Wednesday, April 29, 2009

NFC South Draft Recap (Panthers)

The Carolina Panthers ('08 NFC South Champions) did not have a first round pick in this year's draft. This year, they stuck to the buy-now pay-later mentality at the draft.
The Panthers traded next year's first round pick (again) in order to move up and grab first round talent Everett Brown (DE) early in this year's second round. I like this aggresive method of drafting that the Panthers have adopted. It shows that they believe they can win right now, and are willing to do what it takes to make that happen.
Kiper had Everette Brown projected as a first rounder for most of the off-season, but luckily enough for the Panthers, he was still available early in the second. Many have also said that if Brown had stayed at Florida State for his senior year, he'd have definitely been a top ten pick next year.
Brown immediately fills the team’s need of an effective pass rusher, and will certainly compete for a starting position. He also lessens the blow and fallout of the Julius Peppers situation, regardless of what happens (holdout, trade, extension, etc).
I also really like the Everette Brown pick, since we are from the same town. I grew up in Wilson, NC, and lived their until the 11th grade. I went to Wilson-Fike High School. Brown went to Wilson-Beddingfield High School. The Bruins sure sucked when I was in high school, but I'm more than happy to see a kid like this make it to Charlotte to play for the Panthers.
Later in the second round, the Panthers selected Sherrod Martin (DB) Troy. He effectively addresses two positions for the Panthers: CB and FS. Martin is a highly talented playmaker that the team believes will be an effective nickel back, with the potential to start in the event a starter goes down to injury. The first two picks are clearly Ron Meeks picks. As the new defensive coordinator for Carolina, it seems that he really might be implementing some form of the Tampa 2 in Charlotte.
In the third round, Carolina selected Corvey Irvin (DT) Georgia. He shows exceptional athleticism for a man his size. Extremely strong, he gives the Panthers some much needed depth to a defensive line that was clearly guilty of wearing down late in games, and appeared to simply be outmanned late in the season. The Panthers seems to love D-line depth from UGA.
Fourth round pick: Mike Goodson (RB) Texas A&M. The immediate heir apparent to special teams standout and team leader Nick Goins. Goodson, a junior, was a bit of a surprise when he announced his intention to forego his senior year with the Aggies. His best fit will be as a change of pace back, and perhaps a slot receiver (a la Goins). Extremely dangerous in the open field, could see time as a returner as well. Nice selection that offers needed depth at several positions.
Fourth round pick #2: Tony Fiammetta, FB Syracuse: Brad Hoover is an outstanding overachiever, but is 32 and will soon start to show the wearing down that comes with the territory. Enter Tony Fiammetta, the best fullback this draft has to offer.
Fifth round: Duke Robinson, OG Oklahoma: Thought by many to be the best OG in the draft, character and judgment concerns pushed him all the way to the 5th round. Provided he can put his maturity concerns to rest, Robinson has the ability to not only start from day one, but also has the ability to reach the Pro-Bowl in time. I was screaming at the TV when he wasn't selected in the previous round. I couldn't believe he was still available for this pick.
Seventh round: Captain Munnerlyn, CB South Carolina: Hurt himself by declaring for the draft early. Lack of height hurts him. Loves to play physical. Has the speed to contribute immediately in the return game. It's still nice to see more depth at CB...the Panthers sure need that.

UDFAs Confirmed

-- T Gerald Cadogan, Penn State (one of the top undrafted rookies)

-- LB Brit Miller, Illinois

-- QB Hunter Cantwell, Louisville

-- RB Jamall Lee, Bishop's College (Canada)

-- DT Lonnie Harvey, Morgan State (wide)

-- DT Marlon Favorite, LSU

-- LB Mortty Ivy, West Virginia

-- SS Anthony Scirrotto, Penn State

-- DT Justin Kershaw, Michigan State

-- LS Nick Sundberg, Cal

-- T Patrick Brown, Central Florida

-- WR Jason Chery, Louisiana-Lafayette

-- G C.J. Davis, Pittsburgh

-- C Keith Grey, Connecticut

-- TE Kevin Brock, Rutgers

-- LB Anthony Heygood, Purdue

Kiper rated the Panthers draft a C. I'd call it a B- maybe!

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