It’s been a while since I posted part 1 of Possibilities in the Draft, but it’s time for part 2. I’ve also decided to continue focusing on QB’s until part 3.
The Carolina Panthers, once again, need to address the situation known as their Quarterback. Most writers, and experts, believe that this will be done through Free Agency or Trades, but I see differently. In recent weeks, more QB’s have stepped up and shown they could be a #1 pick.
I already discussed the possibility of Cam Newton, but I think it necessary to touch on him once again. His media work out proved he has something hidden up his sleeve. He’s showing talent in every inch of his body. The kid is full of God given talent, and I still think he deserves the #1 pick. He has the risk/reward factor attached, but I feel the reward far outweighs the risk.
Okay, on to new recruits.
Christian Ponder: Please don’t hang me high for even mentioning his name, but in the last month the stock on Ponder has risen tremendously. During the season his accuracy and his overall throwing ability were question to no extent. All the experts thought he had no chance in the NFL, and they had good reason. He threw for 20 touchdowns and 8 int’s this season, which isn’t bad. That is, until you look at his attempts. Ponder only threw the ball 299 times, and he barely surpassed 2,000 yards. In 2009, Ponder threw for 2,717 yards, 14 TD’s and 7 int’s; in 2008, he threw for 2006 yards, 14 TD’s and 13 int’s. The stats, obviously, show improvement, and you can’t deny that while missing 2 games this season, he did well. He has the ability to lead a team, and I’m a sucker for the intangibles. Even more impressive: his showing in the Senior Bowl. While everyone was out to watch Jake Locker and Andy Dalton, Ponder came out and showed he might be the best Senior QB in the draft. Before I put my faith in Ponder, I need to see him in the NFL Combine. Until then, he has my vote as the best Senior QB in the draft.
Andy Dalton: Oh, Andy Dalton. Underrated and low stock. I bet high on Dalton, every time I watch the kid play. His intangibles are out the door, and his talent is through the roof. I won’t even go into reasons the experts are selling Dalton so low, because frankly, I sell him high. Let’s take a look at his stats for the past 2 years. In 2010, Dalton threw for 2,857 yards, 27 TD’s,6 picks, he ran for 450 yards, and 6 rushing TD’s. In 2009, Dalton threw for 2,756 yards, 23 TD’s and 8 picks. Sure, you can talk about him playing weaker opponents with cruddy defenses, but Dalton played for a run-first offense. These stats don’t lie, and Dalton has talent that could translate well into the NFL. He’s accurate and he has an arm. Playing for that run-first offense showed off his amazing talent. He’s got what it takes to be and NFL QB on so many levels. I will always throw intangibles in the mix, because of two reasons: Jake Delhomme and Colt McCoy. Both of them are decent passers, but they have what it takes to win. Delhomme wasn’t the best passer, by far, but his intangibles made him a good QB. McCoy, on the other hand, was touted as too small, and not enough power, but he brought down big teams this past season. Andy Dalton, in my mind, might not be a #1 pick, but he can be our QB of the future. He has everything the Panthers need, and could be one amazing 2nd-3rd round gem.
Ryan Mallett: 6’7 and 240 pounds. Mallett is another prime example of the “New Era” NFL QB. Mallett has it all, accuracy, arm strength, and the size. He was a top QB on a slightly decent Razorbacks squad. Without a dominant team behind him, Mallett managed 3,869 yards, 32 TD’s, and 12 picks. Also, his only two losses this season came to Cam Newton and Auburn, and Alabama. Both teams dominated the SEC this year, and you can’t lay the losses on Mallett. Under Mallett, the Razorbacks had the 4th rated Pass offense in the NCAA at 333.7 per game. Mallett led that passing attack with his spectacular arm. Mallett even had a great performance in the Sugar Bowl loss to Ohio State. Mallett is all that and more, he brings game to field, and leaves nothing behind. Watching the kid play, you can tell he is going to be an NFL star one day. In this draft, Mallett is most definitely the most NFL ready, and come Combine time, everyone will notice.
Yes, Jake Locker is not present in my draft possibilities, because as I see it, he’s not in the top 5 of QB’s. I see these guys as the best QB’s in the draft, and until the Combine it will stay that way. Locker may have the hype, but has yet to even come close to the shadow of that hype. I need convincing on Locker’s part.
Stay tuned for part 3, where I’ll begin to address the skills positions.