Tag:NFL Draft 2011
Posted on: March 10, 2011 3:56 pm

Panthers not in love with Clausen or Gabbert?

Posted by Will Brinson

Finding out that the Panthers aren't in love with Jimmy Clausen might not seem like news, but it's fairly important with respect to the draft. After all, if everyone in Carolina think his ship has sailed, it's probably time to start drafting a quarterback.

Well, according to Don Banks of Sports Illustrated, the only person left in Clausen's corner is GM Marty Hurney. Oh, and the Panthers aren't big fans of Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert, either.

Banks cites a source who informed him that Hurney is the "only one in the building in Charlotte" who thinks Clausen can still turn into the Panthers starting quarterback. This isn't entirely illogical: watching Clausen play in 2010 made it clear he wasn't progressing quickly. (Duh.) But Hurney drafted him, and therefore has a little bit of loyalty -- even if it's blind -- to the Notre Dame product.

What's particularly interesting about this, but probably won't be publicly noted for quite some time (if ever), is that if everyone's already off the Clausen bandwagon after one season, there's a pretty good chance that John Fox was never on it to start.

Fortunately, Ron Rivera, as a new head coach, isn't likely to be saddled with a quarterback he's not amenable to; in this case, Blaine Gabbert. (And Clausen.)
NFL Draft

And, apparently, Carolina "doesn't really love" Gabbert either. Banks cites a source who tells him the Panthers have concerns about the Mizzou product, because they don't believe he's "accurate enough outside the hash marks and deep downfield."

Those concerns are legitimate given the offense that Gabbert's coming from, and it obviously opens up the door for Cam Newton as the Panthers' No. 1 overall selection. In case the fact that they're holding a private workout with Newton didn't open it enough.

Or a defensive player, if they don't love Cam. But whether or not they turn to the Heisman winner with the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft, it certainly is seeming like there'll be a change at quarterback for the Panthers in 2011.

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Posted on: March 10, 2011 11:19 am
Edited on: March 10, 2011 12:06 pm

9 teams schedule private workout with Cam Newton

Posted by Will Brinson

The report on Cam Newton -- our No. 11-ranked NFL Draft prospect -- varies, depending on who you ask. Some people love him, some people hate him. But everyone's interested in potentially drafting him. Which is why there are a reported NINE teams scheduling private workouts with the Auburn quarterback.

That's according to Darin Gantt of the Rock Hill Herald, who lists the following teams as having schedule workouts with Newton: the Panthers (first overall pick), Bills (third), Bengals (fourth), Cardinals (fifth), Browns (sixth), Titans (eighth), Redskins (10th), Vikings (12th) and Seahawks (25th).

So what you have there is a) a nice little list of everyone in the draft who needs a quarterback and b) a perfectly excellent example of just how insanely fluid Newton's draft stock is in 2011.

For instance, he's currently the No. 1 overall pick in both Rob Rang and Chad Reuter's mock drafts, but you don't exactly have to scour the Internet to see him potentially dropping as low as the mid-teens.
NFL Draft

This is one reason why all of these teams are scheduling workouts with Newton -- he's an elite athlete and an interesting talent, but he's also not a stone-cold lock to go in the top-five picks, though it would be surprising to see him fall out of the top 10.

Oh yes, and there's this too: because there's a strong likelihood that there will be a rookie wage scale in place for the 2011 Draft (or, at least, in place for the signing of 2011 draftees), the Panthers top pick is immensely more valuable. People make comparisons of Newton to JaMarcus Russell, but those are a LOT less concerning when an investment in Newton doesn't equate to $60 million guaranteed.

That means that these teams have to see what Cam can do in a private setting and fully determine how much they want to invest in him, because he'll also likely be available via a trade with the Panthers or another team at the top.

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Posted on: March 8, 2011 7:25 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2011 7:30 pm

Newton, Mallett pro days in the books

Posted by Andy Benoit
C. Netwon (US Presswire)
The much anticipated pro days for Auburn’s Cam Newton and Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett wrapped up Tuesday evening. The reviews? About what you’d expect (if you were expecting to see more of the same from both guys).

Newton struggled somewhat with his accuracy, completing 50 of 60 passes (i.e. 10 incompletions against thin air). To compare, Sam Bradford completed 49 of 50 attempts at his pro day workout. Some of Newton’s incompletions resulted from receiver drops, though there were a handful of balls that were overthrown. CBS’s draft guru, Rob Rang, gave Newton a B.

As for Mallett….he did not impress with his 5.37 forty time, but ask anyone who has ever defended Peyton Manning how important a pocket passing quarterback’s forty time is. Mallett’s arm was the story of his workout. According to NFL.com respected draft expert Bucky Brooks, that story was enticing enough to propel Mallett into the first round.

NFL Draft

Brooks writes:

The junior was absolutely sensational during the workout, and his natural talent is unrivaled in this year’s draft. As a strong-armed passer, Mallett easily makes all of the requisite throws in the pro game. He had little trouble putting the ball on the proper shoulder with velocity and zip. His arm strength, touch and accuracy also stood out on deep throws. His high-arcing throws consistently hit receivers in stride 40-45 yards down field, but he also showed the ability to adjust the arc and trajectory of his throws to match the speed of his intended receiver.

Mallett’s footwork and fundamentals were sound in the pocket, as he quickly sets up and comes to balance following three-, five- or seven-step drops. His natural rhythm comes from his extensive experience running a pro-style attack, and he shouldn’t have any problem transitioning to the next level from a physical standpoint.

There is still a lot of time between now and April 28, so don’t expect Tuesday’s events to be the final piece of evidence in this particular quarterback comparison debate.

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Posted on: March 7, 2011 12:52 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2011 2:45 pm

Rivera, Elway to see Newton, not Mallett Tuesday

Posted by Andy Benoit

Panthers head coach Ron Rivera and Broncos new football czar John Elway will be on hand for Cam Newton’s pro day on Tuesday. Let the rumors start flying.

Rivera’s attendance is not super significant given that the Panthers will have Newton (projected to go No. 1 overall in Rob Rang's latest mock draft) visit their facility at some point. Elway's attendance is more noteworthy given that he seems to have some hesitations about Tim Tebow.

Because Rivera and Elway are attending Newton’s pro day, he won’t get to see Ryan Mallett’s C. Newton (US Presswire)pro day. Auburn and Arkansas pro days are both slated for Tuesday.

Overlapping pro days are problematic because not only will scouts/coaches/front office execs not get to see both players (and thus compare both players), but they could also be tipping their hand to other teams. (If a team sends its GM, head coach and VP of college scouting to Newton’s workout while having its offensive coordinator and regional scouts go to Mallett (projected by Rang to go 12th to the Vikings), which player would you say they’re most interested in?)

Peter King wrote about it in Monday Morning Quarterback.

"Really drives me nuts,'' one top college scout told me Sunday. Not that there aren't going to be conflicts. But to see so many big schools loading up on such a small number of days. Today, one major school (Tulsa) has its Pro Day; next Monday, there are two (Central Michigan, LSU). Thursday, 13 major schools have Pro Days. Who plans this stuff?

I understand coaches and scouts want the weekend off.... And to get to Baton Rouge you'd have to travel on Sunday unless you were flying private. But for nobody to have noticed Mallett and Newton working out on the same day? Not good.

It doesn’t have to be this way. A little planning and coordination could take care of most conflicts. Colleges, of course, are not obligated to make their schedules convenient for the NFL. But it would be beneficial to them if they did. Obviously, the more players a college can get to the NFL, the easier it is for that college to recruit talent. The whole point of a pro day workout is to help get players to the NFL.

It’s not just about the top tier players, either. If Rivera or Elway, for example, were able to attend Mallett’s workout, they’d also get a firsthand look at the rest of Arkansas’ draft prospects. In the very least, that exposure could later be advantageous when it comes to signing undrafted free agents.

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Posted on: December 19, 2010 1:17 pm
Edited on: December 19, 2010 2:51 pm

Casserly: 'Draft will go on as scheduled'

Posted by Will Brinson

Not a whole lot of information stemmed from the NFL owners' meetings in Fort Worth, Texas, outside of the repeated mantra that everyone wants collective bargaining to happen so there can be football in 2010.

However, CBS Sports' Charley Casserly learned that the owners also agreed to go forward with the NFL Draft in April (even after a presumed NFL lockout in March), albeit with some stipulations.

"The draft will go on as scheduled, April 28 through April 30, if there is a lockout though," Casserly said on The NFL Today. "Couple of changes though: Teams will not be able to contact or sign players that were not drafted during the draft. They can also not trade players during the draft, but they can trade picks, both present and future, during the draft."

Additionally, there will be limits as the to the interactions players both new and old can have with teams.

"During a lockout, players will not be allowed in their team facility -- they will only be able to communicate with trainers, doctors and HR personnel," Casserly said.

In other words, there's some "good faith" stuff going on here at least, because teams clearly want their young and old NFL players preparing -- to a degree anyway -- as if there will be an NFL season.

What makes the former part interesting is a situation similar to when Eli Manning and Philip Rivers were drafted -- the Chargers and Giants drafted and then swapped their respective franchise quarterbacks. That's a situation that would be against the rules -- San Diego would have needed New York to make the full move to the top spot in order to acquire Eli from them.

It doesn't completely change the makeup of the draft, but it does make swinging deals significantly more difficult, because once a player is locked into a team, he's locked into a team.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com