It's not a given that the Carolina Panthers will take a quarterback with the first-overall pick in the NFL Draft, but considering how terrible Jimmy Clausen was in 2010, it sure does seem like a good idea.
And then you hear Marty Hurney attempting to defend Clausen in a radio interview (via Michael David Smith at Pro Football Talk), and you wonder if the front office in Charlotte isn't willing to cut off its nose to spite its face.
"You look at the history of rookie quarterbacks, and it's really unfair to expect a quarterback to go in and have a lot of success as a rookie," Hurney said. "Nobody in our organization would have ever dreamed we were going to go 2-14."
And not many people outside the organization thought that either -- no one was picking the Panthers to win the Super Bowl, but they weren't expected to be the worst team in the NFL (by far, no less) in 2010.
And yet they were. Fortunately for Hurney, his boss, Jerry Richardson, has his back.
"Marty’s done an extraordinary job," Richardson said. "Anyone who studies the drafts he's had would rate them very high ... He's done an outstanding job drafting players."
This is actually true as well -- Hurney, aside from the recent few years, has had some pretty fantastic drafts. The Armanti Edwards pick/trade (that cost them the No. 1 pick in the second round this year) and the Everette Brown pick/trade (that cost them their first-rounder in 2010) were utter disasters, but prior to that, the Panthers had been on fire with early-round picks.
Of course, Clausen was also taken in this recent bad run of draft selections, so perhaps it's time to actually admit that, regardless of a rookie learning curve, Clausen's probably not the guy for the Panthers.
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