Carolina Panthers Grab Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen with First Draft Selection

Austin Penny@@AustinPennyAnalyst IApril 24, 2010

PALO ALTO, CA - NOVEMBER 28:  Jimmy Clausen #7 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in action during their game against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium on November 28, 2009 in Palo Alto, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Carolina Panthers have finally made a pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. 

After serving as pedestrians to last night's first round, the Panthers finally got the chance to make a selection on the second day of the most anticipated event in the NFL offseason.

Carolina took the opportunity to pick up perhaps one of the biggest surprises still sitting on their draft board, Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen. 

According to the Panthers, he sat atop their own draft board when their turn came at 48th overall, and they were relieved when the Arizona Cardinals picked TCU outside linebacker Daryl Washington with the 47th pick that they traded up to get.

Quarterback may not have been the Panthers' most pressing need, but with the second-ranked player at the position still available, the pick seems to make sense. 

While Steve Smith still sits as the team's only threat at the receiver position, the Panthers will pick again at 78 overall and will have a chance to pick from a handful of more-than-capable receivers still remaining. 

Clausen is still recovering from a foot injury that has limited his training during the offseason and may have caused him to still be around at 48 when it came time for the Panthers to pick. 

Clausen has said repeatedly that he expects to be at full strength by the time training camp comes around.

Clausen said in an interview with Charlotte-area media that took place just after he was drafted that he spoke with Panthers head coach John Fox, who told him they were trying to move up into the 33rd spot to take him earlier, but weren't able to make the deal.  He said that both parties were elated when the pick was able to happen anyway. 

Clausen also said that Fox mentioned to him that the offense he ran at Notre Dame is nearly identical to the system he will be running in Carolina. 

Clausen will apparently be competing with Matt Moore for the starting job, although the Panthers have said on numerous occasions during the offseason that Matt Moore would head into the season as the starter. 

Chances are the powers-that-be weren't expecting a quarterback of Clausen's caliber to be available at 48.

Barring a trade, the Panthers have one more pick on Friday night, the 78th overall at No. 14 in the second round.

Information from Carolina Panthers beat writer Andrew Mason (@cpanthers) was used in this article.