I'm sitting here watching this game and thought I'd make a post in case anyone else was watching as well. So far it is a really good game with both offenses living up to the hype. Early thoughts on specific players:
Brandon Thompson - Thompson is an interesting player and I think his performance thus far in the game is a fair indicator of his play most of this season. He has a unique blend of strength and speed for a DT & plays smart; however, he dissapoints me because he routinely fails to finish plays. I don't just chalk it up to double teams either because for one he is not double teamed every play & secondly, he is still often in position to have a TFL or sack and fails to finish. Similar to many other DT's in this draft I think he will be a good NFL DT eventually but none of them are game-changers IMO
Dawyne Allen - TE isn't really an immediate need of ours but I felt it appropriate to include him. So far his performance is underwhelming (1 rec., 15 yards) but it's not due to a lack of effort. He hasn't had many good balls thrown his way and the one or two that were he had little chance due to phenomenal coverage. It's highly unlikely that Allen would be a draft pick of ours but not out of the question if Shockey were to retire or leave. He is a very good blocker and when the WV CB stripped the ball and returned it 99 yards for a TD he was the only player to chase him the length of the field. An all-around solid TE with a work ethic like that who can block, catch, and go step for step with CB's would not be a bad choice in the 2nd round.
Andre Branch - Once again, not a likely draft pick but I felt he should at least be mentioned. Branch is without a doubt a big time hustle player but like Thompson, & the rest of Clemson's defensive line, seems to be ranked a bit high to me. This is probably the result of a lack of top end defensive line talent in this class. UWV after the jump
Bruce Irvin - So, I've been waiting for this game all week and was very excited about the opportunity to see Irvin. Many others on this blog mentioned him as a late pick that could be a replacement for TD. After watching 1/2 of football I have nothing to say about him. Truthfully, for the first ten minutes I didn't think he was playing. That being said if he were available in the fourth round (or if we traded in to the 3rd) I think he could be a great pick. I'm going way out on a limb here but I don't think WV knows what to do with him. He only comes in on passing situations and then plays a weird DE position almost like a wide 9 technique. He's supposed to be a very raw talent and while our fans aren't huge on 'projects' right now this seems like one that could pay off. He's listed at 245 and rumored to run a sub 4.4 40. Stats aren't everything but holy cow. So, he's 10+ pounds heavier than TD and several steps quicker. He has been a pass rushing DE exclusively for WV but another interesting stat is that during a stint in junior college he started off playing strong safety. Other than his rare combination of size and strength he seems to have the determination to do well and I would be stoked if he became a Panther.
So, none of these players are gimme's for the Panthers but then again I think that's true across the board this year. Each of these players have some upside and strengths as well as weaknesses and limitations. So, lets hear it PantherNation what do y'all think?
***I was originally throwing this together real quick as a open thread/player review but seeing as how this game took a turn for the worse for Clemson I think I'm going to let my girlfriend go back to playing Skyrim and just keep a casual eye on the game. That being said, I would still like to hear what yall think of these prospects and any I left out.
With the Panthers 2nd round pick, which of these Discover Orange Bowl participants would you most prefer?
Thompson (86 votes)
Allen (28 votes)
Branch (10 votes)
Irvin (42 votes)
Other (pick a draft eligible Orange Bowl player and please share with the rest of us) (20 votes)
186 total votes