Even inside the NFC South there's little that brings me as much joy as seeing another intelligent, knowledgeable fan base. This is one of the reasons why I cherish the SB Nation network as much as I do; overall the level of understanding and the quality of discourse is second to none. When I was given a heads up that Bucs Nation was doing a community draft and were discussing our pick I had to check it out (hat tip to Steven Danner via Twitter), the result was both informed and curious. I always think it's interesting to see how a rival views your team, without viewing it though a lens of favoritism or bias.
Thus far I think their community mock is right on the money, and all the picks make sense for myriad reasons.
1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
2. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor (trade)
3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil, OT, USC
4. Cleveland Browns: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
6. St. Louis Rams (trade): Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
8. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
I cannot find a single reason why any of these picks lack common sense or reasons. If I were to nitpick I'd probably argue against the Rams taking Riley Reiff, and perhaps mock Michael Floyd to them- but otherwise I think this is a sound list.
Now comes the Panthers' pick, and at the time of this writing the votes are still coming in. After the jump we'll look at their selections, and a few choice comments from their fan-base.
- Dontari Poe: 23%
- Quinton Coples: 13%
- Dre Kirkpatrick: 11%
- Luke Kuechly: 9%
- Melvin Ingram: 9%
- Trent Richardson: 8%
- Jonathan Martin: 7%
- Michael Brockers: 5%
- David DeCastro: 4%
- Janoris Jenkins: 2%
- Kendall Wright: 2%
- Josh Robinson: 1%
- Courtney Upshaw: 1%
All in all I really feel like this list makes a lot of sense. I'd be beating a dead horse if I talked about how I don't like Dontari Poe, but he has that similar 'raw potential' element to him that Cam Newton did (albeit without the performance to match it). One player who I was curious to see so high in their voting was Trent Richardson, but if you detach yourself from emotions it really could make a lot of sense.
DT makes most sense to me here.
But I have a feeling they'll do something splashy. Maybe take Richardson in this scenario. A pox on you stupid Panthers!
I could do without the pox, but I definitely understand the sentiment. No matter how much we love Jonathan Stewart, and trust me he's one of my favorite players, the fact is the Panthers made a huge commitment to DeAngelo Williams last year. Stewart will command almost as much money as D-Will, and while there will be the cap space to retain both it could result in a situation where Carolina are paying two of the five highest paid RBs in the NFL. Like it or not, that's simply not good cap management.
Is Trent Richardson the BPA in this scenario? Yes
Is Trent Richardson an impact player? Yes
It would be an unpopular pick, and many fans would throw up their hands, but if Richardson is as good as advertised you're looking at adding an elite RB at bargain rookie contract prices and getting 5 solid years out of him (at least). Furthermore, we know Hurney is a wheeler and dealer, so it wouldn't surprise me to see him trade one of the entrenched RBs we have now for a late 1st round pick, and a sweetener.
Is it likely? Absolutely not, but I wouldn't close your mind off to the possibility of the front office recognizing Stewart is in a contract year and planning ahead. The other picks are all players we have looked at before, but I really wanted to focus on Richardson because it's a move that would be really out of left field.
What do you think Panthers fans? Any player rated too highly, or not enough? Is there someone you think should be on this list who isn't?