NFL Draft 2011: 5 Reasons the Panthers Should Have Taken Patrick Peterson No. 1

Matt SmithContributor IIIApril 29, 2011

NFL Draft 2011: 5 Reasons the Panthers Should Have Taken Patrick Peterson No. 1

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    BATON ROUGE, LA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Patrick Peterson #7 of the Louisiana State Univeristy Tigers celebrates after scoring a touchdown by posing as the Heisman Trophy against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Tiger Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Baton Rouge
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    As it was recently announced, the Panthers have selected Auburn QB Cam Newton with the No.1 pick.

    Recently, it was revealed that the Panthers had narrowed down their possibilities to four choices: Patrick Peterson, Cam Newton, A.J. Green and Marcell Dareus.

    While any of these picks could be justifiable, Newton was the last person out of these four that the Panthers should have taken. 

    And here's why.

1. The Panthers Already Have Several Young QBs

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    ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 02:  Quarterback Jimmy Clausen #2 of the Carolina Panthers against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on January 2, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The Panthers have a roster that consists of several young QBs.

    They had two rookies last year, Jimmy Clausen and Tony Pike. Also on the roster was Matt Moore, who got time as the starter and is only 26 years old.

    While none of them performed exceptionally well, the QB position for the Panthers is loaded with young QBs. What they need is a veteran to help them reach their potential.

2. No Point in Having Multiple Developmental QBs

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Cam Newton passes the ball during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    When Cam Newton comes into the NFL, he won't be ready to start. He comes from a simple, sort of improv offense from Auburn.

    Clausen also needs to develop more and was unfairly thrust into the starter's role for a good part of the season.

    It could be detrimental to Newton's development if he's given the reins immediately.

    If the QBs on the Panthers depth chart are all developmental, who will start?

3. Dual Value from Patrick Peterson

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    BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 20:  Patrick Peterson #7 of the Louisiana State University Tigers nearly intercepts a pass in the final seconds against Markeith Summers #16 and Korvic Neat #28 of the Ole Miss Rebels as time expired at Tiger Stadium on November
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Not only could Peterson be an immediate elite corner, but he utilizes his blazing speed in a different way as well.

    Peterson is a superb kick/punt returner who would be able to bolster the return game and maybe take one to the house.

    Newton would only be able to play QB, but Peterson has dual position value. 

4. Too Many Holes on the Panthers Team to Select a Risk Such as Newton

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 10: Running back Matt Forte #22 of the Chicago Bears runs with the ball as defensive end Charles Johnson #95 of the Carolina Panthers defends at Bank of America Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Ge
    Geoff Burke/Getty Images

    Pictured above is Charles Johnson. He is not holding the team back by any means.

    On the other hand, many other players are. The Panthers have tons of holes to fill and can only cover one of a variety of positions with their first-round pick.

    Newton has tremendous upside, but also has bust potential.

    Why not go with the sure thing in Peterson and know that the position he plays in will be set instead of risking a bust and setting your franchise back some years?

5. Patrick Peterson Is the Best Player in the Draft

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    BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 06:  Patrick Peterson #7 of the Louisiana State University Tigers avoids a tackle by Brad Smelley #17 of the Alabama Crimson Tide  at Tiger Stadium on November 6, 2010 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty I
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Patrick Peterson is the real deal. Period.

    There were several great cornerbacks such as Rod Woodson, Deion Sanders and Charles Woodson, who did not go No.1 overall.

    But I bet the teams regret passing on them.

    Peterson is the best player in the draft as he is the best cornerback prospect since Charles Woodson. He will be able to take the No.1 receiver out of the game.

    If you have the No.1 pick, why not take the No.1 player?