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2010 NFL Draft - Carolina Panthers
Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen
Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 24, 2010


Carolina Panthers - NFC South, 2010 Draft Selections & Prospects


Carolina Panthers

2010 NFL Draft Analysis
1st Round (1-16) | 31st Round (17-32) | 2nd Round | 3rd Round
4th Round | 5th Round | 6th Round | 7th Round | Top Free Agents

- CFN 2010 Draft Central
- 10 Biggest Reaches

2010 NFL Draft Team Analysis - AFC
EAST Buffalo | Miami
New England | NY Jets

WEST Denver | Kansas City
 Oakland | San Diego

NORTH Balt. | Cincinnati  Cleveland | Pittsburgh

SOUTH Houston | Indy
Jacksonville | Tenn.

2010 NFL Draft Team Analysis - NFC
EAST Dallas | NY Giants
Philadelphia | Wash.

WEST Arizona | San Fran.
Seattle | St. Louis

NORTH Chicago | Detroit
Green Bay | Minnesota

SOUTH Atlanta | Carolina
New Orleans | Tampa Bay

Second Round 
Jimmy Clausen, QB Notre Dame 6-3, 222 (Jr.)
Overall Pick No. 48 CFN Overall Ranking: 6

PHENOMENAL value. The stats don’t lie; a quarterback taken after the first round has roughly a 13% chance of being a real, live player, and over the last 20 years, only Tom Brady was drafted after the first round and won a Super Bowl for a team that drafted him. However, this is a great spot for a player who could’ve gone in the top ten with no one blinking.

After arriving in South Bend with much fanfare and tremendous hype (and in a limo), Clausen spent most of his career trying not to get killed behind a porous line. While he broke down from time to time with an elbow injury and a right toe problem, he showed excellent toughness by trying to gut it out. In 2009 he became clutch, leading the team to some key, close wins that kept the season from turning into a disaster early, and he was able to live up to all the pressure and showed that he really was worth all the press. Even though he was tutored by Charlie Weis, he still has a little bit of mechanical issues (most notably a laboring throwing motion on his deep passes) and he’s not quite as polished as he probably should be. He’ll also have to go out of his way to early on to be one of the guys and could rub some people the wrong way with a personality that might not be for every team. The basics are there, but he’s hardly a sure-thing star considering he might not be the type of player the rest of the team will run through a brick wall for.
CFN Projection: First Round, Top 15 Overall

Third Round 
Brandon LaFell, WR LSU 6-3, 211
Overall Pick 78 CFN Overall Ranking: 70

LaFell is the big, dangerous target who slid way further than anyone would’ve thought he could’ve gone last year at this time, but he’s a good get for a Panther offense that could use a No. 2 target on the other side of Steve Smith and some help for Jimmy Clausen/Matt Moore.

There was a time when many scouts considered him a top 15 overall prospect with the size and the potential to be special. However, he timed poorly, running a 4.63, and he didn’t play at a special, elite level in college. There’s a chance, though, that he could become a far better pro than a collegian with good moves for a player of his size and excellent blocking skills. The lack of deep speed will be a problem and he’s not the most consistent of pass catchers, but if he can show a good attitude and is willing to work (neither is a given), he could become one of the most productive receivers in this draft. He has to want to be special.
CFN Projection: Third Round

Third Round  (from Arizona from New England)
Armanti Edwards, QB/KR Appalachian State 5-11, 187
Overall Pick 89 CFN Overall Ranking: Free Agent

Yeah, like he’s going to challenge Jimmy Clausen for the future starting job. Edwards is a luxury pick for a team that’s a piece or two away, and that’s not Carolina. He’s a speedy wide receiver prospect who should combine with Brandon LaFell to give the Panthers some dangerous weapons next to Steve Smith.

What is he? A superstar at the lower level, Edwards has the mechanics, he has the 4.4 speed, and he has the experience having started for all four years at ASU playing at the highest of FCS levels with two national titles and the epic win over Michigan. One of the most dangerous quarterback options in the draft, he could be more than just a Wildcat specialist with the delivery and the awareness to lead a team for a stretch. However, the lefty is way too small to be an NFL quarterback, has a mediocre arm, and has major durability questions. Because of his size, his football smarts, and his quickness, he’ll make a team as a receiver and a No. 3 quarterback, but he’s not going to be a star at quarterback.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

Fourth Round  (from New York Jets from Arizona)
Eric Norwood, OLB South Carolina 6-1, 245 (DE)
Overall Pick 124 CFN Overall Ranking: 51
Phenomenal value, Norwood is a terrific pass rushing prospect who could’ve gone in the second round and no one would’ve blinked. The Panthers didn’t necessarily need a hybrid pass rusher, but this was too good a prospect to let fall any further.

Part defensive end, part linebacker, he got many of his accolades based on a few big, high-profile games and disappeared far too often the rest of the time. He has good size, excellent strength, and could be turned loose as a pass rushing terror from time to time, and he could even be used as a middle linebacker if needed. While he might have gotten by on reputation, he’s a good player who’ll likely flourish as a pro if he gets to be a speed-rushing linebacker.
CFN Projection: Second Round

Sixth Round (from Oakland)
Greg Hardy, DE Ole Miss 6-4, 281
Overall Pick 175 CFN Overall Ranking: 93

There we go, Carolina. Now you’re getting it. In yet another attempt to find a disruptive end to replace Julius Peppers, the Panthers matched the selection of Eric Norwood with an athlete who might be the best pure pass rusher in the draft … when he wants to play. He can’t stay healthy and he hasn’t had the fire to be a star, but the tools are there to be great if he can stay on the field.

One of the bigger boom-or-bust prospects among the defenders, he plays fast on the field, even if he timed poorly in offseason workouts, and is a top-shelf, athletic closer when he gets a beat on a quarterback. As a pure pass rusher, he might be the best in the draft and if you’re asking for one or two big plays a game, he should be able to provide them. However, he’s always dinged up, extremely flaky, and he gets erased against the run way too easily. If he’s not asked to do too much and if a team isn’t counting on him for a full season, he could be a game-changer a few times a year.
CFN Projection: Third Round

Sixth Round (from New York Jets)
David Gettis, WR Baylor 6-3, 217
Overall Pick 198 CFN Overall Ranking: 216

After going with a big, slow receiver in Brandon LaFell, and following that up with a short, fast receiver prospect in Armanti Edwards, the Panthers take a big, fast target who has better raw tools than any of the receivers on the roster. Now he’ll get a chance to show what he can do with a passing quarterback throwing to him.

All the basics are there with tremendous size, 4.48 speed, and the phenomenal leaping ability to jump out of the stadium. However, he’s not a great football player, gets pushed around way too much for his size, and he could be heartbreaking with his on-field production never going to match his raw skills and potential.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

Sixth Round 
Jordan Pugh, CB Texas A&M 5-11, 200
Overall Pick 202 CFN Overall Ranking: Free Agent

A long-time starter who can tackle and moves extremely well, he’s just good enough to get a look in camp. The Panthers have several needs in the secondary and might start taking fliers on DBs and hope one will be good enough to stay. Pugh will have to make big plays on special teams and show he can be a decent backup.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

Sixth Round 
Tony Pike, QB Cincinnati 6-6, 223
Overall Pick 100 CFN Overall Ranking: 202

In theory this is a phenomenal value pick, considering Pike was considered a possible second rounder a few months ago, but in practice this is a nightmare. All this does is ramp up the pressure and the development time for Jimmy Clausen and it’ll make for a mega-controversy that won’t ever go away. However, there’s a chance Pike could be the better quarterback pick.

The potential is there to grow into an Matt Schaub-like starter. He has excellent size, an accurate arm, and he’s a great decision maker. Tough as nails, he’ll play through injuries when he’s able to, but that’s part of the problem; he was always hurt. While he has a live arm, he doesn’t have a powerful one and isn’t going to make too many plays because of his gun. He’ll get knocked for his size, but he’s roughly the same size as Sam Bradford and is the same sort of player who could be had much, much cheaper. Like Bradford, Pike threw to open receivers as part of a great system and he has to prove he can hold up after getting beaten up. There are big concerns and question marks, but he could grow into a nice NFL starter.
CFN Projection: Third Round

Seventh Round 
R.J. Stanford, CB Utah 5-10, 185
Overall Pick 223     CFN Overall Ranking: Free Agent

He’s not all that big, but he’s quick enough to get a long look in camp before being a late cut. He’s just aggressive enough to be used in a variety of ways, but he’ll be at his best if he can prove he can hold up against bigger more physical targets.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

Seventh Round 
Robert McClain, CB Connecticut   5-9, 194
Overall Pick 249 CFN Overall Ranking: Free Agent

Small but strong, he’s a quick corner who has an outside shot at hanging around as a backup corner. He doesn’t have the talent to be a top nickel or dime defender, but he has just enough skill to get a chance in the Panther camp.
CFN Projection: Free Agent