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April 24, 2010

Panthers take another QB, Cincinnati's Pike, among 3 picks in Round 6

Just when it looked like the Carolina Panthers were finished pulling big surprises in the NFL draft, they selected Cincinnati quarterback Tony Pike late in the sixth round with the 204th overall selection.

Pike was regarded coming into the draft as the fifth best QB available. He was rated No. 70 in the Observer's Top 100.

He was among players believed to be on the Panthers' wish list before the draft, but not after selecting Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen in Round 2.

However, Pike was apparently too good to pass up. He had been projected to go in the second or third round by various analysts. He's got excellent height (6-5 3/4, 223) but needs to add strength and weight. He completed 211 of 338 passes last season with 29 touchdowns and six interceptions.

However, he's been a bit injury prone and is considered an accurate passer with moderate arm strength.

Pike's arrival suddenly raises the question of how long the Panthers plan to keep Matt Moore, who was 4-1 as a starter last season and is projected to be the top quarterback going into training camp.

If Moore stays, Pike will compete with Hunter Cantwell, an undrafted rookie last season, for the No. 3 job.

Previously in the sixth round, the Panthers picked Baylor wide receiver/kick returner David Gettis with the 198th pick and Texas A&M cornerback/special teamer David Pugh at 202.

Gettis has excellent size (6-3, 217) and speed (4.48 seconds in the 40-yard dash). He caught 52 passes last season for 675 yards and three touchdowns. He had a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in 2007 against Kansas.

He was also a member of Baylor's track team.

Pugh wasn't listed in some NFL draft guides. He started 11 games last season at free safety last season after starting 12 at cornerback in '08. He had various roles on special teams, including returning three punts last season.

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on April 24, 2010 at 03:47 PM | Permalink


could the pike pick be for someone else to trade later?

Posted by: bobcat | Apr 24, 2010 3:51:10 PM

Years and years of not doing anything crazy at the QB position, blown out within 24 hours. Wow.

Posted by: Ryan | Apr 24, 2010 3:52:51 PM

Pike = cheap backup QB with longshot starter potential.

Posted by: BullCityDog | Apr 24, 2010 3:58:04 PM

Pike is insurance in case Clausen doesn't pan out. We'll be very strong at the backup QB position this year. I like Pike better than Clausen, actually.

Posted by: Authority | Apr 24, 2010 3:58:25 PM

RJ Stanford stats
A track and football star in Southern California, Stanford slipped through the grasp of the Golden State schools to make the trip to Utah. His speed and aggressive play at cornerback the past three seasons earned him draftable grades from NFL teams.

Stanford began his career at running back, gaining 48 yards on 11 carries in his true freshman season before switching to defense in the last month of the season (five tackles). He started seven games at corner and nickel in 2007, making 33 tackles, two sacks and breaking up five passes. Though he only started two games in 2008 and did not break up any passes, his 41 tackles and two sacks displayed a toughness around the line of scrimmage. Finally getting a chance to start regularly as a senior with eventual NFL players Sean Smith and Brice McCain gone, Stanford made 46 tackles, two for loss, his first career interceptions and seven pass break-ups.

Though only average in size, his track speed, toughness against receivers and the run and his special teams acumen (blocked kick in 2009) earn him respect of NFL teams. He also proved he belonged during practices at the Texas vs. the Nation all-star contest, and broke up a pass during the game. A late-round pick would be a wise investment for teams looking to build depth in their secondary and coverage units.

Read & React: Though relatively new to the position, he seems instinctual and aware in coverage. Not usually fooled at the line of scrimmage. Quickness and fluid hips allow him to react quickly to stutter and double moves. Reads quarterback and receiver well when playing off.

Man Coverage: Runs with most any receiver in college football. Fluid hips to turn and run when playing near the line. Will mix it up with hand play down the field but gets overaggressive at times (regularly flagged for pass interference). Loses the physical battle and gives up height to receivers on the outside. A nice fit in the slot, mirrors receivers well on two-way routes.

Zone Coverage: Played mostly man, but appears to have the change of direction, closing speed, awareness to identify underneath routes and discipline to come off his initial target to make a play. Quick pedal, won't allow receivers to eat up cushion too fast.

Closing/Recovery: Excellent closing speed to the ball when it is in the air. Gets to receiver at the same time as the pass on slants when playing off. Fast enough to trail receivers on crossing routes to prevent the catch or stop them soon after. Only one interception in his career.

Run Support: Mostly a cover corner, he won't blow up NFL running backs but can effectively cut tackle to stop plays behind the line of scrimmage (on runs and receiver screens). Struggles to get off physical receiver blocks downfield.

Tackling: Not contact-shy, but is best as a cut tackler because he lacks the size and strength to consistently wrap up and drag down larger receivers. Effective blitzer off the edge with his speed; makes the quarterback feel the hit. Comes to aid of other defensive backs to bring down large receivers and tight ends. Should be a good special teams coverage tackler because he is fast, willing to hit and can break down in space to corral elusive returners.

Intangibles: Excited to take on the responsibility of replacing McCain and Smith, Stanford focused on his craft and conditioning before his senior year. Has the confidence teams look for in corners. Scouts excited about his upside once coached up at the next level.

Posted by: cheerman23 | Apr 24, 2010 4:02:57 PM

I just don't get it. Is there something about Matt Moore that Furney sees that I don't?

Posted by: ColToo | Apr 24, 2010 4:03:39 PM

This looks like Green Bay's '08 draft when they took Brohm, and Flynn to compete for the backup spot. We couldn't just have Moore sitting there with no competition.

There can't be any doubt the Panthers are dead set on improving their offense.

Posted by: Ashe | Apr 24, 2010 4:04:03 PM

ran 4.4 at least we are picking guys with speed (well Norwood not so fast) Smitty saying he wanted speed - guess someone was listening we got four guys who all run in the 4.4 to 4.5 range two WR and two DB

Posted by: Isaiah | Apr 24, 2010 4:04:55 PM

Pike will not only keep Moore on his toes but also Claussen. All three can compete for the 1. and 2., especially with new and old weapons Smitty, 2 headed monster, Lafell and Edwards

Posted by: joe | Apr 24, 2010 4:05:31 PM

So we finally groom a qb that has proven he can win and now we are sending signs that he is not the future. Hurney has to be drunk at this point, that or Moore screwed his wife.

Posted by: jimmy lane | Apr 24, 2010 4:06:23 PM

Hmmm, not at all what most people predicted. Long term picks, no OL or DT's but outside talent on defense. Are they thinking 3-4 defense this year, or maybe next year with the new coach who always ran a 3-4?

Posted by: cp | Apr 24, 2010 4:18:39 PM

I thought that picking Clausen was a slap of Moore's face!!! But daaaaaannng!! Man dat's cold!!!

Can I get ah "Who Dat?"

Geaux Saints!!!!!!!

Posted by: SeenThisB4 | Apr 24, 2010 4:20:54 PM

@SeenThisB4 - boy can't you just go enjoy the Saints picks and leave us alone? Or are you so upset that we got QB's that in the future will pick apart the Saints Secondary? You have no f**king life, get off our C**ks.

Posted by: Cameron | Apr 24, 2010 4:27:43 PM

@SeenThisB4 - boy can't you just go enjoy the Saints picks and leave us alone? Or are you so upset that we got QB's that in the future will pick apart the Saints Secondary? You have no f**king life, get off our C**ks.

Posted by: Cameron | Apr 24, 2010 4:27:45 PM

I ain't mad @ M.H.,I like we've got some young QB's. Competition ain't nothing but healthy. Everyone put's in work !

Posted by: Nasty704 | Apr 24, 2010 4:30:20 PM

This was an excellent value pick, we have a lot of competition at the QB position.

Posted by: Cameron | Apr 24, 2010 4:33:51 PM

Oh yea,the preseason is 4 months away,then we will see who has the right stuff !

Posted by: Nasty704 | Apr 24, 2010 4:34:43 PM

Wasted pick.

Posted by: mrbubba | Apr 24, 2010 4:41:50 PM

Im telling you guys the Panthers are going afetr Alan Fanca who's got cut by the Jtes and DT henderson who's got cut by the Jgs they know what their doing give it time.

Posted by: Telling Like It Is | Apr 24, 2010 4:46:04 PM

Im telling you guys the Panthers are going afetr Alan Fanca who's got cut by the Jtes and DT henderson who's got cut by the Jgs they know what their doing give it time.

Posted by: Telling Like It Is | Apr 24, 2010 4:46:09 PM

The guy on the bubble is Cantwell. Moore will start, Clausen will be #2, and Pike will either earn the #3 job or be stashed on the practice squad for a year while he adds weight and strength and learns the pro game.

Look, Matt Moore is a decent QB (better than Jake Delhomme isn't a high bar), but I don't think anyone in the league views him as an elite NFL QB. If both Clausen and Pike work out, we could be looking at one of the best starter/backup QB tandems in the league five years down the road.

Posted by: TribeHeel | Apr 24, 2010 4:54:48 PM

Cantwell on the bubble? Heck no, he's just plain 1st cut fodder now. They'll keep him around for a while just to have an extra arm in camp but whatever slim chance he might have had of making the team before this draft is now ZERO

Posted by: DB | Apr 24, 2010 4:57:52 PM

So we use 3 of our final 4 picks on defensive backs? Anyone care to explain that? I sure can't.

Posted by: DB | Apr 24, 2010 5:01:56 PM

If Matt Moore goes down early in the season, you might want someone other than a rookie available. I still say Pike goes to the practice squad for a year.

Posted by: TribeHeel | Apr 24, 2010 5:02:55 PM

Special teams. That's what's up with the DBs. Just like our offseason signings we desperately needed some players on special teams.

Posted by: Ashe | Apr 24, 2010 5:06:05 PM

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