhh.. i wouldn't call it weak. I'd draft patrick peterson, make him the next darrelle revis for 10 years, and call it a success.

holt_bruce81
02-02-2011, 10:54 PM
My vote is A.J. Green. He seems like a can't miss prospect and the safest prospect to get at #1

I agree with this.

And then Take the Quarterback next year.

ellsy82
02-02-2011, 11:07 PM
They need a DT a whole heck of a lot more than a DE. I doubt Bowers will be the pick.

Well, Bowers is the safest pick in the draft without the baggage. They don't need help in that secondary...they have one of the best pass defenses in the league, but that only solidified your point that they need interior line help, because all teams did was run the ball on them.

Remember Smith punching that CB in the nose a couple years ago? I'm pretty sure they'll want to bring in a guy with a high ceiling, and the least chance that pick will bring suspensions to the team. Fairley is a dirty play. I don't have a problem with that, at all. But he'll bring extra penalties and such to the DT position for whatever team drafts him. I really do think that Bowers will be the pick.

dannyz
02-02-2011, 11:07 PM
I agree with this.

And then Take the Quarterback next year.

I would do this to. It will be hard to watch the season knowing they will be bad but they have no choice. If the Panthers take a QB with the 1ST pick this year it will but the stupidest pick in a long time. It has to be Fairley or Green. I don't know if the Panthers will take a Dirty player like Fairley, If you take Green and Clausen still does bad you atleast have a weapon for Luck or Barkley.

SRK85
02-02-2011, 11:37 PM
Seeing how Carolina has no second round pick they should trade out of the top spot. However with no clear number 1 pick I don't know any team that is willing to trade to up to the 1st spot. But yea this draft is rather weak.

bucfan12
02-02-2011, 11:41 PM
Seeing how Carolina has no second round pick they should trade out of the top spot. However with no clear number 1 pick I don't know any team that is willing to trade to up to the 1st spot. But yea this draft is rather weak.

Easier said than done. If there is a rookie salary cap, then there is a better chance of someone willing to move up to the 1 spot. However, if there is no cap, no one will be interested in giving that type of money, especially for a d-lineman or pass rusher when this draft is deep at that position.

SenorGato
02-02-2011, 11:48 PM
Is there anyone else out there who buys that AJ Green is *not* a candidate for best player in the draft?

For me it's between Peterson, Quinn, and Fairley.

RaiderNation
02-02-2011, 11:49 PM
I think its down to Fairley, Newton or PP right now. Depending how the combine and CBA go will impact this pick. The safe prediction right now is Fairley IMO.

RaiderNation
02-02-2011, 11:50 PM
Is there anyone else out there who buys that AJ Green is *not* a candidate for best player in the draft?

For me it's between Peterson, Quinn, and Fairley.

I agree, he is my 4th ranked player as of now.

gpngc
02-03-2011, 12:03 AM
He looks like a pure wide receiver but in terms of the size/power/speed/quickness mix (what makes NFL players so athletically special) he's not in the same class as better prospects who didn't go #1.

But again, it's a weak draft.

He's a little slender and I'm not sure if he's as fast or quick as some guys who consistently get separation at the NFL level. But for me the top two traits for a WR are hands and route-running and he's elite in those areas. I definitely think there's a possibility that teams don't like the kid nearly as much as the draftniks do. He's one of the few prospects I'd like to get a 40-yard dash, 3-cone, and short shuttle on...

SRK85
02-03-2011, 12:03 AM
Is there anyone else out there who buys that AJ Green is *not* a candidate for best player in the draft?

For me it's between Peterson, Quinn, and Fairley.

I will disagree and say that AJ Green will have the best production out of any prospect. Then again Peterson is a shutdown corner which is valuable but I don't see the Panther drafting a DB.

prock
02-03-2011, 12:25 AM
My top 5 prospects go in this order:
AJ Green
Patrick Peterson
Nick Fairley
Cam Newton
Daquan Bowers

I would probably take Green if I were the Panthers. As a huge Newton fan, I would love to see him succeed at a very high level in the NFL, but I am not sure if I would want to see my team take that risk. I don't think you can take a corner number 1. They don't need a DE, Bowers is out. Fairley is boom or bust, something I am not a huge fan of. I would take Green, he is a safe pick and should help out Clausen until he fails, and then they can get a better quarterback next year.

MidwayMonster31
02-03-2011, 12:59 AM
I would put Peterson #1 prospect-wise.
I think Carolina trades Steve Smith before the draft, so they pick AJ Green #1.

JPP90
02-03-2011, 01:43 AM
Nice work but Newton isn't a #1 overall prospect no matter how you spin it. Having his father set up a workout for the media was seen as another red flag by a lot of scouts. And its not like he needed any more.

vidae
02-03-2011, 02:06 AM
Great work as always. I love this time of year because you put out awesome stuff like this.

One note here: Why not include Glenn Dorsey in your potential defensive cornerstones?! KC HATE! KC HATE!

Day One Pick
02-03-2011, 09:21 AM
It's a weak class in terms of top end elite talent, but I think Fairley is worth every bit of the top pick, fits a need, and ultimately will be the pick. If this past season is any indication of what his pro career will be like, they'll have a perennial pro bowler on their hands. Not much of a dilema in my eyes. I think by Andrew Luck returning to school, their decision was made easy for them.

SolidGold
02-03-2011, 10:03 AM
I think its between Fairley and Green. Rivera is a defensive coach and D-Line needs to be addressed more so at DT than DE. They have Everette Brown and possibly Norwood could line up at DE as well.

Say what you want about Clausen but he does have a season under his belt of NFL experience, its a possibility his experiences could help him improve this off season and having a reliable receiving target makes sense.

SenorGato
02-03-2011, 10:53 AM
He looks like a pure wide receiver but in terms of the size/power/speed/quickness mix (what makes NFL players so athletically special) he's not in the same class as better prospects who didn't go #1.

But again, it's a weak draft.

He's a little slender and I'm not sure if he's as fast or quick as some guys who consistently get separation at the NFL level. But for me the top two traits for a WR are hands and route-running and he's elite in those areas. I definitely think there's a possibility that teams don't like the kid nearly as much as the draftniks do. He's one of the few prospects I'd like to get a 40-yard dash, 3-cone, and short shuttle on...

Exactly, and that matters...I mean how big is the gap between him and Julio Jones anyway? To me, it's tiny.

The frame worries me...since he's getting top pick talk...and not being elite in so many categories...I think he'll more likely end up in my 5-10 range for prospects than top 5....while he's definitely got some sick skills I'm not sure I put him in the same category with Bryant or Crabtree...two guys I thought would be no doubters because they were so physically dominant at the college level...Crabtree was built like a little tank and Bryant was Green with muscle and power on him. Meh...I guess I should hold off and see what happens during combine season.

While we all like to compare Julio to Edwards because it was fun for a while to say Edwards can't catch, but Edwards was almost exactly like Green in college (except better). I think he compares well to Edwards because he does seem like an excellent over the top deep threat...which Edwards is. Even then, Edwards was more of a physical WR in college...I've seen Green hesitate to take on DBs...not something I saw from the guys I put down as special over the years (AJ, CJ, Crabtree, Bryant, even Larry Fitzgerald, who had SOME similarities to Green, but was bigger with a sturdier frame)...Really Green can shut me up come combine.

yourfavestoner
02-03-2011, 10:57 AM
Nice work but Newton isn't a #1 overall prospect no matter how you spin it. Having his father set up a workout for the media was seen as another red flag by a lot of scouts. And its not like he needed any more.

And you know this....how exactly?

Babylon
02-03-2011, 01:21 PM
Nice work but Newton isn't a #1 overall prospect no matter how you spin it. Having his father set up a workout for the media was seen as another red flag by a lot of scouts. And its not like he needed any more.

Regardless of his dad's constant medling i dont think he's going to be viewed as the possible #1 pick. There is no clear cut top QB yet so it would be a pretty serious reach to take one there.

For Carolina i think not having that #33 pick presents problems for them, if they had it they could probably go WR then grab a quality D-lineman at the top of the 2nd.

TACKLE
02-03-2011, 01:36 PM
I've been one of the biggest Cam Newton supporters on this board but Cecil Newton and Company scare the **** out of me. I've defended Cam saying he's a good kid, and I stand by that, but the influence of those surrounding him worries me. We saw throughout this season when Cecil was being attacked, Cam was almost loyal to a fault. This media-only personal workout is bizarre and baffling. An "entourage" can give a guy can get a guy a sense of entitlement which can lead to complacency.

Now none of know the working of his inner circle or how it will effect him so its hard to make any judgments off this. I still support Cam Newton the player, the prospect and the person and still expect and want him to be very good NFL quarterback. But I'd be lying if I told you the influence of his "supporting cast" isn't at all worrisome.

Scotty D
02-03-2011, 01:43 PM
I don't see how Cam's dad is a problem anymore. He just wants $$$$$$. You don't have to worry about eligibility in the NFL.

Also I'd take Fairley. I think he'd have a greater impact for Carolina than Green.

K Train
02-03-2011, 01:46 PM
just cause theres no elite QBs at #1 doesnt mean this is a weak draft...i think its kinda cool to see a first pick that we all dont know who its gonna be

excellent write up though

TACKLE
02-03-2011, 01:51 PM
just cause theres no elite QBs at #1 doesnt mean this is a weak draft

But this is a weak draft class.

K Train
02-03-2011, 01:52 PM
But this is a weak draft class.

in terms of what? offensive tackles and top 5 picks?

nepg
02-03-2011, 01:56 PM
I don't think this is a weak draft at all. Just because there's not a clear-cut #1 QB doesn't make it a weak draft. The guys available to them are top-of-the-line players at their respective positions.

K Train
02-03-2011, 01:58 PM
i love this class for dlinemen and WRs, interior lineman are pretty solid, and CB could rival 08 imo

the natural
02-03-2011, 02:00 PM
Fairley and Newton won't go first overall because of their personalities. There is too much invested in the #1 overall pick, and the spotlight is too bright to take a chance on those two. Newton isn't even the best quarterback available. Blaine Gabbert is just about as big, probably will run as fast, has a better arm and none of the baggage.

Babylon
02-03-2011, 02:02 PM
^

To me it's weak at tackle and LB. Not seeing a lot of top safeties or RBs for that matter.

The QB class could make it good in 5 years but could also make it be pretty bad.

SRogers92
02-03-2011, 02:21 PM
About Carolina ... Their D wasn't great last year, but their second best Linebacker in Thomas Davis was hurt all year ... if they re-sign Marshall, they will still have some good building blocks on defense ... their D looked worse than it was also because of the poorous offensive play ... Steve Smith is rumored in many different trade scenarios and even if Clausen isn't 'the guy' they will be drafting 'their guy' at some point in the next year or two ... you need to surround whomever it may be, with some play makers ...

I'm adamant that you cannot draft a DT #1 overall(has only happend thrice in history and only one panned out) ... AJ Green makes the most sense from just about every possible perspective you look at ... helps the QB, gives them an offensive play maker at WR, is a safe bet, gives them some flexibility with Smith ... it just makes 100% sense.

K Train
02-03-2011, 02:26 PM
About Carolina ... Their D wasn't great last year, but their second best Linebacker in Thomas Davis was hurt all year ... if they re-sign Marshall, they will still have some good building blocks on defense ... their D looked worse than it was also because of the poorous offensive play ... Steve Smith is rumored in many different trade scenarios and even if Clausen isn't 'the guy' they will be drafting 'their guy' at some point in the next year or two ... you need to surround whomever it may be, with some play makers ...

I'm adamant that you cannot draft a DT #1 overall(has only happend thrice in history and only one panned out) ... AJ Green makes the most sense from just about every possible perspective you look at ... helps the QB, gives them an offensive play maker at WR, is a safe bet, gives them some flexibility with Smith ... it just makes 100% sense.

theres been 4 WRs drafted #1 and they were in 96, 84, 65, and 64, and your adamant against DTs but pick green as the best choice?

i would have taken suh #1 all day every day in any draft...not saying fairley is suh because i think its criminal to put them in the same league.

id take calvin johnson #1 but hes the only WR i ever would have considered with that pick

San Diego Chicken
02-03-2011, 02:28 PM
The pick that makes the MOST sense need wise is Fairley, but I can see Carolina being apprehensive about him.

Personally, I'd rather sign Vince Young off of the street than draft Cam Newton #1 overall. Essentially, you'd be getting a veteran version of the same player at a discounted price. Then, I'd look to Fairley or Peterson at #1. If you were sitting at #15 and looking for a long term project QB then yes Newton looks appealing. But at #1 with your franchise hanging in the balance? Don't risk it.

If they decide they want to go all in with Clausen, take A.J. Green and give him the best chance of success. With a healthy OL next year, Green, Steve Smith, Jonathan Stewart and Mike Goodson, the responsibility falls on Clausen to put points on the scoreboard. If he can't do that then you're sure he's not the guy and the next young QB is walking into a decent enough situation. Win/Win.

Carolina is in a pretty fortunate situation. The Panthers have good players on both sides of the ball, it isn't a Lions in 08 situation. A few calculated moves and this team is back in the playoff chase. The more I think about it, the more a veteran QB coupled with an instant impact defender makes sense for them.

ThePudge
02-03-2011, 02:31 PM
I don't see it being Green or Peterson and I'm highly doubting Fairley. Although he's probably this draft's top talent, he's IMO the biggest character risk in the Top 5. I do have legitimate worries that this guy is going to get to the NFL and shut it off a bit. It's a weird feeling. I don't think Nick will be able to talk his way into the top spot. A lot of teams care about leadership ability and professionalism, ESPECIALLY when drafting 1st. I just don't see Rivera coming in and designating Fairley as the cog that his defense will be built around.

Due to their needs and profile, Newton and Bowers fit best to me. DT is a bigger need than DE, but Bowers has the kind of professionalism, production, and physical ability that could make him the 1st pick.

YOU may think Newton has more character risks, but I highly doubt they will. They have to sit the two down in a room one-on-one. Cam may not come across as an absolute genius, but he seems sincere and emits a passion for the game. He's got a personality that was able to charm multiple coaches and teammates. Simply put, you're not going to find a guy close to the Auburn/Mississippi State programs that have something bad to say about Cam Newton as a person. So, if Newton can wow at his workout, cut his Dad from the process completely, come across as very coachable, and display a football IQ.. I think he's their guy. Still, it's based on the speculation that Clausen isn't good enough to convince Rivera that QB in not the team's biggest need.

Also... for those acting like the 51st Overall pick is a big investment, get ahold of yourself. He's on a 4 year deal worth $2.5 million. MOST backup Quarterback make more than that.

TACKLE
02-03-2011, 02:46 PM
in terms of what? offensive tackles and top 5 picks?

QB, RB, TE, OT, LB and S.

Not to mention there's probably only 20-25 first round values in this class so there's going to be a handful of guys who go in the first who would of been 2nd round picks in most other years.

ThePudge
02-03-2011, 02:52 PM
I've been one of the biggest Cam Newton supporters on this board but Cecil Newton and Company scare the **** out of me. I've defended Cam saying he's a good kid, and I stand by that, but the influence of those surrounding him worries me. We saw throughout this season when Cecil was being attacked, Cam was almost loyal to a fault. This media-only personal workout is bizarre and baffling. An "entourage" can give a guy can get a guy a sense of entitlement which can lead to complacency.

Now none of know the working of his inner circle or how it will effect him so its hard to make any judgments off this. I still support Cam Newton the player, the prospect and the person and still expect and want him to be very good NFL quarterback. But I'd be lying if I told you the influence of his "supporting cast" isn't at all worrisome.

I absolutely agree with this. I have a hard time imagining an NFL team won't tell him close to the same thing. Really tough to evaluate Cam's personality behind his Dad, but it definitely appears that this isn't a guy that is 100% matured. I wouldn't start throwing the word "entourage" about, as he's not Michael Crabtree. Still, the fact that he's letting his father make decisions for him at this point in his life is very concerning.

ThePudge
02-03-2011, 02:58 PM
Oh, and this is ABSOLUTELY a weak draft. There may be 20-21 guys that are 1st Round values in most years. Weak at the very top, weak at football's most important position, and not a ton of value all around. There isn't that much a difference between the players I rank 30th on my board and the players around 60th. It's simply not a very strong class. I don't know that I'd say it's as weak as 2005, but it appears to be close to 2008 in terms of strength.

WR class had the potential to be special, but Floyd and Broyles among others went back to school. RB class is deep, but not incredible. TE class is extremely thin. OL class is pretty weak, without any Top 15 prospects. The Safety class is awful. Very average LB class.

Scotty D
02-03-2011, 02:59 PM
Give me 11 Nick Fairley's on defense. Some of the dirtiest players in the NFL have been the best at their position. The current DPOY is no princess.

ThePudge
02-03-2011, 03:08 PM
Give me 11 Nick Fairley's on defense. Some of the dirtiest players in the NFL have been the best at their position. The current DPOY is no princess.

Maybe you're right, but the guy is not Suh. Ndamukong and Gerald McCoy were both better prospects and would have been more likely to have been the 1st Overall Pick this year. The main reasons: intelligence, articulation, and professionalism. I'm not saying to be a great player Nick Fairley must be able to solve a Rubics Cube in under 10 minutes and take the owner's daughter out for a classy seafood dinner, but to be drafted with the 1st Overall Pick to a team that seems to value character you'd better come off as mature and fairly intelligent/driven.

I love him as a prospect and I was crazy about him as a college player, but 1st Overall might be a stretch in this day and age. Of course, if they determine Newton has character issues then the same idea applies. Personally, I think the latter Auburn product will be able to say the right things though.... just needs to start listening to his agent and QB coach, not his father.

TACKLE
02-03-2011, 03:10 PM
I absolutely agree with this. I have a hard time imagining an NFL team won't tell him close to the same thing. Really tough to evaluate Cam's personality behind his Dad, but it definitely appears that this isn't a guy that is 100% matured. I wouldn't start throwing the word "entourage" about, as he's not Michael Crabtree. Still, the fact that he's letting his father make decisions for him at this point in his life is very concerning.

It's still gonna be tough though. An NFL team may try to guide him in the right direction. But its going to be hard for Cam to phase out Cecil's influence and start being more independent in his decision making especially when he's so loyal and relied on so heavily on his father's input. I guess it comes back to taking that next step in his maturation. I think it would benefit him greatly to have some kind of NFL connected mentor (Dungy, Vick, whoever) to help guide him. You never know how much that actually benefits guys (or weather it just makes for a good story on ESPN) but I think a voice from outside his inner circles could certainly benefit him. Again, I feel a little odd talking about the inner workings of his family dynamic, but I'm just making these comments off the impressions I get based on the actions of Cam and those who "advise" him. I'm really trying not to make a mountain out of a mole hill and Cam certainly has the ability to grow and work through this. But it would be a shame to see a guy this talented held back or lead astray by people who he trusts.

Also, the word "entourage" was put in brackets for a reason.

PossibleCabbage
02-03-2011, 03:29 PM
Not to mention there's probably only 20-25 first round values in this class so there's going to be a handful of guys who go in the first who would of been 2nd round picks in most other years.

Isn't it always the case the every draft that's below some theoretical average will have a handful of first round picks who would have been otherwise 2nd round picks in our Platonic ideal draft, and every draft that's above some theoretical average will have a handful of second round picks who would have been otherwise first round picks in our Platonic ideal draft.

Guys are first round picks by virtue of being picked in the top 32, and really nothing else. The difference in talent between guys who are late first round picks and guys who are high second round picks is really minuscule.

Sure, this draft may well be somewhat below average, but I don't think that it's necessarily exceptionally weak. It seems like we accuse every other draft of being weak.

ThePudge
02-03-2011, 03:54 PM
Isn't it always the case the every draft that's below some theoretical average will have a handful of first round picks who would have been otherwise 2nd round picks in our Platonic ideal draft, and every draft that's above some theoretical average will have a handful of second round picks who would have been otherwise first round picks in our Platonic ideal draft.

Guys are first round picks by virtue of being picked in the top 32, and really nothing else. The difference in talent between guys who are late first round picks and guys who are high second round picks is really minuscule.

Sure, this draft may well be somewhat below average, but I don't think that it's necessarily exceptionally weak. It seems like we accuse every other draft of being weak.

By this logic, does this mean drafts can't be weak? A weak class can not inflate value? I agree that some people exaggerate at times, but to deny it's effects on the draft is much more ridiculous. 2005 was really the same quality of draft as 2004? I mean, there was a #1 pick, the 32nd Pick marked the end of the 1st Round.

This draft is pretty weak. Maybe it's not 2005, but it's pretty weak.

DaBrowns41
02-03-2011, 04:08 PM
Yeah, I really enjoyed this article, ThePudge. Excellent job.

RealityCheck
02-03-2011, 05:59 PM
Why do Newton and Bowers get huge texts yet Quinn doesn't even get a single mention?

SRogers92
02-03-2011, 06:31 PM
theres been 4 WRs drafted #1 and they were in 96, 84, 65, and 64, and your adamant against DTs but pick green as the best choice?

i would have taken suh #1 all day every day in any draft...not saying fairley is suh because i think its criminal to put them in the same league.

id take calvin johnson #1 but hes the only WR i ever would have considered with that pick

And I would have taken Bradford #1 ... even with hindsight being 20/20 and as a Lions fan ... you take the premier QB over the DT, every time. DTs just shouldn't go #1 ...

CJ's the only WR you'd take #1? I'd take Randy Moss, Andre Johnson, or Larry Fitzgerald #1 any day of the week.

SRogers92
02-03-2011, 06:34 PM
QB, RB, TE, OT, LB and S.

Not to mention there's probably only 20-25 first round values in this class so there's going to be a handful of guys who go in the first who would of been 2nd round picks in most other years.


I don't see how this is weak in LBs, at all ... maybe in premier top tier LBs ... but the depth is awesome ... guys like Aldon Smith, Kerrigan, Quinn could all be moved to LB ... as for pure 43 LBs there's some intriguing guys like Sheppard, Bruce Carter, and Mason Foster ... I love this class. It's even good at QB, just not elite-elite QBs ...

It's miserable in terms of OTs, IMO ... I really don't like any of them but Carimi and Sherrod.

Overall -- I think it's a very good and deep class.

SRK85
02-03-2011, 08:51 PM
This is a weak draft much like 2008 and 2009

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_NFL_Draft

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_NFL_Draft

I doubt they will be any hall of famers or perennial pro bowlers out of this draft.

PossibleCabbage
02-03-2011, 08:56 PM
This is a weak draft much like 2008 and 2009

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_NFL_Draft

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_NFL_Draft

I doubt they will be any hall of famers or perennial pro bowlers out of this draft.

Are you being sarcastic?

I mean, guys like Matt Ryan, Chris Johnson, and Clay Matthews are probably in the "perennial pro bowler" category if they keep true to their performance so far, and there's a bunch of guys in those drafts who could grow into that kind of player. Plus, bringing up the hall of fame for a guy who isn't yet drafted or was drafted a couple of years ago, is ridiculous. Hall of Fame careers are based off of long term aggregation of milestones. If Matt Stafford leads the Detroit Lions to three superbowl victories over his career, and accumulates a bunch of individual awards (MVPs, etc.) he's in the hall of fame. Now I won't say he'll do that, but I can't say that he can't.

SRK85
02-03-2011, 09:02 PM
Not really I am just pointing out in the first round there was only about 10 good players who are noteworthy from those drafts. A lot of the top picks have not done anything in the last two years even though they had the opportunity. Thus I think this draft will be weak.

PossibleCabbage
02-03-2011, 09:11 PM
Not really I am just pointing out in the first round there was only about 10 good players who are noteworthy from those drafts. A lot of the top picks have not done anything in the last two years even though they had the opportunity. Thus I think this draft will be weak.

Just a question, how many "perennial pro bowlers" and "hall of fame players" do you expect to find in a good draft?

I mean, 2006 was supposed to be a really good draft wasn't it?

SenorGato
02-03-2011, 10:25 PM
Maybe you're right, but the guy is not Suh. Ndamukong and Gerald McCoy were both better prospects and would have been more likely to have been the 1st Overall Pick this year. The main reasons: intelligence, articulation, and professionalism. I'm not saying to be a great player Nick Fairley must be able to solve a Rubics Cube in under 10 minutes and take the owner's daughter out for a classy seafood dinner, but to be drafted with the 1st Overall Pick to a team that seems to value character you'd better come off as mature and fairly intelligent/driven.

I love him as a prospect and I was crazy about him as a college player, but 1st Overall might be a stretch in this day and age. Of course, if they determine Newton has character issues then the same idea applies. Personally, I think the latter Auburn product will be able to say the right things though.... just needs to start listening to his agent and QB coach, not his father.

I'd take Fairley over McCoy...McCoy was too much finesse for my liking.

JPP90
02-03-2011, 11:13 PM
And you know this....how exactly?

Read it online. I'm surprised it would get by super scouts like you. Think about it...the media isn't drafting you..why would you set up a workout for the media? Again, this isn't a workout set up for scouts and GMs...this is a media event set up by Cecil Newton. Do I need to draw you.a road map towards "not cool"? This is about as well-advised as saying "my parents do a lot for me behind the scenes" while accepting the Heisman or that illiterate "don't nobody know" rant after the BCS title game. The guy is a dipshit, I'm sorry. You want him being the face of your franchise, more power to you. History shows Cam Newton doesn't get you to the Super Bowl... smart, savvy pocket QB that reads defenses gets you there.

gpngc
02-03-2011, 11:23 PM
Read it online. I'm surprised it would get by super scouts like you. Think about it...the media isn't drafting you..why would you set up a workout for the media? Again, this isn't a workout set up for scouts and GMs...this is a media event set up by Cecil Newton. Do I need to draw you.a road map towards "not cool"? This is about as well-advised as saying "my parents do a lot for me behind the scenes" while accepting the Heisman or that illiterate "don't nobody know" rant after the BCS title game. The guy is a dipshit, I'm sorry. You want him being the face of your franchise, more power to you. History shows Cam Newton doesn't get you to the Super Bowl... smart, savvy pocket QB that reads defenses gets you there.

I just quickly read through all of history.

Cam Newton's NFL career was not there.



Seriously though, I don't get why the media event is perceived as negative by anyone. I don't think he's allowed to schedule private workouts or a pro day before the combine, so all he's doing is being proactive with proving himself pre-draft. I like it. It shows that he has nothing to hide, wants to show his improvement, and wants to stand out among the rest.


I'd like for you to answer you're own question (purple).
What do you think his cynical motivation is? I think his goal is to show that he's a great QB prospect. He's not being drafted by the media - so clearly he is pulling this "publicity stunt" to increase his draft status for the teams... why else would he do it? It shows initiative. And it'll show a crazy-impressive skillset as well.

JPP90
02-03-2011, 11:37 PM
I just quickly read through all of history.

Cam Newton's NFL career was not there.



Seriously though, I don't get why the media event is perceived as negative by anyone. I don't think he's allowed to schedule private workouts or a pro day before the combine, so all he's doing is being proactive with proving himself pre-draft. I like it. It shows that he has nothing to hide, wants to show his improvement, and wants to stand out among the rest.


I'd like for you to answer you're own question (purple).
What do you think his cynical motivation is? I think his goal is to show that he's a great QB prospect. He's not being drafted by the media - so clearly he is pulling this "publicity stunt" to increase his draft status for the teams... why else would he do it? It shows initiative. And it'll show a crazy-impressive skillset as well.

A) I realize Cam Newton's NFL career hasn't played out but "athlete playing QB"..we've seen that. "Cannon arm and not much between the ears"...we've seen that too. Zone read guy...that guy hasn't done anything in the NFL unless you wanna hang your hat on Vince Young, and Id pass there. He is what he is...a huge gamble on his arm and mobility and "flair". And mark this down and we'll re-hash it when the draft plays out...the team that drafts him will be a team that is a consistent dumpster fire and isn't viewed as having top notch management. I can see Buffalo, Cincinnati, Jacksonville or Tennessee. Not a guy you'd see. NE, Pittsburgh,Atlanta or N.O. tying their franchise down to.

B) on the media thing, I'm just stating I agree with what I heard mostly, which was a publicity stunt staged by his father isn't a great idea. I understand that its aimed to "showcase" Cam and his development from under center over 2 weeks in shorts. In other circles its viewed as cheap and desperate. Like that peddler on the street that wants to sell you that "gold" watch. He better blow that thing up though or it will be devastating to his draft stock.

SRK85
02-03-2011, 11:49 PM
Just a question, how many "perennial pro bowlers" and "hall of fame players" do you expect to find in a good draft?

I mean, 2006 was supposed to be a really good draft wasn't it?

Around 2-5 hall of famers is a good draft and around 10 players who get more than a couple pro bowls.

Wrathman
02-04-2011, 03:27 AM
Count me in the group that doesn't see Newton as the clear No. 1 quarterback nor as a candidate for being drafted first overall. At this point, I wouldn't take any of this year's quarterbacks at No. 1 because they all have significant questions about their skill sets and/or characters that need to be answered. Still, I very much enjoyed the OP's initial offering in this thread.

MURPHMAN
02-04-2011, 11:23 AM
Not sure how many Panther fans have commented on this thread so let me chime in.

About Carolina ... Their D wasn't great last year, but their second best Linebacker in Thomas Davis was hurt all year ... if they re-sign Marshall, they will still have some good building blocks on defense ... their D looked worse than it was also because of the poorous offensive play ... Steve Smith is rumored in many different trade scenarios and even if Clausen isn't 'the guy' they will be drafting 'their guy' at some point in the next year or two ... you need to surround whomever it may be, with some play makers ...

I'm adamant that you cannot draft a DT #1 overall(has only happend thrice in history and only one panned out) ... AJ Green makes the most sense from just about every possible perspective you look at ... helps the QB, gives them an offensive play maker at WR, is a safe bet, gives them some flexibility with Smith ... it just makes 100% sense.

Richard Marshall has said via his agent that the Panthers do not intend to re-sign him.
Thomas Davis has hinted that the Panthers are interested in bringing him back despite two ACL tears and missing 1 and half seasons of football.
Panthers just hired Titans WR coach Fred Graves and former wide reciever Ricky Proehl as a consultant. Graves was Steve Smith's WR coach at Utah and Proehl is his former teammate and mentor. Smith had great relationships with both. Although the front office will not touch the subject, the local writers have, through their sources, said that keeping Smith content was a factor behind these hirings.
If you were to poll the Panthers fans right now about who they should draft and you had the five names mentioned here (Newton, A.J. Green, Fairley, Bowers and Peterson) and added four more options (Marcell Dareus, Gabbert, & two different options of trading down: one option is only trading down a few spots and still maintain a top 5 pick and the other option of trading down to the bottom of the top 10 or the teens), every choice will get lots of votes. Fairley would probably win followed closely by trading down & staying in the top 5 but I can tell you that the option with the fewest votes (probably Dareus, Bowers or Gabbert) would still get a decent share of support.
For me, if we can trade down to the 4th or 5th pick and still get either A.J., Peterson or Dareus, that would be my ideal scenario.

PossibleCabbage
02-04-2011, 02:48 PM
Around 2-5 hall of famers is a good draft and around 10 players who get more than a couple pro bowls.

Why exactly would you establish a criteria for judging drafts that requires you to wait at least 10 years after the draft to determine whether or not it's good?

Moreover, people when they look at a draft and say "it's strong" or "it's weak" are mostly looking at high round picks from major schools... while players who go in any round from any school can be hall of famers or pro bowlers.

I mean, the first player in the hall of fame from the 1990 draft was John Randle (Undrafted from Texas A&I). Another surefire hall of famer from that draft was Shannon Sharpe (Savannah State), who was selected in the 7th round.

Neither you nor I have any idea whether a 6th or 7th round pick at a non-glamour position from a school off the beaten path has any chance to be a multiple pro-bowler let alone a hall of fame player. That's not anywhere close to what people think about when they say "the draft is weak."

What we really mean when we say "the draft is weak" we generally mean "the top prospects are not all that impressive". Sometimes we just mean "the top prospects at glamorous positions are weak." Nobody here has spent really enough time scouting late round prospects to really grade the strength of anything more than the first handful of rounds.

SRK85
02-04-2011, 03:45 PM
True the only real why to determine how great a draft was is to wait 5 years and then judge. Although I am sure it will be weaker thats my opinion and I could very well be wrong. I guess 5 years from now we have to back to this thread.

Babylon
02-04-2011, 03:48 PM
Count me in the group that doesn't see Newton as the clear No. 1 quarterback nor as a candidate for being drafted first overall. At this point, I wouldn't take any of this year's quarterbacks at No. 1 because they all have significant questions about their skill sets and/or characters that need to be answered. Still, I very much enjoyed the OP's initial offering in this thread.

I agree with this. The order of the QBs to me is yet to be determined. All 4 of these guys are going to have to step it up to seperate themselves. As for the character issues i think its 3 of the 4 that are in that debate, Locker has zero character concerns.

SenorGato
02-04-2011, 08:16 PM
I don't see it being Green or Peterson and I'm highly doubting Fairley. Although he's probably this draft's top talent, he's IMO the biggest character risk in the Top 5. I do have legitimate worries that this guy is going to get to the NFL and shut it off a bit. It's a weird feeling. I don't think Nick will be able to talk his way into the top spot. A lot of teams care about leadership ability and professionalism, ESPECIALLY when drafting 1st. I just don't see Rivera coming in and designating Fairley as the cog that his defense will be built around.

Due to their needs and profile, Newton and Bowers fit best to me. DT is a bigger need than DE, but Bowers has the kind of professionalism, production, and physical ability that could make him the 1st pick.

YOU may think Newton has more character risks, but I highly doubt they will. They have to sit the two down in a room one-on-one. Cam may not come across as an absolute genius, but he seems sincere and emits a passion for the game. He's got a personality that was able to charm multiple coaches and teammates. Simply put, you're not going to find a guy close to the Auburn/Mississippi State programs that have something bad to say about Cam Newton as a person. So, if Newton can wow at his workout, cut his Dad from the process completely, come across as very coachable, and display a football IQ.. I think he's their guy. Still, it's based on the speculation that Clausen isn't good enough to convince Rivera that QB in not the team's biggest need.

Also... for those acting like the 51st Overall pick is a big investment, get ahold of yourself. He's on a 4 year deal worth $2.5 million. MOST backup Quarterback make more than that.

I disagree...Newton is possible, but I think they'd go Fairley over Bowers barring some kind of explosion in Bowers' favor. They need a DT down their bad, and the DE talent isn't terrible.

Disagree on Peterson and Quinn being unlikely...they're arguably the two best players in the draft, and worthy of going first...plus there's no real off field bs with them unless someone really holds it against Quinn that he received some gifts.

BeerBaron
02-04-2011, 08:21 PM
I disagree...Newton is possible, but I think they'd go Fairley over Bowers barring some kind of explosion in Bowers' favor. They need a DT down their bad, and the DE talent isn't terrible.

Disagree on Peterson and Quinn being unlikely...they're arguably the two best players in the draft, and worthy of going first...plus there's no real off field bs with them unless someone really holds it against Quinn that he received some gifts.

Receiving perks is going to be minor to NFL scouts, but the missed year of playing will hurt. He was also unable to play in any of the all-star games to my knowledge meaning it's already been a calendar year since he last played a down of football....it'll be even more until the season starts and if that gets pushed back due to a lockout, it will be even longer.

He's going to fall right into the lap of the Browns or 49ers I think...But I don't think anyone would touch a player first overall who didn't play for an entire year prior. Especially with guys like Fairley and Bowers who used last year to beast and aren't exactly lacking in the talent department themselves.

patman
02-05-2011, 08:47 AM
Why do you consider this a weak draft? To me Fairley deserves to to #1. Is he Suh, no, but Suh is a once every 10 years type of player.

Also, most likely there will be a salary cap/restraint on salaries making the #1 pick more easy to be traded.

the natural
02-05-2011, 04:13 PM
I bet there are teams that take Newton off their draft list totally. He is no smarter than Vince Young and even more emo.

jsang74
02-05-2011, 05:01 PM
I bet there are teams that take Newton off their draft list totally. He is no smarter than Vince Young and even more emo.

I didn't know that scouts evaluated how emo players are now.

Does Cam listen to my chemical romance?

FUNBUNCHER
02-05-2011, 05:24 PM
Fairley and Newton won't go first overall because of their personalities. There is too much invested in the #1 overall pick, and the spotlight is too bright to take a chance on those two. Newton isn't even the best quarterback available. Blaine Gabbert is just about as big, probably will run as fast, has a better arm and none of the baggage.

Yeah, Gabbert and Newton are so similar talent wise that could be twins.

Gabbert is a wish and a hope, Newton on the other hand has produced at the level in college that most typically expect out of #1 overall picks.

If you don't leave from watching a college game and think a prospect wasn't the best player on the field at least once, he's not a potential #1 overall.

If you take Gabbert in the top 10 and he doesn't live up to expectations, can you really say you were surprised considering there's no game film of him actually looking like a dominant QB in college??

If Gabbert was 2 inches shorter, would people be talking about him as possibly the top QB in the draft?? Or even a first rounder???

The problem with Fairly is you don't know if he's gonna grind like Suh as a rookie, or be a malcontent hot-and-cold performer like Haynesworth???
Suh had both great measurables, performance and intangibles, Fairly only has measurables and performance.

Personally I'd roll the dice with Newton, but I'd have a looooonnnngggg talk with Cam Inc., and its CEO, Cam Senior, to lay down what's considered detrimental behavior in the development of his son into becoming an NFL starting QB.

I said before Cam Sr. reminds me a little of the WIlliams sisters dad; a sometimes minor distraction who will only be visible to fans when a reporter sticks a mike in his face.
I never had the impression his father was the type to insist that his own agenda for Cam be forced upon a team.
Once Cam has signed his contract and lines up endorsement deals, I think daddy fades into the ether.

If Megatron has yet to emerge as one of the league's handful of dominant WRs, I think AJ Green will struggle some too.
IMO AJ simply isn't physically gifted enough to deserve a #1 overall grade.

PP and Quinn are in a great position to go first depending on what they do at the combine.

FUNBUNCHER
02-05-2011, 05:29 PM
I bet there are teams that take Newton off their draft list totally. He is no smarter than Vince Young and even more emo.

It took VY three years to master Mack Brown's offense.
It took Cam one offseason and winter practice sessions to run Malzahn's offense like a virtuoso.

VY is 'slower' on the uptake than Cam and doesn't have his work ethic IMO.

By that standard alone, Newton is smarter than VY.

You really believe all 32 NFL teams don't consider Cam Newton worth selecting at any point in a 7 round draft???lol

That's extreme.

ellsy82
02-05-2011, 05:33 PM
If Megatron has yet to emerge as one of the league's handful of dominant WRs, I think AJ Green will struggle some too.
IMO AJ simply isn't physically gifted enough to deserve a #1 overall grade.

Cal Johnson has yet to emerge as a dominant WR? He put up great numbers this year with a oft injured QB and no other WR talent to throw to. Plus having a lack of running game in Detroit makes it even more miraculous that he's put up the numbers he's had. I'll take Calvin Johson production at the #1 pick any day of the week in this draft (due to no clear cut 1.1 QB talent).

However, I simply don't think Green is as talented as Johnson. So I, for one, wouldn't touch him with the first pick. Probably not on the second pick either.

yourfavestoner
02-05-2011, 06:30 PM
I am of the opinion that Calvin was the best WR in the NFL this year.

the natural
02-05-2011, 07:24 PM
I didn't know that scouts evaluated how emo players are now.

Does Cam listen to my chemical romance?

Well, if they don't they should. Young has been pretty good as an NFL quarterback when he isn't in one of his self induced funks. Jay Cutler might be a superstar if he wasn't a whiny little ***** half the time.

Woodie
02-09-2011, 12:40 AM
As a Panther fan, I'll throw in my two cents on these guys.

Nick Fairley - Everything rests on Fairleys interviews and background check. Based solely on his physical ability and what he brings to the field, I think he is a lock for #1. He is simply a dominant player at DT, which happens to be our most dire need...by far. However, the motivation, maturity, and intelligence questions would likely scare the team away from him if they are not completely satisfied with what they uncover. He will be thoroughly disected, and if there is any question about him left unresolved, we'll likely go in another direction.

Cam Newton - VERY unlikely. A lot of Panther fans are infatuated by the excitement level he brings. However, people need to remember that Clausen was a Marty Hurney pick, and Hurney still firmly believes Clausen can be a good starting QB. The only reason Luck was in play is because he is such a unique talent, not that the team has given up on Clausen. Also, there have been suggestions that the new staff believes Clausen was not properly brought along by the previous regime, so cannot be adequately judged on last season. The far more likely scenerio is that they bring in a vet to compete with Clausen.

A.J. Green - Another unlikely pick. First of all, we still have Steve Smith, and most local speculation is that he will remain a Panther for at least another year. Also, we took three WR's in last years draft, with two (Gettis and LaFell) playing very well considering our struggles at QB. And the FO is also said to be very happy with how each stepped up last year. To top it off, it is highly improbable that the team will take a WR #1 since it would make us VERY young at the position (3 of our top 4 receivers would have a combined 2 years of experience). Green would be a wonderful addition, but he would be a luxury...and the team cannot afford a luxury at #1.

Da’Quan Bowers - Unless they believe he can be moved in to DT, he most likely won't be the pick. Charles Johnson may be one of the most underrated DE's out there, and the team really likes what they have in Greg Hardy and feel he was a monster steal in the draft (and he showed LOTS of potential when he got his chances last year). Not to mention that they still really like what Everette Brown brings as a pass rusher. For the record, the problem with our pass rush last year was not our DE's, but the fact that our DT's were unable to get any push and left plenty of room for the QB to easily step up and avoid the rush whenever the DE's got close.

Patrick Peterson - This one may not be as far fetched as some might think. Sure, conventional wisdom says don't take a CB #1, but this guy is special, and if Fairly does not check out clean, Peterson is the only other top player that also fits a major need. As someone else said, Marshall is not expected to come back...in fact, it would be a bit of a shocker if he did return. So, while taking a CB might be a reach, the team needs to get an impact player with that pick, and aside from Fairley, PP probably has the best chance to start right away. So if it comes down to taking a player that is not really an immediate need or a player that fits a big need but plays a position that is not normally taken with the top pick, I think the team ignores conventional wisdom and takes the guy that will help them the most this season.

People need to remember that the Panthers need to make major strides this year. We already have a very solid core group of guys, and only need a few tweeks to jump right back into playoff contention. So ownership (nor the new coaches) are looking at this as a few year re-building situation. The FO has been very outspoken about their belief and expectation that we can be one of those teams that quickly turns it around. So I just don't think they will be drafting players like Newton or Green to fill future needs, but guys they feel can help this year.

GB12
02-09-2011, 12:50 AM
As a Panther fan, I'll throw in my two cents on these guys.

People need to remember that the Panthers need to make major strides this year. We already have a very solid core group of guys, and only need a few tweeks to jump right back into playoff contention. So ownership (nor the new coaches) are looking at this as a few year re-building situation. The FO has been very outspoken about their belief and expectation that we can be one of those teams that quickly turns it around. So I just don't think they will be drafting players like Newton or Green to fill future needs, but guys they feel can help this year.

You're the 4th best (aka worst) team in your own division. The other 3 teams all have top 12 QBs, you have one of the worst in the NFL. I wouldn't be surprised if the Panthers don't make the playoffs once in the next 5 years.

SenorGato
02-09-2011, 01:09 AM
Greg Hardy was the steal of last year's draft. I'm still pissed he fell to the SIXTH and STILL wasn't picked by the Jets...

Iamcanadian
02-09-2011, 07:00 PM
I think Gabbert and Newton will have to perform themselves out of the top pick in the post season. If either can demonstrate real potential either at their pro days or at the Combine, they will go #1 overall without a doubt.
However, if they falter, Fairley and Bowers will get serious consideration.
I just think it is too early to pass judgment on junior QB's without seeing a lot more than is on film. These guys as juniors, are not finished products, but each has a huge upside and it is going to be very interesting to see how well they show in the coming months.

Zello
02-09-2011, 08:28 PM
You're the 4th best (aka worst) team in your own division. The other 3 teams all have top 12 QBs, you have one of the worst in the NFL. I wouldn't be surprised if the Panthers don't make the playoffs once in the next 5 years.

The Panthers are really a solid QB away from being a serious playoff contender. They have a solid defensive core and some promising young players on all around.

If Clausen can turn into a competent NFL QB, they could easily challenge for the division title imho. If they draft Fairley and he turns into a stud DT, they'll have one of the top D-Lines in the NFL, and with Beason & Connor one of the best linebacking corps. The hires of Ron Rivera and Sean McDermott will give them legit coaching talent that will maximize that group of players and easily turn that defense into a top-5 unit maybe as early as next year (assuming they draft Peterson or Fairley and they don't bust)

DBNYDP
02-09-2011, 08:39 PM
Great, well-thought out and well written post.
Personally, I think it is going to be between Bowers and Fairley. They both would be successful with Rivera, and I think it particular Bowers would be really nicely schemed in Rivera's defense (embracing that hybrid DE/DT).

BeerBaron
02-09-2011, 08:42 PM
The Panthers are really a solid QB away from being a serious playoff contender. They have a solid defensive core and some promising young players on all around.

If Clausen can turn into a competent NFL QB, they could easily challenge for the division title imho. If they draft Fairley and he turns into a stud DT, they'll have one of the top D-Lines in the NFL, and with Beason & Connor one of the best linebacking corps. The hires of Ron Rivera and Sean McDermott will give them legit coaching talent that will maximize that group of players and easily turn that defense into a top-5 unit maybe as early as next year (assuming they draft Peterson or Fairley and they don't bust)

Going to have to strongly disagree here....

In addition to their severe lack of a QB, they lack anything at pass catcher besides an aging and oft injured Steve Smith. Also, DeAngelo Williams is set to become a FA and the Panthers are believed to be unlikely to Franchise Tag him (Ryan Kalil will most likely get it, if anyone.) Jonathan Stewart seems to be constantly banged up as well.

On defense, their d-line has a few young guys with some potential, particularly at DE, but none who are really proven. Their best is Charles Johnson who is set to become an UFA. And good luck naming any of their DTs without looking it up...At LB they are solid when healthy, same for their corners when healthy, but Richard Marshall is another FA iirc and will likely draw interest from other teams.

Add in the fact that the other 3 teams in their division are all on the upswing, and it may be a long, long time before Carolina is relevant again.

KCJ58
02-09-2011, 09:10 PM
"Weak Draft" ...the draft pool in these coming drafts year by year, the talent pool will be slightly worse, there still will be some elite prospects but it seems, kids now a days are staying away from football, and most of the kids are not even close to what high school players were 10 years ago

LizardState
02-10-2011, 12:29 PM
Risk factor is huge when considering Newton’s checkered past and lack of polish, but no player in this draft class offers higher reward potential for this barren offense.

Congrats to thePudge for his exhaustive article on what they should do, what will they do? Kind of a dilemma with so many needs.

Not mentioned though in considering Newton is the huge Jamarcus Russell factor. He almost bankrupted the NFL's poorest team, the Raiders, with his enormous lump sum of guaranteed money when he went #1. The only silver lining the Raiders could salvage from it was that he was so glaringly bad at performance on the field as well as practice work ethic & pregame preparation that he hit the envelope early, Al Davis reached the point of diminishing returns early, & so they cut their losses early.

Jerry Richardson may be an egomaniacal loonbag in his old age but he's not a complete fool, he doesn't want to be in Al Davis' humiliating position by taking a high-risk expensive QB. Others with desperate franchise QB needs may follow, especially given the down global economy, & we may be surprised at how far Newton falls in the 1st round. If he has negative buzz resulting from his Combine interviews from the interested teams, that drop could be farther, he has to resolve some serious character issues that arose at Florida before the current NCAA investigation began which only exacerbates the cloud of suspicion over Newton & again begs the question Will he take the $ & run?

Fairley seems to be a safer bet as he fits a 4-3 defense well, & if Peterson has a wowing workout at the Combine he could be the Panthers' pick. As anemic & awful as their offense is there aren't any offensive players out there right now #1 overall worthy & the risk-reward roll of the dice is too great.

SenorGato
02-10-2011, 01:14 PM
"Weak Draft" ...the draft pool in these coming drafts year by year, the talent pool will be slightly worse, there still will be some elite prospects but it seems, kids now a days are staying away from football, and most of the kids are not even close to what high school players were 10 years ago

It is a kind of full of crap sport...lets not kid ourselves. I think amongst all athletes in America, no one has a lower rep than football players.

Also...the NFL is more soap opera than sport much of the time. I pay a gazillion dollars to watch a 13 of 60 minutes be filled with actual football.

Babylon
02-10-2011, 01:17 PM
^
I think you cover it pretty well there Lizard, i never thought Carolina was interested in any QB not named Andrew Luck and they arent going to gamble on Newton with his uncertainties.

Newton seems to be getting some terrible advice on how to handle things, this media only circus he has planned for today is really going to annoy NFL types and who knows if anyone will actually give a coherant analysis of what came out of it. Something tells me at the end of the day Newton is going to be sitting awhile waiting for his name to be called.

Monomach
02-10-2011, 03:16 PM
Greg Hardy was the steal of last year's draft. I'm still pissed he fell to the SIXTH and STILL wasn't picked by the Jets...

I remember wanting the Bears to take him in the first before the Cutler trade/Hardy deciding to go back for his senior year. LOVE Greg Hardy.





I think they should take Green. It lets them see a year of Clausen with two good WRs. If he fails, they still have a year of experience under Green's belt, making him better for whoever they get next season.

That being said, I think Fairley is a lock. Just seems like someone Rivera would be in love with.

Also, I dispute that this is a weak draft. I think it's pretty good.

Saints-Tigers
02-10-2011, 03:19 PM
I can't believe, with all the dick sucking that you guys do for cornerbacks on this site, that everyone thinks taking Peterson(who is the best CB prospect in a while) is a bad idea, and would opt for guys like Fairley and Bowers who aren't as good of prospects for their position, and have a much bigger bust factor.

I'd probably go with Peterson, and I don't even like cornerbacks like everyone else does.

Woodie
02-11-2011, 12:43 AM
Going to have to strongly disagree here....

In addition to their severe lack of a QB, they lack anything at pass catcher besides an aging and oft injured Steve Smith. Also, DeAngelo Williams is set to become a FA and the Panthers are believed to be unlikely to Franchise Tag him (Ryan Kalil will most likely get it, if anyone.) Jonathan Stewart seems to be constantly banged up as well.
You are seriously underestimating the talent on the Panthers. Yes, Steve Smith is our best WR, and while he is not the same player he once was, he's still pretty darn good (QB play the last two years has made him look like he's lost more than he actually has). But you saying we don't have anything besides him lets me know you didn't see enough of us to realize just how well both Gettis and LaFell played...particularly with such horrible QB play.

And while DeAngelo is scheduled to become a FA, he has made it clear his preference is to stay in Carolina. So that ball is in the FO's hands. As for Stewart, yes he has been banged up, but he has still been an exceptional RB despite that. And from all reports, he should be 100% this season. Also, don't forget about Mike Goodson. If you haven't seen him, he is a dynamic RB that is an excellent receiver out of the backfield. No, RB will be a strength whether or not we re-sign DeAngelo.

On defense, their d-line has a few young guys with some potential, particularly at DE, but none who are really proven. Their best is Charles Johnson who is set to become an UFA. And good luck naming any of their DTs without looking it up...At LB they are solid when healthy, same for their corners when healthy, but Richard Marshall is another FA iirc and will likely draw interest from other teams.
You're right about our potential at DE, but completely wrong about none being proven. Charles Johnson is very proven (at least to NFL insiders), just unknown/underrated to most fans. And while he will be a FA, both he and the FO have stated it is a priority to keep him in Carolina. In fact, he has already been meeting with Rivera, discussing his role in the new defense. As for DT's, I can't argue with your points there. This is one of the areas that needs to be upgraded to get back into contention. But we have tons of cap room, so we almost certainly will look to address this position in FA, and probably with our first pick as well.

Our LB corp is a strength, and should be healthy this year. So, I'm not overly concerned with this spot. And whether or not Marshall draws interest from other teams, I don't think he will be back in Carolina. So this is another area that needs to be addressed, and most likely in FA.

Add in the fact that the other 3 teams in their division are all on the upswing, and it may be a long, long time before Carolina is relevant again.
True, but by filling just a handful of holes, the Panthers will be on the upswing as well.

Yes, we WERE the worst team this year, but two years ago we were 12-4 and won the division title with many of those same players still on the roster, and in their prime. We are nowhere near as bad as it looks on the surface, but we do need better QB play (QB play and poor coaching were the biggest culprits to our poor season).

Clausen may or may not ever live up to the expectations he had coming out of college, but either way, we will bring in someone that would, at worst, be a capable starter to compete. And with our running game, all we need is for a QB that can manage the game, we don't need one to carry us (although one capable of it would be nice). Also we just pawned off our biggest problem to Denver, so most expect some degree of addition by subtraction. And getting rid of perhaps the most incompetent OC and QB coach in the NFL won't hurt our future either.

The bottom line is that if we fix QB, get two starting level DT's, and effectively replace Marshall (or re-sign him) we should be fine. RG, TE, and a vet WR are also areas in which we could probably upgrade, but should have enough to be adequate this season. The fortunate thing for us is that we will have a choice of players at #1 that should immediately plug one of those needs, and tons of cap room to fix the rest once FA eventually starts.

So my long-winded point is that we are much closer to contention than many non-observers realize. Sure, we have some holes, but the biggest reasons we were 2-14 was QB play and coaching, one has already been taken care of and the other will be.