Already thinking ahead to the upcoming 2012 NFL draft, (not because im writing off this season already, but because im so excited about how far our team has come this year that im so anxious to hopefully put the finishing touches and add some final pieces to be legitmate contenders next season and beyond.) my first reaction was we should defnitley go for Justin Blackmon or Alshon Jeffery and frankly you can make a solid case for either one. Steve Smith is aging, we dont have a true legitmate franchise WR for the future and right now our WR corps while deep doesnt really have a player that jumps out as a true replacement of Steve Smith at the number 1 spot.
While both Blackmon and Jeffery are extremely talented, I have had concerns about both. Blackmon with his DWI and Jeffery with his past weight issues. Im always the type that could care less about character issues UNLESS its something that can have a direct impact on a player's skill on the field and both substance abuse and weight loss can be huge drags on a player's overall performance. A stolen roommatae's lap top? no biggie. Drugs and weight gain? very concerning.
Anyway, with all that being said and after doing a lot of thinking on the issue. Our football team, the Carolina Panthers have no choice but to draft Courtney Upshaw. While ive been bored at home, while the wife watches 'Keeping up with the Kardashians.' I get on my ipad and do extensive research about the different players coming out of this year's draft class and frankly its so weak that I find myself just saying to hell with it and watching the Kardashians with my wife sometimes.
But no, on a serious note. After doing hours upon hours of research of stats, youtube highlight videos, draft profiles etc etc. Ive come to one conclusion. aside from Andrew Luck, Justin Blackmon, Matt Kalil, Alshon Jeffery,and a few other names. This draft class is pure garbage. But even out of this god awful draft class, their is one player that really stands out and I keep coming back to time and time again watching youtube vids and reading his stat lines, and that player is Courtney Upshaw.
Courtney Upshaw is a OLB. Great pass rusher, great run stopper, would be very solid in a 4-3 but even better in a 3-4 (which Rivera & CO seem more and more willing to move toward a change to the 3-4.) Courtney Upshaw is 6'2, 265 lbs. 2010 stat line is as follows; 52 TOT, 31 solo tackles, 7 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. His stat line so far this year for 2011 is as follows; 27 TOT, 19 solo tackles, 4.5 sacks, and one interception returned for a TD. He has a solid 40 time of 4.76.
So there you have it. Our defense right now is frankly hot garbage. We cant stop the run, we cant stop the pass and despite Charles Johnson we even struggle at rushing the passer. Courtney Upshaw plays in the SEC for Alabam which currently has the no 1 college defense in the country. Here is a video of him last year against none other than Auburn and our very own Cam Newton and he practically man handled Cam Newton that whole game (still didnt matter because Auburn won anyway, but still. This proves Upshaw definitley has what it takes to make it big in the NFL.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCXejeD1YV8 (also notice how far Cam has come into developing into a excellent NFL QB, wow he looks like a totally different QB in that video.) But anyway, there you have it.
Believe me when I say i have researched a million times about all the defensive prospects out there. Guys like Brandon Thompson, Zach Brown, Quinton Coples, Alameda Ta'mu, Dre Kirkpatrick and frankly every single one of those guys all look like 2nd rounders to me. But Courtney Upshaw IS the real deal and probably the most sure thing in this draft on the defensive side of the ball. He passes the eye test, excellent stat line, excellent size and speed, versatile, can stop the run and rush the pass and get to the QB.
If we somehow get a top 10 pick, im afraid when its all said and done Upshaw will be a top 7 maybe even a top 5 pick. So Carolina Panthers must do anything they can to make sure they get him. He would be a HUGE upgrade to our defense and with Beason and Ron Edwards back next year, our already near perfect offense and the final piece of the puzzle that is Courtney Upshaw. We will be fired up and primed for a playoff run starting next season and no I dont mean a wild card run either, im talking about a legitmate contender for a deep run.