For the Carolina Panthers, It's Open QB Season
With the last day of the NFL draft behind us, it is, of course, time for the endless criticism for each and every team's picks to begin.
The Carolina Panthers had an incredible 10 picks in the 2010 NFL draft, and they used them in some interesting ways.
This includes drafting three quarterbacks: Jimmy Clausen, Armanti Edwards, and Tony Pike.
After parting ways with seven-year veteran Jake Delhomme, the Panthers decided that they need to find their QB of the future.
Why not triple your chances and draft three?
Now to some this seems a little out of the ordinary and questionable, but if you look at the depth chart for the quarterback position, it not a real solid core. As Delhomme struggled, the starting position was given to Matt Moore.
Moore stepped in and did a great job in his attempt to resurrect a failing Carolina team. He finished with 990 yards passing for eight touchdowns and only one interception in his five-game stint as starter.
Though Moore can undoubtedly be a competent starter for this Carolina squad, they wanted to take out a few insurance policies for the future.
Jimmy Clausen of Notre Dame, who was served up on a golden platter to the Panthers, was picked in the second round and 48th overall. Clausen, once viewed as a potential top-10 overall pick, saw his name fall down the draft board as the hours passed on the first day.
Clausen is the most NFL-ready quarterback of the three, coming from Notre Dame's more pro-style offense under Charlie Weis. Though Weis never brought the Notre Dame program back to where they thought he would, his experience as an assistant head coach with the Patriots definitely prepared Clausen for the NFL.
Clausen, having one more year of collegiate eligibility, decided to declare early and forgo his senior year. During his stellar career with the Fighting Irish, Clausen threw for 8,148 yards and 60 touchdowns with only 27 interceptions.
Looking ahead to the future, Clausen ended up in the best situation for him. The Panthers, coming off a disappointing season last year, have always been a threat in NFC South. With this situation Clausen will have less pressure on his shoulders to turn around the franchise.
Sam Bradford, on the other hand, going first overall, is going to a horrific team and is expected to have an immediate impact on the number of wins next season.
Armanti Edwards is the hometown hero that led his Appalachian State Mountaineers to two Division I-AA national championships.
One of the most notable games of his career was against No. 5 Michigan at the Big House in Ann Arbor, where the Mountaineers shocked the world. They beat the Wolverines 34-32 in a win that to many is the greatest upset in the history of sports.
Armanti is an interesting pickup for the Panthers because of his versatility and athleticism as a dual-threat player. Through his career at ASU he played the quarterback position, but the Carolina Panthers will more than likely convert him to a wide receiver.
He has a similar skill set to such notable players as the Steelers' Antwaan Randle El and the Browns' Josh Cribbs, both of whom are explosive players with shiftiness and playmaker abilities.
Edwards will be listed as a wide receiver/return specialist more than likely, but defenses should keep an eye on him due to his ability to effectively run and pass the football.
Tony Pike out of Cincinnati was the Panthers' eighth draft pick. Going into the draft Pike was rated by some as the fifth best quarterback overall.
He has the proper NFL build for the position. Pike is a 6'5", 223-lb. quarterback with a high IQ for the game. During his three-year career as the starter for the Bearcats he threw for 5,018 yards with 49 touchdowns and only 20 interceptions.
Pike also led his team to an undefeated regular season in 2009, going 12-0.
He had a decent performance at the Combine, but a few questions were raised about his ability to be a leader on the field and his mediocre accuracy and arm strength.
If he can get into training camp and work on some things, he can absolutely make a run at the starting position for the Panthers.
With the 2010 season sadly many months away, these three rookies will have plenty of time to get the proper training and learn the new system that they will be joining.
One thing is for sure, though: There is going to be a cutthroat competition for the backup and maybe even the starting position at the quarterback position in Charlotte with the Carolina Panthers.
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