Panther Paw Prints: Pre-Combine Edition

via assets.sbnation.com

I haven't been able to find much news about the combine to date. Seems this time last year we already had a list of players forgoing the combine for Pro Days and private workouts. As far as I can tell all 300 are attending but here is one WR that won't be running due to injury:

Nick Toon May Not Run At 2012 NFL Combine - SBNation.com

Toon has been touted as a possible second round selection, but Draft Insider indicates that he likely won't be able to move up draft boards with a strong showing at the combine due to a foot injury.

It's a deep draft at WR, making the 4th round pick a good point to grab a guy like Toon....here's some pre-combine reading for you, the all time records for the various drills. This is one I found surprising:

NFL Scouting Combine Records - Mocking The Draft
Vertical Leap - Gerald Sensabaugh, Defensive Back, North Carolina 46 inches (2005) Gerald Sensabaugh is a decent starting safety in the NFL, and with a vertical leap like that it's no surprise

A year after being called a risky picky by most Cam Newton is now the measuring stick for athletic QBs, even if the comparison is not valid:

Mike Mayock: Robert Griffin III ‘the most exciting young player in this year’s draft’ - The Insider - The Washington Post
"It makes no sense at all. The similarities are that they’re both playmakers," the former quarterback says. "That part of it is fair. RGIII is a more natural thrower, even though Cam was also. RGIII looks down the field and throws more routes and we don’t have any of the off-the-field issues we do with Cam."

Mayock is one of the few who isn't completely smitten with QB Andrew Luck, who he readily says is not Newton's class physically:

Andrew Luck Is Still A Great Draft Prospect - Stampede Blue
Is he the most talented? No, and that's pretty much what Mayock was saying. In terms of physical talent, Cam Newton is far more superior than Luck. Newton is bigger, stronger, faster, and probably throws the football farther. However, almost everyone who scouts and grades talent is saying Luck is a better prospect than Newton, and it's for reasons that go beyond physical ability.

All I can say to this is, we shall see which QB has the better NFL career:

Would you take Newton, Luck, another? Mayock offers answer
"Cam Newton had a year that was mind-boggling," Mayock added. He wants to see Newton continue to work hard while wondering "how well will NFL defenses adapt to what Carolina did?"

The best chance for the Panther trade back rests with this guy in my view:

Former Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill has the talent to play at NFL level - The Denver Post
He is, as former Carolina Panthers quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke calls him, "the total package." That's because Tannehill, a 6-foot-4, 222-pounder, will be the only top quarterback in the draft who has thrown for at least 3,700 yards in one college season and caught at least 50 passes in another.

We seem to have plenty of OLB/DE hybrid players so I'm not really understanding this signing other than Rivera having some knowledge of the guy:

Scout.com: Jyles Tucker Profile
He has recorded 56 career tackles with 10 sacks. He ended the 2010 season on injured reserve with a torn pectoral and was eventually cut. Tucker has good size for outside linebacker at 6-foot-3, 258 pounds, but is undersized for defensive end.

T Jordan Gross had some positive comments about Newton's improvement as the season progressed:

Panthers have high expectations for backfield
"He’s come a long way," Gross said after the final home game, a rout of the Buccaneers. "I think his stats might have been better, as far as yardage and stuff, earlier in the season, but I love the way he’s playing now so much more than how he was playing earlier."

I couldn't help but chuckle at this post by a Giants blogger and his apparent little openion of Tony Romo:

10 NFL Quarterbacks in the NFL Today that Are Better Than Tony Romo: Fan's Opinion - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
8. Cam Newton - I'm all in on Cam. I'd take him over Romo in a New York minute. Cam is bigger, stronger and more mobile. I'm not ready to trade Eli for him, but I'd surely consider it.

So he would at least consider trading Eli for Newton? Wow...hard to believe considering Eli just won his 2nd SB for the G-men.

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