2011 NFL Draft, Don't Get Too Excited: Reasons Why Carolina Did Cam Newton Wrong
With the first pick in the 2011 NFL Draft the Carolina Panthers select.. to significantly harm Cam Newton's career. That should have been what Roger Goodell said from the podium.
It was seemingly no surprise that the Carolina Panthers drafted Cam Newton No. 1 overall in last night's draft. What was surprising is that the Panthers chose Newton despite already having two young quarterbacks on its roster, including one they selected with their first pick last year.
While the jury is still out on Clausen in terms of his career, I think it is a tremendous shock to give a signal-caller that short of a string, especially in a division you have very little chance of winning the very next year.
Add this to the fact that the team is bringing in a new coach with no experience bringing along a quarterback, especially one of Newton's abilities and limitations. With all that in mind here are several reasons why the Panthers should have made a different decision with their pick for Newton's sake (who deserved to go No. 1 overall in the right situation) and their own. Only a mother's love can help Newton get through a situation like this..
1. They Just Drafted a Quarterback with Their First Overall Pick Last Year
Common logic says that Cam Newton is a pro-ready athlete, but as a Quarterback, he needs some time to develop, a la Donovan McNabb, Aaron Rodgers and many others. It was evident that Jimmy Clausen, who came out of a pro-ready system at Notre Dame, was thrown to the wolves last year.He fought as well as any chicken would against a pack of savage beasts. It is also quite clear that GM Marty Hurney has absolutely no idea what he is doing as a general manager. He is shockingly comparable to Matt Millen at this point.
After inexplicably holding onto Jake Delhomme for way too long (including signing him to a $20 Million guaranteed contract, when the whole world knew he was finished) he jettisoned Jake to allow world beater Matt Moore to start last season as QB.
He stockpiles picks (like drafting running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart in the first round in 2006 & 2008 respectively) or abandons first rounders for inexplicable later-round choices. For instance the Panthers had no first-round pick in both 2009 or 2010. They had no first rounder in 2010 because they traded up to get Everette Brown who has made the Pro Bowl ever since.... The year before they had already traded away their first-round pick to select Jeff Otah the year prior. He and Brown share a hotel room every time they go to the Pro Bowl.
Hurney, has been GM since 2002 and his ability to draft has seemingly gone downhill ever since. It is no surprise that the teams most talented players (Steve Smith and Julius Peppers who already left) want out after watching his shenanigans play out.
2. They Expect Newton To Start Right Away
Word has it that the Panthers despite not knowing what they are doing as team, and despite the fact that they will have the NFL's toughest schedule this year. They plan on playing Newton right away. I am a huge Cam Newton fan, and even went so far as to suggesting that my team, a team with the right situation should do whatever it could to draft Newton first overall. But this is simply not the right situation for Newton to find success in.
If you look at the picture above I am sure you'll note that while he said he was happy to be selected No. 1 overall, he looks a little reluctant about the prospects of playing for the Panthers this year.
3. Their Conference Is a Monster
In order to do the unthinkable and get to the playoffs in the near future the Panthers will have to by pass the Saints (who won the Super Bowl in 2010), the Falcons who dominated the Conference let alone the division and also the Buccaneers who might be the most promising of the bunch. All of these teams won more than 10 games last season, if only in part because they made pancakes out of the Panthers all season long.
The only good news that came out the draft in regards to this is the fact that the Falcons traded away a good chunk of their own future to select the second best wide receiver in the draft.
All of the teams in their division built up a solid base for their team and then found a Quarterback, they did not do it the other way around. This is possibly the worst situation for Cam Newton to go into and the Panthers could have avoided this mess.