On April 28, the NFL will hold its annual draft. All eyes will be glued to the television to see what college stars will be donning their favorite teams jersey at the next level. The Carolina Panthers have the luxury of choosing first overall after finishing last year with a disappointing 2-14 record.
Unlike last year when it was almost unanimous that Sam Bradford would be chosen with the first pick, there are many different opinions on who will be and should be selected at No. 1 this year. Carolina undoubtedly has their work cut out for them as the pressure is on to make the right decision.
There will be three other teams watching more closely than others to see just who that pick turns out to be. Those teams are Tampa Bay, Atlanta and New Orleans. Here is a look at a few players that Saints fans are hoping Carolina passes over with that first overall pick.
With an overwhelming majority choosing Blaine Gabbert as the No. 1 overall selection, this could turn out to be reality. Why would it be bad for New Orleans if Carolina was to make this pick? Simply put, he's a huge upgrade over Jimmy Clausen.
If Carolina was to make this selection, then they instantly have an improved offense. Brandon Lafell and David Gettis suddenly become guys to worry about. Paired with an already proven running game in Carolina, their offense suddenly poses a problem that could put up just enough points to slip by New Orleans.
It would be down right heartbreaking to see Blaine Gabbert throwing the winning touchdown to former Saint Jeremy Shockey. However, since Gabbert is only relatively accurate and possesses a slightly above-average arm, there are much worse picks the Panthers could make in the eyes of a Saints fan.
Da'Quan Bowers has recently fallen down draft boards due to a lingering knee injury and ultimately may have been taken out of Carolina's consideration. However, if they plan on looking toward the long-term then Bowers would be a dangerous pick for New Orleans.
He would present a challenge to block in our pass-heavy offense and would wreak havoc in the back field. Besides, who really wants to see Brees laying on the Superdome floor two or three times a game.
Von Miller poses the same problem as Da'Quan Bowers but from a different position and probably sooner in his career. He had 17 sacks in '09 and 11 in 2010. Miller would be a constant threat on every play and would be a must to know exactly where he is at all times.
Miller could come on an all-out blitz, stuff the runner in the back field or sniff out the screen play. He will be a game-changer wherever he goes—let's just hope it's not Carolina.
Nick Fairley only had one productive year at Auburn, finishing his year with 12 sacks. However, he poses a risk that some of the other defensive players do not. He's been called a "dirty" player by many for his style of play.
He's been seen hitting players late and what seems to be purposely trying to hurt quarterbacks. On one particular play, he seemed to attempt to hit the shin of a quarterback with his helmet.
Is this the guy New Orleans Saints fans want to see coming after Drew Brees with that look of destruction on his face? Considering he could end our season with one disruptive sack, probably not.
Cam Newton is known by most as an "entertainer and an icon." Just kidding. Most people refer to Cam Newton as a "boom or bust player." The Heisman Trophy winner also had only one productive year at Auburn, but it was an incredible one.
He threw for 30 touchdowns with only seven picks and rushed for another 20 touchdowns and over 1,400 yards. Did I mention he's 6'6" and 250 pounds? Is this the guy you really want to game-plan for twice a year? I think not.
If he ends up being the pick in Carolina, then Saints fans will be hoping for more bust than boom.