FanPost

A 'D-Ranged' Panthers Draft Evaluation (Early Version)

D-ranged being interchangeable with uneducated, in this case. However, with some research and a couple links provided by MP, I've came to a conclusion on an early (shall we call it pre-alpha?) list. It's quite surprising, for me, as initially listing needed positions (without names) differed pretty noticeably from the positions I ended up with.

I went by pretty basic stats to begin with, though I'll be researching these players further as I list them out. I chose to do this purposefully. Why? Because I see it as a learning opportunity for myself and am interested in seeing how much changes from now until the final version.

Speaking of final version, there's another reason I am doing this so early (the draft being, what, roughly 3 1/2 months away?). That being: plenty of time for revision as you guys whip me into shape and inform me of just how terrible my picks are ;).

So, without further ado, please do enter my mind of madness...

All information courtesy NFLDraftScout.com's Prospect Ratings. All picks are projected to be available in the said round, I didn't venture too far off as I certainly don't consider myself qualified to guess who will fall or rise.

Round 2, Pick #1: Eric Norwood - 6'1 -  252lbs - OLB - South Carolina (Projected Round: 2-3)
WTF?!: I know, I know. Of all our needs, why am I taking an OLB with our first pick? Norwood was mentioned in another draft-related fanpost which initially led to me researching him. After reading up on him and looking at a few of his highlight videos, I'm pretty impressed. Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed the play of our back-up linebackers but I feel inserting Norwood in with Davis and Beason would be a beastly trio. If Norwood gets up to NFL speed quickly, I'd love to see him compete with Diggs during his rookie year. Also, considering Diggs is entering the final year of his contract, that makes Norwood even more valuable in my mind. Anderson, Connor, Culberson, Senn, and Ivy would stay as back-ups and ST players (assuming the last few stick around). I, for the life of me, cannot find the original highlight video I watched, however I did find this one. It's not as good as the other but, I suppose, it'll suffice.

Round 3, Pick #2: Danario Alexander - 6'5 - 210lbs - WR - Missouri (Projected Round: 3)
WTF?!:
At least I address a needed position here. Danario is a big guy, like Jarrett, only faster. I pick him here in hopes that he replaces not only Jarrett but Moose as well; two birds, one stone. Currently ranked the 8th best WR in the draft, he should hopefully be available to us in the 3rd due to an injury tattered college career, topped off only by a break-out performance in his final year. I could easily see Danario as the big, big play maker opposite of the little, big play maker, Smith. Assuming Moose stays, he could be a great NFL mentor given the similar size. He's definitely a chance in terms of injury, but risk equals reward and he's a risk I'll take (and that very risk is the reason why I believe we can get him). You can take your pick of highlight videos here.

Round 4, Pick #3: Akwasi Owusu-Ansah - 6'1 - 195lbs - CB - Indiana (Pa.) (Projected Round: 3-4)
WTF?!:
Now I bet you're really wondering what I'm smokin'. Three picks and only one position drafted that we actually need. I know, just hang with me. Sadly, our "shutdown corner" is the worst coverage player on our entire team. At least he's good against the run though... Despite the fact that we're stuck with him (I certainly wouldn't mind trading him for some picks, if we could get it. Seems unlikely with that fat salary, though. Anyone care to correct me and raise my spirits that we could get rid of him?), I would still pick up Akwasi, if available in the fourth. I believe he greatly improves our secondary as he settles down in the NFL. I am unable to find any highlight videos, if anyone knows of any, please do share.

Round 6, Pick #4: Joe Webb - 6'4 - 220lbs - QB - UAB (Projected Round: 7)
WTF?!:
Not only did I wait until round 6 to go after a QB but I'm taking him a round earlier than is currently projected. Some people suggest we sign a free agent like, say, Michael Vick, because of his ability to run. Others say someone along the lines of Jason Campbell, whom seems to be a decent QB on a terrible team. Oh, he's also pretty nice on his feet. Joe Webb finished off his college career by becoming the first player in NCAA history to post back-to-back seasons with both 2,000+ passing yards and 1,000+ rushing yards. He may not be as fast as Vick was in his prime but I don't believe we need that much speed under center (at least, if it's at the expense of accuracy). His 40 time is slightly faster than that of Jason Campbell. Sadly, I can only find a single video of one pass. If anyone finds more, please share.

Round 7, Pick #5: Trindon Holliday - 5'5 - 164lbs - WR - LSU (Projected Round: 7-FA)
WTF?!:
By this time, we're deep in bust territory. I don't know if that's a good thing or bad. For one, I have an excuse if the guy never makes it in the NFL. On the other hand, that's still a wasted pick. Ah, to hell with it - I'm going with Holliday. Billed as the fastest WR/RB in the draft (of players with a 40 listed), I sadly don't see this guy seeing any time at either position in the pro's. Add a couple of inches and Smitty might make me might consider it. However, what I do see is a guy blowing past defenders on punt returns and kick off's. Everyone knows we need a spark and Holliday may just be a flamethrower (okay, disposable lighter). Still, I see no reason not to pick up a speedster in the last round to boost our return game. Our offense will be that much more deadly working on short fields in 2010. See if you can spot the guy Holliday runs by before he even realizes it.

Alternatives: WR Riley Cooper; WR Brandon Banks; QB Bill Stull; QB Armanti Edwards; QB Thaddeus Lewis.

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