Well, certainly the NFL off season is fairly interesting this year, with the lockout and everything. But the Draft is something I look forward to every year. In fact, I follow the Draft closely as soon as the Super Bowl ends (and sometimes even earlier)
All I hear about is how Carolina should draft a QB with their first overall pick. Whether it's Blaine Gabbert or Cam Newton, most mock drafts and draft experts have Carolina selecting a QB. What is the deal with that?
I still remember when Jimmy Clausen was a consensus top-10 pick. I remember when Tebow was suppose to be the one who would be considered a reach at the second round. And somehow, Clausen dropped all the way to the 2nd and Tebow flew into the 1st. A lot of people had Clausen as a steal for Carolina, and it looked like a good fit. They had a decent offensive line with a extremely solid running game. They didn't have to rely on him for offence (unlike say a team like the Rams with Sam Bradford). So what happened?
I don't follow Carolina so I haven't watched any of Clausen's games. But from what I understand, he was extremely inaccurate with his passes and did not feel comfortable in the pocket. Could that have been from the -breakdown of their running game or the lackluster receiving group? Their receivers were so ridiculous. No player eclipsed 50 receptions, 600 yards or 4 TDs. Or is this a product of a poor QB? Perhaps if Steward and Williams were both healthy, Clausen would have something to lean on. Could it have been their offensive line? Jeff Otah was out for most the year (or was it the whole year).
The point is I think it's too early to give up on Clausen. He has talent and with players returning from injury and a strong draft focused on strengthening the line (both offensive and defensive) and wide receivers, he could really succeed. They should stock up on talent in this year's draft and then go after a QB next year (maybe even Andrew Luck). Or another QB in the 2nd. I think it's too much of a risk for a QB with the 1st overall pick. Especially when there is no consensus franchise QB.
But hell, what do I know. I don't follow the Panthers. A friend of mine is big fan though, and I get most of this information from him. If you guys think Gabbert is the way to go, let me know why. Or if it is Newton you want, tell me. I am curious as to why people everywhere are giving up on Clausen so early. The Panthers are depleted in talent on both ends of the field so maybe it is the lack of talent that is bringing him down. Or maybe I am wrong.
Anyway, good luck next season. Hopefully the lockout ends quick.