Posted on: December 27, 2010 12:24 pm
Upset victories by the Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos yesterday assured that the Carolina Panthers will finish the 2010 season with the worst record in the NFL and therefore will be awarded the first pick of the 2011 draft.
Despite the fact that the team invested in Jimmy Clausen with their first pick last April, it is a virtual certainty that the team will select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck should the redshirt sophomore elect to leave school early.
With Luck now knowing precisely where he'd begin his NFL career, his decision is made easier.
His decision could furthermore be made easier if recent speculation is correct and Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh is likely to leave The Cardinal after this season for another coaching position.
Many league insiders feel that if Harbaugh leaves, Luck will leave Stanford too.
Throughout the year there had been plenty of bold talk out of Stanford that Harbaugh would return. In fact, Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby had been quoted as saying that "Jim has indicated he plans to accept" a multi-year extension rumored to be in the neighborhood of three million dollars per season. Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News asked Harbaugh if he had signed the deal (he hasn't) and what Harbaugh thought of his Bowlsby's proclamation that Harbaugh would soon sign the deal. Harbaugh's short reply only added fuel to the fire that he is looking at other options. Harbaugh, according to Wilner, said "Maybe he [Bowlsby] misspoke."
We now know Carolina has the first pick. One can read between the lines to see that Harbaugh is considering his options. There is a belief throughout the league that Harbaugh will consider an NFL position, but would rather take over for Rich Rodriguez at Michigan, Harbaugh's alma mater.
The only question now is whether Luck wants to play in Carolina.
Current Panthers' head coach John Fox is on his way out. Carolina general manager Marty Hurney may want to consider head coaches that would entice Luck to leave school early.
Posted on: April 23, 2010 7:36 pm
Jimmy Clausen suffered roughly twice as long a fall as either Brady Quinn or Aaron Rodgers, but might end up with the last laugh in being selected 48th overall to the Carolina Panthers.
Carolina likes what they've seen from Matt Moore, but he is far from established, having just started eight games over his career. The Panthers' only other quarterback on the active roster was Hunter Cantwell, meaning that a strong performance in training camp and the preseason could move Clausen into the primary backup role early.
With the running game, a solid offensive line and a explosive Steve Smith already on this offense, Clausen doesn't have to have a team built around him like most highly drafted quarterbacks.
Perhaps best for Clausen and the Panthers, is that terminology fit he'll have. Clausen obviously starred under Charlie Weis at Notre Dame. Carolina offensive coordinator Jeff Davidson previously served as the tight end coach with the New England Patriots and Weis.
Posted on: March 21, 2009 4:12 pm
Cal Poly wideout Ramses Barden is getting most of the media attention due to another solid peformance, but the word among scouts is that Spartans' defensive lineman Jarron Gilbert was the most impressive player at the San Jose State-Cal Poly-etc. Pro Day that occurred Friday.
Gilbert was the most impressive of the bunch, turning in a 4.76 40-yard dash at 6-5, 284 pounds. He also improved upon his already impressive Combine performances in the broad jump (10'7"), vertical (37"), short shuttle (4.40) and 3-cone (7.59).
Typically, the collegiate coaches or scouts will put the players through the workouts. This workout was different, however, as Ryan took over the DL drills and worked Gilbert especially hard. Gilbert would seem to be a perfect fit in the Jets' 3-4 scheme at defensive end. The Jets will have plenty of competition in landing Gilbert's services, however, as he's lined up several private workouts already, including: Detroit, Dallas, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, San Diego, and Atlanta.
Cal Poly wideout Ramses Barden was impressive, generating interest from several teams later in the workout. Fox seemed quite interested. The 6-6, 227 pound receiver looked fluid in drills and was timed in the 4.50-4.56 range in the 40-yard dash.
Watch out for San Jose State cornerbacks Coye Francies and Christopher Owens, two players I've mentioned repeatedly in Rang's Gang and Diamond in the Rough articles. Francies again was disappointing in the 40-yard dash, running in the 4.59-4.65 range, though it was obvious to those in attendance that he was gutting it out with a sprained ankle or other lower leg injury. He has good agility, however, and not only showed on film that he can play, but was among the more impressive corners at the Senior Bowl.
Christopher Owens, on the other hand, looked great in drills. Fellow senior analyst Chad Reuter pointed out that Owens looked good in a previous writeup from the Texas vs. Nation game and he also helped himself at the Combine, but Friday, Owens (5-10, 177) was even better, clocking in at a 4.40 and showcasing better explosiveness out of his broad jump (10') and vertical (35").