Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Should The Carolina Panthers Try Their Luck on Andrew Luck? I Say No...
This happens every NFL season, and for 2010 the lucky winner of the worst team in the league and number one pick in the upcoming draft is the lowly Carolina Panthers. Everyone is projecting the no. 1 pick to be Stanford QB Andrew Luck and for good reason. But I may be in the minority of those that think the Panthers should pass on drafting Luck and focus on other areas of need...
1.) They just spent a 2nd round pick on Jimmy Clausen
Now I know Clausen hasn't been very good this season, but he's a young rookie with a lot of potential. He was also on a team with a shaky offensive line, inconsistent running game and only one true talented receiver. What did you expect Clausen to do besides struggle? In comparison, Mark Sanchez was almost as bad his rookie season. Every QB can't be a Matt Ryan or a Sam Bradford out of the gate. If they draft Luck, they'll have to pay him #1 QB money and Luck isn't guaranteed to be a stud. They have Clausen for the low right now and if it doesn't pan out they can always get a veteran QB in free agency. That strategy worked out pretty well for Kansas City.
2.) The Panthers need to upgrade their D-Line
Except for DE Charles Johnson, the Panthers have had very little pass rush and haven't been able to generate much pressure. Why not take the same route the Houston Texans did and go for a pass rushing defensive end to compliment Johnson like Clemson's De'Quan Bowers or North Carolina's Robert Quinn, or even a DT like Auburn's Nick Fairley.
3.) Trade the No. 1 slot & move down for more picks
As it stands right now, the 3 teams who would be slotted to draft directly after the Panthers would be Denver, Cincinnati & Buffalo (not exactly in that order). Two of those teams desperately need a quarterback (Bengals & the Bills). Why not trade down a slot or two, acquire more picks and build your team through the draft. The Panthers have virtually no shot at being good next season so it may be a good idea to stock up on young talent and build for the future. Maybe if they can surround Clausen with some pieces to go along with him and RB Jonathan Stewart they can return to be competitive. If they trade down they can take a game breaking WR like A.J. Green. What would they have to lose?
I think the Panthers are in a great position to improve their team going forward. They should see what they have in Clausen before jumping at the opportunity to nab Andrew Luck. I do think Luck will be good but I also think that, given time, Clausen can be a solid pro QB. He proved at Notre Dame that with time to develop he can be very good. The Panthers will probably be looking for a new head coach this off season as well so maybe a change in philosophy will be beneficial for Clausen. Give the kid a chance. Isn't that why they picked him in the first place?