Sunday, May 8, 2011

NFL Draft Team Grades-Carolina Panthers

The Panthers flamed out last season, and have been on a steady downhill decline for a few seasons. They blew out head coach John Fox (he promptly went to Denver), and now it seems a good time to blow up the roster and start over, which is seemingly what they will do. Let's take a look...

Round 1, Pick 1
Cameron Newton, QB

Where does one start? My opinion is that this was an incredible reach at the number one overall selection this season. Is he talented? In a very raw way, yes. Is he a great character guy for your locker room? Oh, HELL NO! Is he about as self centered an egotist as ever walked the earth? Most definately!!! Do I believe that he could be the potential savior of the Panthers franchise? Not one bit! Newton has only ever thrown 50 passes from the pocket in his entire collegiate career. He never worked regularly from under center. He runs as much as he passes, which tells me that he is an injury liability in the NFL. Don't like this pick at all.
Grade: F

Round 3, Pick 1
Terrell McClain, DT
South Florida

Lacks production, lacks toughness, lacks a competitive motor, and carries 25% body fat. Sounds like the ass end of a bowling team, not a starting NT at the NFL level. Only had 24 tackles in all of 2010, and his sack and TFL numbers both fell below 5. Yeah, I can see why you woulod want to grab this guy this early. Why the fuck not? Being that they smoked a huge joint in the first round, why not smoke another in the 3rd?
Grade: F

Round 3, Pick 33 (Compensatory Pick)
Sione Fua, DT

Well, they had already blown the draft by this point, so why not continue to self destruct? Fua is a hard worker, of that there is no doubt. The problem is that he is a NT that struggles with double teams. That's not good. For those of you who understand the position (I played it), you have to be able to take on several blockers to allow the LBs to make plays. If you cannot take on multiple blockers, or have problems containing or neutralizing them, than you are not very good here. They drafted him speecifically to allow more plays by their LB corps, but this seems like an unlikely success story. Also projected as a late round pick, making him another reach.
Grade: D

Round 4, Pick 1
Brandon Hogan, CB
West Virginia

Well,this is getting to be just sad. Hogan is not going to be a starter for the Panthers, but is projected to be a nice addition to their sub package. I don't know, but aren't subs usually guys who come up from the lower rounds and make impressions on special teams? This pick was very high for Hogan. He is undersized. He did pick of 3 and break up 6 in 2010, and also forced one fumble, but is essentially useless against the run. Sub package. Huh.
Grade: D

Round 5, Pick 1
Kealoha Pilares, WR

FINALLY!!! A pick that I actually like! Is he the next Michael Irvin/TO/Ocho Cinco Cinco De Mayo hybrid reciever? Well, no. He will be a very nice slot receiver that can just sort of fit into the middle of a zone defense and gobble up receptions. Had you ever heard of Davone Bass when he came out of Hawaii? No, you had not. And this guy is better than Bass was coming out. He has 1696 yards over the last two seasons with 19 TDs. He is a very nice sleeper pick.
Grade: A

Round 6, Pick 1
Lawrence Wilson, LB

Waddya know? Two in a row! Now the Panthers started to get it. I love Wilson, and I give him more credit than the assessment does. Wilson has star potential, if he gets in with the right staff, but I am not sure that the Panthers have that staff. Wilson finished with 123 tackles last season, and has 263 tackles over the last two seasons. He will be asked to play special teams, but he is a guy who may sneak up and start eventually. Big fan of this guy. Had 11 TFLs last season as well.
Grade: A

Round 6, Pick 38 (Compensatory Pick)
Zachary Williams, C/OG
Washington State

The Panthers fell back into bad habits by reaching again with this pick. Williams graded out to Priority Free Agent, but the Panthers felt compelled to spend this pick on a maybe backup offensive lineman who doesn't really own a position. I can see the value in that...
I would be shocked if Williams cracked the roster for opening day. Project at best.
Grade: F

Round 7, Pick 41 (Compensatory Pick)
Lee Ziemba, OT

There are both positives and negatives. Ziemba was a 4 year starter at tackle for Auburn. That's a huge plus. Negatives were apprent at the senior bowl workouts, where he was overwhelmed by the speed of the game and the opposition. He is a bit slow, and compensates by jumping a ton, and he was one of the most penalized linemen at the senior bowl and in the SEC. Penalties kill. If he can break that habit, he may be servicaeable.
Grade: C

Possible Surprise Players
Pilares, Wilson

Possible Flops
Everyone except Pilares and Wilson

Sure To Be a Star
There is no star power here. Newton would qualify, but I am convinced that he will flop hard.

Sure To Be a Flop
Newton...too many negative intangibles

Final Team GPA
1.5...Solid D. Pilares and Wilson in the middle rounds saved the Panthers from an outright fail, but this was by no means even a remotely succesful draft from an assessment standpoint. I'd be willing to bet that 4 years from now, I'll still be right.

No comments:

Post a Comment