NFL Draft Rumors Surrounding Panther Prospects

Let's talk rumors and I want to emphasize these are just that...Rumors! But we have little else to discuss at this point and I always like to see if these things ring true at the draft. 

I'm not sure how I missed this a week ago, but our favorite bearer of bad rumors Nawrocki has a number of rumors about our prospects. As I'm sure you would expect most are not good:

DT Marvin Austin

Has clear first-round talent as one-gap penetrator in a 4-3 defense after showing well at the East-West Shrine game and at the Combine, and could fit into the back of the first round, but a number of teams have said they would not consider him until the third round, or would not want him at any price because of the way he will affect a locker room.

I thought it was WR Greg Little who admitted to being the cause of the investigation? I would think something this obvious would be easily detectable by a team during an interview. I'm betting he's off on this one.

More after the jump...

DT Nick Fairley

His work ethic is questionable — and it shows in his smooth-muscled, soft body. He is not a self-starter, is known to fall asleep in meetings and has a learning disability that showed in his 12 Wonderlic score. 

I'm thinking Nawrocki might be right about this one.

QB Ryan Mallett

So apparently Mallet admitted to a past problem with drugs but said its past him? And that is what got everybody stirred up about this kid? 

Although Mallett did not produce an official positive test at Arkansas, he has been arrested for public intoxication and carries a reputation as a "big party guy," per sources who have interviewed him. How much teams believe he has matured will weigh into his draft status. "I would not take him at any point," one executive not in need of a quarterback said.

Just call him stupid for admitting what most others do not. I'm more worried about his footwork and decision making than his beer drinking. 

NT Phil Taylor

He has tended to report to camp overweight and out of shape and questions remain about whether he has the mental toughness to play in the NFL's trenches. The need for massive big bodies could allow him to fit into the back of the first round, but evaluators maintain that he is not deserving of more than a third-round grade and will struggle living up to expectations in the NFL.

A NT that is lazy and overweight? Say it isn't so! Seriously this one is interesting since most have him going mid to late first round. Could he be this year's Al Woods? We passed on him to draft Eric Norwood and many wondered why. I guess Ol' Hurney sniffed that one out.

More Rumors

Next up for rumors we have Wes Bunting with National Football Post and a Rumors piece he put up Friday. I haven't linked Bunting up much but if this news pans out I'll have to keep him in the update loop next year: 

If you still think the Panthers need to draft a TE then this guy might be a good one if he's there in the 4th or later:

• USC TE Jordan Cameron has been a busy man as of late and I’m hearing he’s getting a lot of interest from the Raiders, Buccaneers, Dolphins and Saintsand could go as early as the 3rd round.

Slider alert! We know Panthers GM Marty Hurney loves the sliders. Here's a candidate for this draft:

• A lot of teams have been turned off by the overall passive nature and mental make-up of Villanova OT Benjamin Ijalana. One scout told me "he’s an interesting character" and wouldn’t be shocked if he fell because of it.

He's a mid to late second round pick in most mock drafts. That means he could be there at #65 giving Hurney a very interesting choice. You may recall Hurney drafted LB Dan Conner in the 3rd round as he slid out all the way from the 1st round.

Hurney also drafted DE Charles Johnson and S Charles Godfrey in the 3rd. Both had 2nd to 3rd round grades by many. So Hurney knows how to get value from the 3rd round.

One last late rounder:

Auburn running back Mario Fannin is generating a lot of interest as a potential later round, third-down type back. Teams love his ability to help out in blitz pick-up and catch the football out of the backfield. Hearing he’s getting long looks from the Patriots, Redskins, Steelers, Dolphins and Bengals.

This kid is smooth out of the backfield, great hands and if he is good at blitz pick-up he will stick in this league. Think Tyrell Sutton with more speed. Hey, I was thinking 'WTF' when the Panthers drafted RB Mike Goodson in the 4th round in 2009. Looks like a good pick now. Fannin could actually be an upgrade if Goodson has yet to learn blitz pick up. 

We are only on our 3rd source! Maybe we should do this more often. Next up Pro Sports Daily.

First up, we've got competing beat writer opinions on the Redskins. The first says they are gung ho for WR Julio Jones, the second says they want to trade back and take a QB (Ponder or Dalton). Dalton might still be there at 42 but a trade up will be needed if they select Jones at #10.

The 3rd says Ryan Mallet is in play for the #10 overall.

Are the Redskins that sour on McNabb already? I'm just not seeing it at #10. 

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