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April 26, 2011

Hurney on top pick, Smith future and Armanti Edwards

With the chaos created Monday by Judge Susan Nelson's ruling to lift the lockout, Tuesday was a strange day in the NFL.

Players showed up at team facilities, in some cases, and were told the weight rooms were closed. Others, including all the Panthers' players except for NFLPA rep John Kasay, didn't show up at all.

But there was at least one constant: Panthers GM Marty Hurney, as he has for the past couple of weeks, refused to reveal who the Panthers plan to take with the No. 1 pick in Thursday's draft.

I don't think anyone turns in their inactives on Friday when they have an hour and a half before the game. And that's where we are,” Hurney said. “We obviously have done a lot of work up to this point, and have ideas throughout the draft and how things might unfold. You just never know what's going to happen, and I think you go up to the time to when you have to make the selection.”

Hurney said at the start of the pre-draft press conference that he would not talk about specific players. So there was no mention of Cam Newton, the Auburn QB most experts believe the Panthers will pick.

Instead, Hurney and first-year coach Ron Rivera talked a lot about the need to have strong quarterback play, especially in a division featuring Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Josh Freeman.

Rivera cited quarterback as one of the Panthers' biggest needs, along with offensive line, receivers, defensive line and the secondary.

The fact that Rivera listed receivers as a need seems to be a pretty good clue as to the Panthers' thoughts on Steve Smith's future. Hurney would not say whether Smith had demanded a trade, but the outspoken veteran has his Charlotte-area house on the market (for $2.3 million) and has given every indication he is ready to move on.

Of course, depending on how the labor impasse shakes out, the window to trade Smith could be narrow.

Hurney said Smith wants the same thing the teams wants -- to win.

The Panthers drafted three receivers last year -- including Armanti Edwards, the Appalachian State QB whom the Panthers acquired with New England's third-round pick in exchange for a second-round pick this year.

That spot is now the 33rd pick in the draft.

We still think the player we took last year, Armanti Edwards, is going to be a very good player,” Hurney said. “And when you analyze the draft, there's so many people that take it one pick at a time. And I think what you have to do is analyze drafts in general.

We get excited on the third day. We feel like we can get good players and have gotten players on the third day. We have two third-round picks. We think we're going to get good players there. We believe that we can find good players in every round.”

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on April 26, 2011 at 01:49 PM | Permalink


The Panthers are making a habit out of drafting mascots...first, it was Armanti...next, it will be Cam. At least Sir Purr won't be lonely!

Keep those Gatorade cups filled Armanti!

Posted by: Dug E Fresh | Apr 26, 2011 2:15:11 PM

ESPN and Pro Football Weekly report that Steve Smith cleaned out his locker and his suite at the stadium. I would not be surprised if they go after AJ Green now with the first pick and try to trade Smith for a 2nd Rd pick now that the lockout has been lifted, at least for now.

Posted by: djfoams | Apr 26, 2011 2:30:47 PM

I think we can draft some receivers in the later rounds. It makes more sense if they are not going to pick QB to go ahead and choose a DT.

I do think its apparent Smith wants out, and we should respect that. At least he hasn't thrown a huge fit over it like many players.

How about 1st overall pick+Smith to Cincy for their 4th overall and Palmer? Probably unbalanced.

Posted by: Gamble20 | Apr 26, 2011 2:37:37 PM

With the lockout we can't trade players in the draft. The only tradable commodities we have is current and future picks.

Posted by: Simon | Apr 26, 2011 2:42:03 PM

@ Dug E Fresh, I get your little humor. Jealousy gets you no where, just knowing all these mascots in the league makes you sick to your stomach is cool with me.

Posted by: Intel | Apr 26, 2011 2:47:09 PM

hurneys right, armanti will be a good player however he will be playing in europe. face the facts, this kid is lucky to have even made the team last season.

Posted by: dar456 | Apr 26, 2011 2:48:36 PM

Hurney traded what is now the 33rd pick in the draft for the 89th pick last year. How does this man keep his job?

Posted by: Evan | Apr 26, 2011 2:49:42 PM

As someone who moved to this city from another sports market, I really do want to see the Panthers do well but Hurney and Richardson do their best to keep some convert/fringe fans away. This guy (Hurney) refuses to ever admit he hass made mistakes and the personnel/scouting department seems completely clueless. This team needs a fresh start and that starts with the GM.

"The views expressed here are mine and do not reflect the official opinion of my employer or the organization through which the Internet was accessed."

Posted by: YJ | Apr 26, 2011 2:58:55 PM

How does Hurney keep his job? If we look at the draft "in general" it is still bad. E. Brown for a future 1st round pick. Armanti Edwards for a 2nd rounder. He barely saw the feild...Jacoby Ford was still available at 89th pick and look what he did. No wait or training period for him. Everyone says "but look at Beason and Kalil" ...okay, yes they are great players but the fact is...Marty isn't doing the best overall selections. If they point to Beason and Kalil, isnt that what Marty just said not to do..."look at individual picks"???

Posted by: Jimbo | Apr 26, 2011 3:04:00 PM

Can we trade Hurney and Richardson for a couple of greasy bojangles biscuits and one VIC card?

Posted by: MELISSA | Apr 26, 2011 3:10:10 PM

Hurney is a former beat writer that covered the Redskins and only got a job in the NFL because he was friends with someone. What makes anyone think he has any idea how to select football players any better than the average Joe on the street. That's why he's botched it up so many times... I'm pretty sure I've out drafted him the last several years.

Posted by: Brock | Apr 26, 2011 3:12:26 PM

Why is my photo still listed here?

Posted by: Darin Gantt | Apr 26, 2011 3:12:54 PM

And why in the photo does it look like Joe just farted in my face and I am smirking?

Posted by: Darin Gantt | Apr 26, 2011 3:13:35 PM

I don't see any surprises with the first pick. Panthers draft Newton. Then waste a 2012 pick to take a bust in this year's 2nd round. Next year they'll have Newton, Claussen, and Pike and be looking Luck dead in the face with the first pick.

Posted by: Chris | Apr 26, 2011 3:14:38 PM

Armanti Edwards not seeing the field last year was a result of John Fox and Davidson and poor offensive design, total lack of understanding in adapting offense, formations, personnel to players versus running an outdated 1970's proset, and yes a poor preparation for the adjustment by Armanti himself. BUT ... Wes Welker, an undrafted Pro Bowler did not thrive until year 3 with N.E. Armanti compares favorably in size and speed to Welker, Broadhead, DeSean Jackson of Philly et.al.. In the right hands, with correct utilization, he can be a dynamic play-maker and earn his worth as a second round pick.

Posted by: Isaiah | Apr 26, 2011 3:15:59 PM

If Hurney gives anything for Palmer he should be fired on the spot. First off the guy is washed up and second he will be waived and we can get him for nothing then - actually even cheaper than his current contract. If you can't trade down then draft the Alabama DT first and trade smith to NE for the #28 pick. Use that on a QB - Ponder, the Nevada guy or Locker or the Arkansas Kid - then draft two a CB and DT in the third round and a WR in the 4th. Other round use on best player available...

Posted by: Explicit | Apr 26, 2011 3:19:57 PM

We are overlooking the fact that Cam Newton is a TRANSFORMATIVE player -- not just another quarterback to fit into an ossified NFL offensive scheme. The Panthers should build their team around him. He should run the ball at least 20 times a game -- not scrambles, but designed runs. It would be something new in the NFL -- a running quarterback who also can throw. Remember Paul Hornung, a back who could also throw? Too much wear and tear on your quarterback? Newton has linebacker size and can deal out punishment. Pity the poor defensive back who tries to take him on one-on-one. I don't know how smart Newton is, but then again, it is foolish to think that being a successful NFL quarterback requires brains, not just athletic ability. If that is so, explain to me the Hall of Fame career of Terry Bradshaw? But the Panthers will not take Newton. It requires too much imagination, and Marty Hurney has never shown that he is more than an order-taker for management. I understand that Jerry Richardson was an NFL tight end back in about 1820. Newton is a Michael Vick with a great body and a rocket arm. Vick was just quick when scrambling, and spent his best years behind bars. He still was almost the league's MVP this year even in his ruined state. Select Newton, put him in the middle, build a team around him, and add in various coverages as he can handle them. South Carolina tried to play him like a latter-day Michael Vick -- shutting down the run -- and he scorched them for 330 yards passing. He will learn in time to make the almighty "touch" passes. But this is all a distraction to give a reason NOT to take Newton: "He's got personality problems." (The Panthers should select Miss Congeniality.); "He wouldn't be good in the locker room." (losing being preferable); "He's hasn't got the mental tools." (Being an NFL quarterback requires membership in MENSA.) No doubt, we will be told how much the Panthers WANTED to take Newton, but alas. . . .

Posted by: JOSEPH MCNULTY | Apr 26, 2011 3:24:03 PM

ESPN reports that Steve left a box containing all his uniforms in front of his empty locker. How scary is it that Brandon Lafell is going to be our #1 receiver, along with Cam/Jimmy as our QB's? As bad as we were last year, we may set new records for ineptness. 1-15 only if we get a gift from some team. As bad a team as the NFL has seen in 20+ years. THANKS AGAIN JERRY RICHARDSON!!!!!

Posted by: F JERRY | Apr 26, 2011 3:25:30 PM

Yep. Lets take AJ I don't have a quarterback to get me the ball so what was the point of drafting me Green . Or we can take Marcell I can help stop the other teams offense but once ours take the field I can't help you Dareus. Or we could take Patrick if I don't run the punt back to at least the other teams 20 yard line, we won't get any points Peterson. An we can keep Jimmy the pocket is breaking down and I don't see anybody open so I will just throw it out of bounds Clausen. An not even worry about Cam the pocket is breaking down I don't see any body open so I will just try to get the fist down my self and keep the drive moving Newton. Yeah Lets not worry about Newton. Cam is use to winning so he may do what ever it takes to win the game and that's to risky. We don't need that here in Charlotte......Dare to be better. Dare to be different.

Posted by: M | Apr 26, 2011 3:28:34 PM

@Gamble20, we can't trade Smitty and Bengals can't trade Palmer. Not without a new CBA.

Posted by: dw | Apr 26, 2011 3:29:14 PM

Hey marty ... if Smitty really cleaned out his locker and wants nothing with the Panthers....YOU HAVE TO .... YOU MUST....
.....cause newton will take at least 4 years to develop....
will you still be here???

Posted by: Scott Silverstein | Apr 26, 2011 3:36:57 PM

If Newton is the real deal......why do SO many people dislike the guy and feel he will flop....???

Why invest the number one pick on a question mark???

Posted by: Scott Silverstein | Apr 26, 2011 3:42:09 PM

if smith wants out, let him out. hes always played as an individual and we havent won anything with him. it may even open up some more draft choices. this team is full of holes and there isnt really a true #1 pick this year. talk about tough luck. one things for sure JR hasnt made any friends during this whole negotiation process, in fact hes managed to offend some of the most influential players in the league. hopefully that doesnt effect any free agents from wanting to play here but if it does it wont be good for anyone. it will be the equivalent of getting shot through a screen door with a sh1t gun.

Posted by: dar456 | Apr 26, 2011 3:44:02 PM

Cam Newton is not the answer. On the other hand, an A.J. Green would make a great deal of sense. Unfortunately, common sense has been sadly lacking in the Panther Front Office. The tumult with Richardson's sons and Hurney in recent years is well known.

Two years ago the Vikings should have won the Super Bowl. A year later they stunk! The reason was they had no passing game. Their wideouts were of a pitiful quality and their great TE was easily shut down.

Carolina had the same problem last year. No decent wideouts other than Steve Smith who saw double and triple coverage 90% of the time. The Panther's TE's were not an offensive threat and consequenty, Carolina had a featureless offense. History will repeat itself if they don't draft a top-shelf receiver or two in 2011.

Marty Hurney is incompetent as a player personnel expert. He may be a wonderful man in other respects, however, he is a poor judge of football talent.

Hurney is a fraud and an imposter. It is difficult to comprehend how Jerry Richardson has allowed Hurney to somehow con his way into the position he now holds.

I wonder if Rivera questions his move to Carolina. I trust he will be given some say in the draft process, given that he'll have to coach the players selected through the toughest schedule in the NFL.

Posted by: bighume | Apr 26, 2011 3:52:40 PM

@ M:

What makes you so sure Cam Newton will be great in the NFL?!? Just because he was a success in college means absolutely nothing! He could be a complete failure in the NFL, no one knows for sure. Spread offenses do not translate well to the NFL. If he is selected by the Panthers, I hope he turns into a Hall of Famer, but I'm not going to sit there and make him out like he's the answer to all of Carolina's problems. One player doesn't make a team, and Cam certainly won't. A team is a team, plain and simple. If he's a part of it, great, but it's no point in trying to speak for what he will do in the NFL when we don't know that. I'll be happy no matter who Carolina selects because I support the team as a whole and believe they will do what's best for the franchise!

Posted by: Jay | Apr 26, 2011 3:58:58 PM

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