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March 20, 2011

Rivera: Panthers looking at more than QBs

NEW ORLEANS

Ron Rivera has spent a lot of his first few months as a head coach evaluating quarterbacks.

But the Panthers' first-year coach had a message Sunday at the NFL owners meetings: The Panthers are not targeting only quarterbacks for the No. 1 overall pick.

Echoing what he said at the NFL combine last month, Rivera mentioned the Panthers have zeroed in on about eight prospects. He said three of those targets are quarterbacks – Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Mallett – but not all.

Asked if Gabbert and Newton, considered by draft experts as the top quarterbacks in the draft, were on a different level than Mallett, Rivera responded: “I wouldn't necessarily say that. Because as far as throwing the ball, you've really got to evaluate each guy's strengths and weaknesses.

“And the other thing: There's other positions were looking at, too.”

If the Panthers decide to bring in a veteran quarterback through a trade or free agency, assuming the lockout is resolved early enough, they could go after LSU corner Patrick Peterson or Georgia wideout A.J. Green with the top pick.

Or they could address another need by taking a defensive lineman from a group that includes Marcell Dareus, Da'Quan Bowers and Nick Fairley.

But with an anemic offense that was the NFL's worst in 2010, the Panthers' quarterback position receives the most attention.

“We have a number of positions that we've identified as needs. We're trying to get to that point where we can start filling those needs as the time is appropriate,” Rivera said. “If you can fill a need through free agency, we're going to do it. If we have to go through the draft, we'll do it. If we've got to make a trade, we'll do it.”

Of course, the Panthers also could trade out of the No. 1 spot to acquire additional picks.

“Anything's possible,” Rivera said. “We've got to finish the process and see where it all fits.”

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on March 20, 2011 at 06:51 PM | Permalink

Comments

PICK NEWTON I LOVE THE SWAGGER!!!!!

Posted by: viagra | Mar 20, 2011 7:51:52 PM

I say let this new regime handle the process. I have faith in my beloved Panthers. Coach Rivera has an accomplished background. Through his playing career and coaching career. Give him and this staff that credit. Let the Fans just step off with all this negative talk about certain draft picks and what they think the Panthers should be doing. There is a lot of talent on this team and has been for the past 3-4 years. There have been a stock pile of talent that has been brought in and players they have confidence in. But that is the thing that people and the outside world do not see. The Panthers organization and we has real fans do not want to be in this position again, at least for a long long time. That is what Coach Rivera and his staff is diligently working long hours for. They plan to get it right the first time and through their experience eye and resources. I have no doubt they will! People forget that the Carolina Panthers organization is a young but established organization. History is still being identified and formed. A little pressure on the team and people want to fly off the loose end because of the struggles of late. A few days ago I read someone’s post that stated it's a wonder why players and free agents don’t want to come to the Panthers. I really hope Coach Rivera can come in and help change some of the mindsets of the fan base in Charlotte. It seriously needs to be revamped. How the Panthers bounce back from this down time is going to be how the fan base reacts and accepts what it coming to be and be willing to support truly the team. NO MATTER WHAT! That is how you build a franchise and the franchise's fan base that backs them. Fans are the back bone. People think this is not serious. You ask any player about what they play the game for. They will say for the fans after the money but who pays them. The owner and the 'Fans' and other revenue of course. Fans pay to see these guys play. If people continue to pay then there should be a responsibility on their part to invest the right attitude about what they are investing in. All I am saying, if you look at the past 4 Super Bowl Champs. Look at their fan base and their city and the adversity they went through prior. It is no big secret. You will see the ability to be in unison and the complete devotion of being there for one another. Packers*, Saints, Steelers*, Colts, Giants. Fans are important to their teams. Fans give the players that extra fight when they do not feel or want to go out on that field. There should be a new found aspect and respect of how the Fans are going to perceive, conceptualize, look, and whatever else and support this team this year and throughout this decade and beyond. Have to be confident in what products coach Rivera puts out on the field and take success with the success and struggle with the struggle. If you are not going to support The Carolina Panthers then you are free to go elsewhere. GO PANTHERS!!! LAST TO FIRST! YOU HAVE MY FAITH AND FULL SUPPORT!!! Indianapolis, XLVI-2012!

Posted by: PanthersFan | Mar 20, 2011 8:14:15 PM

I say let this new regime handle the process. I have faith in my beloved Panthers. Coach Rivera has an accomplished background. Through his playing career and coaching career. Give him and this staff that credit. Let the Fans just step off with all this negative talk about certain draft picks and what they think the Panthers should be doing. There is a lot of talent on this team and has been for the past 3-4 years. There have been a stock pile of talent that has been brought in and players they have confidence in. But that is the thing that people and the outside world do not see. The Panthers organization and we has real fans do not want to be in this position again, at least for a long long time. That is what Coach Rivera and his staff is diligently working long hours for. They plan to get it right the first time and through their experience eye and resources. I have no doubt they will! People forget that the Carolina Panthers organization is a young but established organization. History is still being identified and formed. A little pressure on the team and people want to fly off the loose end because of the struggles of late. A few days ago I read someone’s post that stated it's a wonder why players and free agents don’t want to come to the Panthers. I really hope Coach Rivera can come in and help change some of the mindsets of the fan base in Charlotte. It seriously needs to be revamped. How the Panthers bounce back from this down time is going to be how the fan base reacts and accepts what it coming to be and be willing to support truly the team. NO MATTER WHAT! That is how you build a franchise and the franchise's fan base that backs them. Fans are the back bone. People think this is not serious. You ask any player about what they play the game for. They will say for the fans after the money but who pays them. The owner and the 'Fans' and other revenue of course. Fans pay to see these guys play. If people continue to pay then there should be a responsibility on their part to invest the right attitude about what they are investing in. All I am saying, if you look at the past 4 Super Bowl Champs. Look at their fan base and their city and the adversity they went through prior. It is no big secret. You will see the ability to be in unison and the complete devotion of being there for one another. Packers*, Saints, Steelers*, Colts, Giants. Fans are important to their teams. Fans give the players that extra fight when they do not feel or want to go out on that field. There should be a new found aspect and respect of how the Fans are going to perceive, conceptualize, look, and whatever else and support this team this year and throughout this decade and beyond. Have to be confident in what products coach Rivera puts out on the field and take success with the success and struggle with the struggle. If you are not going to support The Carolina Panthers then you are free to go elsewhere. GO PANTHERS!!! LAST TO FIRST! YOU HAVE MY FAITH AND FULL SUPPORT!!! Indianapolis, XLVI-2012!

Posted by: PanthersFan | Mar 20, 2011 8:14:19 PM

That's good to hear. Because the far and away most sure thing in this draft is a CB by the name of Peterson out of LSU. Not any of those QBs. He's a lock for a pro bowler, and you can't say that about any other player in this draft. Besides, this lockout continues we get the 1 pick next year too, which means we get Lucky. Go with the sure thing.

Posted by: Fatty McButterpants | Mar 20, 2011 8:24:24 PM

My apology with the repeat, computer glitch. Go Panthers!

Posted by: PanthersFan | Mar 20, 2011 8:25:13 PM

The best non QB option for the Panthers is DT Marcell Dareus. At 319 pounds, he's big enough to play NT in a 4-3 defense. As a NT, he brings unique speed (4.93-40, and 1.68-10 yard split, 4th best for DT's at the Combine)and a powerful penetrating pass rush, which can also disrupt running plays in the backfield. The greatest Panthers defensive problem last season was the almost total lack of a pass rush from the DT's, but if Dareus were paired with the Panthers 290 pound free agent DT Derek Landri (3 sacks, and tied for the league lead among DT's, with 8 TFL's), then suddenly a great weakness becomes a strength. This would also open up pass rush lanes for the DE's, and likely improve the pass defense greatly.

Posted by: DaMan | Mar 20, 2011 8:32:44 PM

WR is only the Panthers 3rd greatest need, Behind QB and DT. WR A. J. Green only scored a 10 (out of 50) on the Wonderlic test, and ProFootballWeekly.com's Nolan Nawrocki points out that NFL decision makers believe this will slow his development. His 4.50-40 speed is also only average.

3 other good draft options exist for the Panthers at their likely 3rd round Compensatory Draft Pick, and their 4th round pick.

WR Stephen Burton (West Texas A & M), 6-1 3/8, 221, 4.53-40, a Pro Day 4.38-40, 1.54-10 yard split, a Pro Day 1.46-10 yard split (faster than any player at the Combine), 19 bench reps 34 1/2 inch vertical (35 at his Pro Day), 10-4 broad jump, 7.04 3-cone drill, and a 4.31 20 yard shuttle.

WR Greg Little (UNC),6-2 1/2, 231, 4.53-40, 1.53-10 yard split, 27 bench reps, 40 1/2 inch vertical, 10-9 broad jump, 6.80 3-cone drill, 4.21 20 yard shuttle, and an 11.28 60 yard shuttle.

TE Rob Housler (Florida International), 6-5 3/8, 248, 34 1/2 inch arms, 80 inch wingspan, 4.55-40 (though nfldraftscout.com list it as a 4.46-40), 1.49-10 yard split (faster than all offensive players, and all but 4 DB's at the Combine), 22 bench reps, 37 inch vertical, 9-9 broad jump, 6.90 3-cone drill, 6.90 20 yard shuttle, and an 11.69 60 yard shuttle. He started out in college as a 213 pound WR, and still has his WR speed, moves, and quick/smooth cuts. The Panthers have 4 TE's at the moment, but none are under contract after this season, and Housler could be a fine WR as a rookie, while bulking up a little,

Posted by: DaMan | Mar 20, 2011 9:03:28 PM

I feel the panthers are overlooking another very good QB option, Nevada's Colin Kaepernick. He has the strongest arm of any QB in this draft class, measured at 59 MPH at the Combine, Mallett's was 58 MPH, and Newton's 56 MPH. He also ran the fastest 40 time at the Combine a 4.53-40, Newton a 4.59-40, Gabbert a 4.62-40, and Mallett a 5.37-40. He scored 37 (out of 50) on the Wonderlic test, Gabbert 31, Mallett 23, and Newton 21. He also started all 4 years at Nevada, Mallet 2, Gabbert 2, and Newton 1. As a senior he completed 64.9% of his passes, and carried Nevada to a 13-1 record, their best in history, with much less talent than Gabbert, Newton, or Mallett. He ran for around 4,500 yards in college, over 1,000 in each of his last 3 seasons, even as a junior, when 2 of Nevada's RB's also ran for over 1,000 yards. Best of all, he has no red flags.

In short, Colin Kapernick is faster, smarter, has a stronger arm, more starting experience, and is as accurate, or more than Gabbert, Newton, and Mallet.

The only complaint against Kaepernick is that he might need to shorten the drawback on his throwing motion, but has throwing motion has been timed at a very fast 375 milliseconds by Sports Science. Sports Science tested the draft QB's for an April 14th program called, "Year of the QB", on ESPN HD. In the test the QB's were throwing into 3 circular targets (probably around 18 to 20 inches wide, they didn't say), 10 yards deep, and the dropping back before throwing. It took Kaepernick 267 milliseconds to lock on(see the light) to which of the 3 targets he was to throw to, and only 64/100ths of a second total to both acquire the target, and complete his throwing motion. You can click to see for yourself.

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=6158666

Why is it that the Panthers don't seem to be considering this guy?

Posted by: DaMan | Mar 20, 2011 9:34:33 PM

we can get that subpar mike vick in the 7th round idiot.

Posted by: john | Mar 21, 2011 6:32:18 AM

Peterson is no lock for a pro-bowl. Even if you can overlook Cam Newton running over and through him in the LSU-Auburn game. You can't overlook Ryan Mallett dropping two 80 bombs in the 1st half with Peterson in the secondary chasing the receiver to the endzone in the LSU-Arkansas game.

Posted by: dbracy | Mar 21, 2011 8:44:58 AM

Sporting News QB Draft Grades & Rankings:

Top 40 Players, or QB Ranking:
15. Blaine Gabbert - 8.2
29. Colin Kaepernick - 8.0
33. Christian Ponder - 7.0
# 4 Cam Newton - 7.5
# 5 Jake Locker - 6.9
# 6 Andy Dalton - 5.9
# 7 Ryan Mallett - 5.9
# 8 Pat Devlin - 5.4

Go check out sportingnews.com all the player write ups today it's free, you usually have to pay for their "War Room" access.

Posted by: DaMan | Mar 21, 2011 9:07:47 AM

Forget this ex-3rd stringer was expelled from U of Florida after one season for felon theft under Fl law of a $1500 laptop or cheating 3 times & had to enroll in a TX community college or even that he & dad got 100s of 1000s from Auburn with the FBI now involved taking over for the SBI.

collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/11/09/fbi-sniffing-around-cam-newton-situation

The fact remains he has a mediocre arm at best with issues. Mallet and Gabbart are clean with no issues.

Top 3 QBs for NFL draft:
Gabbert = 6' 5" 245 lbs
Mallet = 6' 7" 260 lbs
Newton = 6' 4" 235 lbs


Digging deeper at Westlake HS in College Park GA theres no record Newton played football but his Jr & Sr yrs where he threw for 2500 yds & 23 TDs as a Jr but only 1400 yds and ZERO TDs as a Sr. Very odd.

Florida still signed him as a backup 3rd string QB. The rest is history.

Posted by: Fast Eddie | Mar 21, 2011 11:03:30 AM

Urban Meyer resigns twice as Gator coach over "health" issues being involved in signing Newton. Sorry folks but he looks very fit & only 46. Forced out due to Newton scandal or or didnt want to be tainted? hummmm ...

http://www.scout.com/2/1029433.html

"... or if his leaving has anything to do with any of the rumors floating around about Cam Newton ..."

Posted by: scotland lawn | Mar 21, 2011 11:29:06 AM

"A. J. Green only scored a 10 (out of 50) on the Wonderlic test, and ProFootballWeekly.com's Nolan Nawrocki points out that NFL decision makers believe this will slow his development.

So a wonderlic score determines how good or bad a player will be? Along developing quickly? Heck Dan M and McNabb scored a 15 on the wonderlic, they sure don't have no problem being good.

"His 4.50-40 speed is also only average."

Larry F ran a 4.67, Jerry R a 4.70, Emmitt S a 4.70. How did they turn? Oh thats right great players, 40yd dash time are overrated. You can make it up with good route along great hands, in which he has. just my thoughts.


Posted by: j johnson | Mar 21, 2011 1:31:31 PM

This time 6 weeks ago it was a "lock" the panthers were taking Nick Fairley. Now he doesn't even enter the conversation anymore. This is the most bizzare draft ever.

Posted by: Fatty McButterpants | Mar 22, 2011 10:18:20 AM

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