Blog Entry

Cats should take biggest gamble: Pass on Newton

Posted on: April 25, 2011 12:22 pm
Edited on: April 25, 2011 12:31 pm
 
Posted by Will Brinson

No less than 48 hours ago, I told a relative at Easter that I had "fully talked myself into the Panthers taking Cam Newton." That's a by-product of several things, including: a) the franchise's need for a "face" that people care about, b) the unparalleled upside that Newton represents, c) the lack of any decent quarterback on the roster and d) the need to sell tickets and get fans re-invested.

When I woke up on Monday though, I felt entirely differently, and now I'm pretty sure that the Panthers absolutely need to pass on Newton, acquire as many decent assets as they can, and focus on getting Andrew Luck in 2011. (Quite conveniently, Clark Judge is hearing they'll do just that.)

That's not saying they should "tank" -- and, disclaimer time: I'm actually a Panthers fan, so that would be kind of miserable for me. They shouldn't. No one should tank in the NFL because, unlike the NBA or MLB, things can change quickly, and teams can become successful overnight.

But have you seen Carolina's schedule? It's nuts. There are -- at most -- five winnable games on the slate in 2011, and it wouldn't matter who they had quarterbacking, as long as that person is either a rookie or a second-year Jimmy Clausen, because it's going to be a struggle.
Panthers' Problems

Obviously the Panthers get the Falcons, the Saints and the Buccaneers twice in 2011, and only an insane optimist could expect more than two wins against those three times total. Two, which is dangerously hopeful, would include a win against the Bucs at home and either a random upset of Atlanta or New Orleans, or a late-season win where one of those teams doesn't trot out their full "A-team" because their seeding decision has been settled.

Look at the rest of the schedule, and the even the most bullish fan would find a hard time arguing that, with Cam Newton and/or Jimmy Clausen at the helm, the Panthers will win five games. I mean, where are the wins? Against the Cardinals, in Arizona, during the opening week of the season? Maybe.

Week 2 against the Packers can already be ruled out, as can Week 12 against the Colts in Indy and the Week 15 matchup against the Texans in Houston; all of those teams have too much offense for the Panthers to compete. So let's say they lose those three games and go 1-5 in the division.

That leaves a home matchup against Jacksonville in Week 3, a trip to Chicago in Week 4, a home matchup against the Redskins in Week 7 followed by the Vikings coming to town in Week 8, a Week 10, post-bye matchup against the Titans in Charlotte and a trip to Detroit in Week 11. Winning three of those games, based on the success that the 2010 team had, would be considered a tremendous success. That's a 4-12 record for the season, a miserable year, and a learning experience with regard to whether Jimmy Clausen can be the future of the franchise (my answer is no, but Marty Hurney apparently still wants to find out).
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It's also probably good enough to land them the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, which will net them Andrew Luck of Stanford, unless he decides he really loves graduate school.

And yes, I understand that this is a game of chicken that no NFL front office can reasonably play; it predicates itself on thinking that your team will be awful, and that's not a mindset you see in the NFL. But the schedule is what the schedule is, and then there's this: everyone in this draft is pulling trigger on a quarterback.

Most folks believe that there's a chance six -- SIX! -- quarterbacks could be gone as early as the first round. If six of the 10 (or so) teams that are truly desperate for quarterback help take a first-rounder, there's a pretty good chance that they won't even be looking for Luck come next year, significantly improving the Panthers chance that they would wind up with the most coveted option in the 2011 draft, even if they didn't finish with the worst record. (For instance, if the Bills draft Blaine Gabbert or Cam Newton third overall and finish 2-14, are they taking Luck? They can't.

And that should be the scariest fact for Hurney and new coach Ron Rivera when they start looking at their options for the coming season: even if they do take Newton, they could finish with the worst record in the NFL (in fact, one could argue drafting Newton improves their chances ...) and be faced with a decision on having to draft their third straight franchise quarterback. That's something that isn't even considered an option. Even if Luck was there, Carolina would have to think defense, which would be a shame.

Look, landing Luck vis-a-vis the No. 1 overall pick next year is far from a guarantee. But the odds of it happening for Carolina are at least as good, if not better, than hitting a home run with Cam Newton.
Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 9, 2012 2:09 am
 

Cats should take biggest gamble: Pass on Newton

Amazing... attraction absolutely have fun with any time you general look as of this brand-new placement, a person's overlooked is nice.


fghdfre
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 3, 2012 2:29 pm
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fghdfre
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 3, 2012 2:26 pm
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fghdfre
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 3, 2012 2:24 pm
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hgtrerte
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 3:36 am
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Since: Jan 6, 2008
Posted on: April 26, 2011 10:15 am
 

Cats should take biggest gamble: Pass on Newton

Point taken.  I completely agree that there is always a bust factor to consider.  What we know about Luck, however, is that he ran, to near perfection, a pro-style west coast offense at Stanford that is larger and more complex than some NFL teams'.  Ryan Leaf and every other bust down the line did not have that on their resume, as they ran spread or gimmicky offenses that simply do not translate to the next level.  That made it very hard to assess their potential at the next level.  Harbaugh is quoted as saying that by the end of the past season, he wasn't coaching Luck, but rather discussing game plans together.  Harbaugh thinks he has a photographic memory and had already mastered the offense completely (see link).  That's crazy for a college qb.  For that reason, I think the bust potential is extremely small with Luck, compared to the other prospects out there.
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/

563575-andrew-luck-breaking-down-hi

s-prospects-as-an-nfl-qb



Since: Nov 13, 2008
Posted on: April 25, 2011 10:39 pm
 

Cats should take biggest gamble: Pass on Newton

It's funny how we always compare a great college QB prospect to Peytom Manning a proven vet and future hall of famer. If I recall my Rams just drafted the future hall of fame QB in Sam Bradford. He played well is rookie season and i can't wait to see him in a josh mcdaniels offense. All I'm saying is for every Peyton Manning drafted #1 you could also get a Ryan Leaf.



Since: Jan 6, 2008
Posted on: April 25, 2011 9:41 pm
 

Cats should take biggest gamble: Pass on Newton

Well then, Rod Smart, I guess you'll be mighty surprised next year when Luck goes No 1 overall.  Look, the guy is the best QB prospect since Peyton Manning, and I think he'll be much better than Peyton when it's all said and done.  He could start, right now, for 10 NFL teams.  Even if Stanford has a down year this year, it most certainly WON'T be because of Luck.  But that's only half the story.  The rest of the story is that every NFL team knows this already.  In fact, everyone in the country knows this already except for you, apparently.  
You should watch some of Luck's game film: watch him make every throw with incredible accuracy and scary velocity.  Watch him audible in the Orange Bowl against one of the best defenses in the country to hit 3 40+ yard TDs in the 2nd half.  Watch him crush cornerbacks and outrun safeties to the endzone.  And then realize that being an engineering major at Stanford is no joke, since the school has spawned all of Silicon Valley.  He is the real deal, and every NFL team is salivating.  It doesn't matter what he does this year at Stanford, he is a shoe-in No 1 pick next year.   
btw - when you capitalize 'ALWAYS' and then immediately come up with two examples that directly contradict your capitalized word, you lose a little thunder. 






Since: Apr 25, 2011
Posted on: April 25, 2011 7:58 pm
 

Cats should take biggest gamble: Pass on Newton

"...focus on getting Andrew Luck in 2011"
and "... significantly improving the Panthers chance that they would wind up with the most coveted option in the 2011 draft"

Try looking at calendar, Will.    

And anybody who thinks they can predict a record based off a schedule months ahead of time must be pretty clueless about the NFL.  It's pretty darn tough in any year, but right now you don't even know who is going to be on which roster, since there has been no free agency (yet).  Injuries will happen.  
Or to put it another way:  when Will could pick winners and losers during the season, knowing who is on the injury list and who is not, knowing who is playing well and who is not, he could pick games correctly less than 60% of the time.  




Since: Feb 4, 2011
Posted on: April 25, 2011 5:45 pm
 

Cats should take biggest gamble: Pass on Newton

 ...and focus on getting Andrew Luck in 2011. (Quite conveniently, .)


That is the dumbest thing I've heard in at least 20 minutes.

Quarterbacks going back to school ALWAYS end up dropping.  Jake Locker.  Brian Brohm.  Matt Leinart.  The only time since John Elway that hasn't happened was due to Sam Bradford not being able to play.

I wouldn't be suprised one bit if the Panthers drafted Andrew Luck in the second round next year.


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