Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The First Pick and Flawed Logic

In part two of our NFL Draft week we take a look at this year's first overall pick and the team that owns it: The Carolina Panthers.

For the first time in franchise history the Carolina Panthers have the first overall pick in this year's NFL Entry Draft.  Their previous high pick was second over all in 2002.  They took someone whom you may have heard of: Julius Peppers.  This year they're a struggling team with a lot of holes to fill.  There are three names that seem to be popular around the league as their first pick: WR AJ Green (Georgia), CB Patrick Peterson (LSU), and Cam Newton (Auburn).  All but one fit a need.

The prevailing opinion from everyone up to Carolina Panthers GM  is to take the best player available.  This seems to indicate that the Panthers will be taking Newton.  While it's been discussed prior on this blog as to why Newton is a question mark, the biggest problem that is seen with taking Newton is the flawed logic involved.

Jimmy Clausen
Last season one of the big names in the draft was Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen.  Everyone wondered when he'd be drafted in the first round.  Instead he fell.  And fell.  And fell.  Suddenly the quarterback that was seen as the most ready to jump into the NFL was in the second round and being taken by the Carolina Panthers.

Later on in that draft, the sixth round to be exact, the Panthers dipped back into the quarterback pool to take spread offense veteran from Cincinnati, Tony Pike.  Suddenly a team with one quarterback, Matt Moore, was deep with two rookies and another player, Armanti Edwards, who played quarterback at Appalachian State, that was to be converted to wide receiver.

A lack luster season from all quarterbacks in Carolina led to them to where they are now: choosing first over all.  Any QB who came in was damned from the get go.  Only one viable option at receiver, the aging Steve Smith, ever emerged.  His reputation was well known and as such he was covered.  When Moore ran out with a concussion, Clausen was in.  Things continued down and down and down.

AJ Green
The Panthers no doubt were hoping to get the chance to draft Andrew Luck, the gem of this year's draft.  He chose to stay at Stanford and as such the Panthers were left unsure.  It seems any chance of anything other than a quarterback has faded.  Why?

The logic should state that if you want Luck, you try for him.  It seems the Panthers are settling.  Why don't they choose Peterson, Green, or Nick Fairley from Auburn instead of Newton?  Choose one of those players and you have a franchise cornerback, wide receiver, or defensive tackle.  Do this and run Jimmy Clausen out.  If Clausen is your man, the Panthers succeed and you have a franchise quarterback plus one of Fairley, Green, or Petersen.  If Clausen fails, they are in position to draft Luck as well as having one of those three.

If the Panthers choose Cam Newton it's the wrong decision.  Not because of any personality issues or red flags raised in his behavior during his time in college.  It's the wrong decision for a simple reason: the logic does not fit.
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