The Panthers got 10 players out of the 2010 NFL Draft; Not sure all will stick through camp, but at least they’ll have depth going into preseason.
Round 2 – Jimmy Clausen – QB
Fantastic value at 48. Could end up making Matt Moore expendable. With Moore’s contract status, it makes it more likely that the Panthers will go with Clausen as the starter and Pike as the backup in 2011 rather than giving Moore — reportedly not a favorite of John Fox — a long-term, high-dollar contract. Make no mistake — Clausen is their guy. Moore is just auditioning for a new job elsewhere, like it or not.
Round 3 – Brandon LaFell – WR
Finally the Muhsin Muhammad replacement this team has been looking for. Big, fast and a blocker. LaFell could start from the get go. I believe Jarrett is entering the final year of his deal; The Panthers drafted three WRs in the draft, hoping at least one or two pans out. Great value in the third round.
Round 3 – Armanti Edwards – WR/QB/KR
Athletic competitor, local fan favorite. Still, fact remains that he has to learn two new positions and the Panthers gave up their 2nd round pick in next year’s draft to select him. Sky high potential, pretty big risk. You have 2nd round players contribute right away … I think Edwards will, but did the Panthers essentially pick a kick returner and a wildcat novelty with a second round pick? I think so … and that’s what has me a little disappointed.
Round 4 – Eric Norwood – LB/DE
Instinctive pass rusher. Undersized. Could be converting from a LB to a DE. Probably a situational pass rusher. Decent value in the fourth round, but do they view him as an eventual starter? Should be a special teams monster, at least.
Round 6 – Greg Hardy – DE
Reminds many people of Julius Peppers in many ways, including talent and demeanor. Injuries have limited his production the last couple of seasons. If he can get healthy, he could be a solid contributor, but this is an instance of the Panthers taking a swing at the fences in a no-lose situation.
Round 6 – David Gettis – WR/KR
WR from Baylor with good size and speed. Could stick on special teams, but the third of three WRs chosen by the Panthers. Considering the Panthers usually only carry four receivers on gameday, and considering that Smith, LaFell, Jarrett and Edwards are the active WRs, it could be an uphill battle for Gettis to make the team. Practice squad is likely for 2010 unless Jarrett is gone.
Round 6 – Jordan Pugh – S
A CB in college, the Panthers plan to convert him to S. He’s the next project in the Panthers’ secondary. Will have to stand out on special teams to see a jersey on game day.
Round 6 – Tony Pike – QB
Pike played in a spread offense in college, but has the size and arm strength to develop into a quality NFL starter. Fantastic value in the 6th round, and could eventually make Matt Moore expendable.
Round 7 – R.J. Sanford – CB
Good size and speed, could contribute in nickel and dime packages.
Round 7 – Robert McClain -CB
undersized and slower than most corners, which stacks the cards against him. Good ball skills and instincts give him a chance to stick around for a while.