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April 29, 2008

Kiper on Panthers: Best on Day 2

  ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. says he would have given the Carolina Panthers an "A" grade for their picks last weekend if they hadn't given up a 2009 first round pick to acquire Pittsburgh offensive tackle Jeff Otah with the 19th selection this year. So he gave them a "B" instead.

   Speaking Monday on a conference call with reporters from around the country, Kiper said the Panthers' talent takeaway was comparable to that of the Kansas City Chiefs, whose draft class has been widely hailed as the best in the league.

   Kiper said the Panthers had "arguably the best draft of anybody out there had it not been such a steep price to pay (for Otah). I don't like going into next year without a first round pick. ... (But) overall, they brought in more good players than just about any team, including Kansas City."

   Kiper said the Panthers' picks on Sunday in Rounds 3-7 were the best in the league.

   He compared fifth-rounder Gary Barnidge, a tight end from Louisville, to former Dallas Cowboys TE Jay Novacek.

   "I think (third-round pick) Charles Godfrey can play corner or safety," said Kiper. "He's a very good pickup. I thought he was the best player available on Day 2.

   "Dan Connor (Penn State linebacker and third-round pick), we all know about him. I think (sixth-round pick) Nick Hayden will make it as a defensive tackle. (Seventh-round defensive end) Hilee Taylor had a great year at North Carolina. (Seventh-round Oregon tackle) Geoff Schwartz, at one point in time I thought he could be a fourth- or fifth-round pick. (Seventh-round guard Mackenzy) Bernadeau from Bentley will make the team and could be a starter down the road.

   "They did the best job on Day 2. There's no question."

   Kiper was also high on the Panthers' Day 1 picks -- Oregon running back Jonathan Stewart, the 13th selection, and Otah.

   He said of Stewart: "The only issue with him is durability. He's a powerhouse runner. He attacks defenders. He's not a guy who's going to go out of bounds or go down. He's going to battle for everything. He's had some injury problems. But for a one-two punch with DeAngelo Williams, it certainly makes sense."

   On Otah: "They got him at 19. You're looking at a guy who a lot of people thought could go 12 or 13 very easily. ... They gave up next year's first-round pick and some other picks. It was a steep price to pay. But I think they really feel they want to win now. We know about the whole situation with this coaching staff. The pressure's on to win this year and what can happen with Bill Cowher lurking out there."
 
   -- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on April 29, 2008 at 11:06 AM | Permalink

Comments

The Panthers Suck!The Panthers Suck!The Panthers Suck!The Panthers Suck!The Panthers Suck!The Panthers Suck!The Panthers Suck!The Panthers Suck!The Panthers Suck!The Panthers Suck!The Panthers Suck!The Panthers Suck!

Also, I have no idea why I post on these boards. Amen.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Apr 29, 2008 11:12:05 AM

Not sure when I've ever made a post like that; in fact, I've usually been the one getting yelled at because I'm too OPTIMISTIC. Fact is, Kiper is exactly right, and that's what I've said. We did a great job getting a lot of talent on Day 2 (even if we already had it at a lot of those positions), and talent makes a football team better.

There are definitely issues with our Day 1 picks. Stewart has always been dinged up from getting hit by college-sized (and this was the Pac-10, which is very much a finesse league.) While the toe might be fine, he's dealt with multiple ankle and hand issues as well. Those kind of nicks tend to have a cumulative effect, and we know all about RBs who can't stay healthy (Biakabutuka, Foster, Stephen Davis.)

As for Otah, he might have been a good fit for a team that needed an RT, but we DON'T. We've got one of the top two or three in the league in Jordan Gross, and his Pro Bowl play changes to average/adequate on the left. While Wharton MAY be better than Whale if he plays LG, Otah will certainly be worse than Gross at RT, and Gross, as far as I'm concerned, is no better than Wharton at LT. Add to that that we're going to be paying big-time tackle money to three different players, and without forgetting that we blew a 2nd, 4th, and a 1st that is absolutely not guaranteed to be lower than #19, and it just plain wasn't worth it.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Apr 29, 2008 11:20:29 AM

The "give up you're first round pick" makes no sense. The Panthers did not give up their first round pick they took it a year early. Considering that Otah was considered a top 20 pick according to every mock draft out there, the panthers get a top 20 tackle a year early vs. having to wait until next year. This from my point of view is preferable. Then when you consider that if fox and hurney don't make the playoffs they are probably gone means that if they do make the playoffs they got a top tackle this year with a pick next year that would be in the high twenties or witht he 31st or 32nd pick. Giving up the second round pick when you had two early third rounders also made sense.

Posted by: mark clifford | Apr 29, 2008 11:38:25 AM

Hey Proctologist are you really Tampa Terry?

Posted by: Ghost of Sparta | Apr 29, 2008 11:43:05 AM

I encourage everyone to Google the name Michael Procton or otherwise known as the Professional Sports Blog Comment Poster.

Posted by: Google Procton | Apr 29, 2008 11:48:22 AM

My biggest concern is that fox won't play these players...I have thought fox and hurney have made some good picks late in the past (even though I have felt their drafting has been bad) BUT!! Fox NEVER PLAYS THEM! Rosario/Seward/Deangelo/McClover/Jarrett..
sure you can make all the excuses in the world...for why these guys have not or don't get a lot of playing time..but the bottom is no one!! knows what either can do..if they don't get a real! shoot on sundays......so...sure some of these late picks could be contributers but I doubt fox will play them.

Posted by: cheven | Apr 29, 2008 12:04:11 PM

you people are so silly we didnt lose a first round pic!(we took it a year early)

it cost us a 2nd and 4th! to put it in perspective we traded an Eric Shelton and a Stefan Laflurs to get an Otah

Posted by: unknown player | Apr 29, 2008 12:06:15 PM

this is just my take if we wnat to the best team and win it all. When Tampa Bay cuts QB Chris Sims sign him , and what ever it takes trade for Jason Taylor. That will fill every need we have left.

Posted by: napoleon34 | Apr 29, 2008 12:30:48 PM

I think they should at least give Otah a chance at competing for the LT spot. Who knows, he could step in there and impress enough to win it, and then Gross can stay at RT. I mean, I think Otah is moving to the left side in a couple years anyways.

Posted by: Christian | Apr 29, 2008 12:35:57 PM

Rosario/Seward/Deangelo/McClover/Jarrett.. not getting playing time? It's hard to make a case that Rosario was supposed to get more playing time. You can't run a two TE set every play. He played in every game as a rookie. Lets not forget that our other young TE King was starting... and he's not half bad. Williams started taking time from Foster, but he's said before that he'd have trouble taking the pounding of an every down back. McClover is a project, but lets be honest most 7th rounders don't make teams. Jarrett looked lost, and he's been called out by coaches and players... Seward is solid but hasn't pushed anyone too hard for playing time. When he got the opportunity with Morgan out he lost the job.

Posted by: Ashe | Apr 29, 2008 12:39:35 PM

Rosario/Seward/Deangelo/McClover/Jarrett.. not getting playing time? It's hard to make a case that Rosario was supposed to get more playing time. You can't run a two TE set every play. He played in every game as a rookie. Lets not forget that our other young TE King was starting... and he's not half bad. Williams started taking time from Foster, but he's said before that he'd have trouble taking the pounding of an every down back. McClover is a project, but lets be honest most 7th rounders don't make teams. Jarrett looked lost, and he's been called out by coaches and players... Seward is solid but hasn't pushed anyone too hard for playing time. When he got the opportunity with Morgan out he lost the job.

Posted by: Ashe | Apr 29, 2008 12:40:16 PM

Hey Procton you suck. If you don't like posting then don't waste our times with your horrible posts with absolutely useless knowledge on them.

Posted by: Better than you | Apr 29, 2008 12:52:47 PM

Mel Kiper's reason for dropping us a letter grade makes no sense! Will we be penalized again next year for not having a 1st round pick? He needs to grade each year on the players we chose in that particular year. Next year will stand on its own...which should be lower than this year because we lost our 1st round pick. Kiper's reasoning is illogical and erodes his credibility.

Posted by: Scott | Apr 29, 2008 12:59:25 PM

Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s win in the Pepsi 400 was one of the most emotional things I have ever seen. As a lifelong fan of the Man in Black, I shed a tear on the last lap, knowing that Junior was going to win with Daddy in the passenger seat.
-Michael Procton

Hey Procton, are you gonna shed a tear when the cats make a return trip to the big game this year?

Posted by: how touching | Apr 29, 2008 1:11:30 PM

wow! I have been away for a while, but have been reading.
Procton you have managed to make a lot of friends.
Fox/Hurney should have been aggressive in all aspects of Football like this!

Posted by: bt | Apr 29, 2008 2:04:50 PM

Of course they are going to keep Gross at RT and put Otah at LT. But what about Delhomme's blindside you say? Isn't it obvious?

Delhomme is going to throw leftie next year. Problem solved!

Posted by: Morgan | Apr 29, 2008 3:27:37 PM

i heard this and i thought it was really smart. we dont have a first round pick the same year that both peppers, gamble, and jordan gross (thomas davis?), contracts are all up coincedense? i dont think so.

Posted by: alex | Apr 29, 2008 3:54:02 PM

If the Panthers really pulled off one of the best drafts in the league this year why isnt anyone asking why they haven't been able to do it in years past under the current (and same) coaching regime?????

Posted by: Ben | Apr 29, 2008 4:14:14 PM

We gave up a 2nd and 4th for the fun of getting a 1st this year that is likely 5-8 spots ahead of next year's. Basically, we lost a 2nd round DT to get Otah and some nobody who might have contributed on special teams.

Losing the 2nd round DT was bad, fer sure. But we can deal with it. Today's signings of Walker and Scott will get us through. We might even be able to trade a linebacker (or two) later this year for another warm body on the defensive line.

So - what did we get in exchange? How 'bout a chance to have an O-line that keeps its players together for a spell? Yes, we'll lose Gross next year and have little ammo for finding his replacement in the draft. But our O line has been like a revolving door the past three years. Geesh, what a headache. Otah will probably start on the right, and may be asked to switch to left next year. That hurts a bit. But the inner three are set, once the figure out whom to play at left guard. It looks to me that the O-line is beginning to firm up for a long stretch of continuity. Praise Haysoose!

Next year's 1st rounder would have to have been a defensive lineman or Gross's replacement. (Assuming Delhomme makes it.) We just took Jordan's replacement this past weekend and have that wrapped up now. Our line gets an additional year of working together as a team, Wharton goes inside, and the moves are beginning to sort out on the O-line for several years of stability.

Worth it. I'm sick and tired of watching our patched up O-line get hammered each year, giving up successive 3-n-outs. You'll turn any defense into an average unit by keeping them on the field an extra 20 plays and 8 minutes each game.

It was expensive, but the D just got upgraded a pinch as well. If Otah is the missing piece that can keep the clock running in our favor, it'll have been the right move.

Posted by: J. Elliott | Apr 29, 2008 5:27:01 PM

We had better hope Otah doesn't ever play LT. He can't pass block to save his life, his instincts are subpar, and he's ridiculously slow. Any move that puts Gross at LT (where he's adequate at best) is not the best combination.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Apr 29, 2008 9:18:54 PM

Procton, It really has gotten to the point where I don't even read your comments; if what your doing is making some kind of statement to prove to everyone you know it all, maybe talking to your inner-self might provide the therapy you so desparately need. Why you would even post the Panthers Suck 20 times to make a point to back your story up is way beyond me.

Posted by: CCU | Apr 29, 2008 9:22:04 PM

its ok procton i like ur feedback and CCU learn to count thats 12 times

Posted by: Andy | Apr 29, 2008 9:48:42 PM

Who gives a good yank what Kiper thinks...

Posted by: JT | Apr 29, 2008 10:12:41 PM

I didn't post that, kiddo. When people are intimidated by your knowledge, they make fun of you (because they certainly can't combat me with intelligent discourse.) As for whether you read what I say or not, I don't care. I don't post for you or anybody else.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Apr 29, 2008 10:26:49 PM

I agree - Gross at LT is no solution. As for Otah, I'm just guessing they'll move him to LT next year when Gross leaves.

Sure as heck don't know who they'll plug in at LT if Gross leaves and Otah can't play it. Wharton, again?

Would Wharton be the least paid LT in the league? And by the way, how many years in his contract?

Posted by: J. Elliott | Apr 29, 2008 11:21:40 PM

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