SportsCrack Blog

Friday, January 14, 2011


Yesterday National Champion Auburn lost their two biggest playmakers in quarterback Cam Newton and defensive tackle Nick Fairley to the NFL draft. Are either one of these freaks of nature #1 pick material for the Carolina Panthers?

I'm going to say no. Carolina does need a quarterback if they plan on ditching the Jimmy Clausen experiment but I don't think Cam would be the best choice. Andrew Luck would have been the perfect pick for Carolina but since he is coming back for his senior season at Stanford there is no sure bet for #1. Newton has too many question marks (character, ability to adapt to a pro-style offense, experience) to risk handing your franchise over to a guy who would instantly become the face of the franchise. I think Cam could become an excellent NFL QB with time but I don't think Carolina would be conducive to his development. Plus you know Cam and his father are going to hold out for the most money.

Fairley was a beast this season and pretty much carried Auburn's defense much like Cam carried Auburn's offense. He was unstoppable in college. The only person who stopped him was himself. Yes, Fairley does take a lot of plays off. The motor isn't constantly ticking like it is in a Ndamukong Suh. If I'm going to throw tens of millions on a #1 overall pick I have to be absolutely sure they will give it everything they have on Sundays. I'm not convinced Fairley has it in him. Don't get me wrong the guy is a fucking locomotive when he gets going and I would be more than happy to have him playing for my Falcons. But if I'm Carolina I can't risk missing on this #1 pick with a guy who takes plays off and who will be getting millions of dollars and could just cash out like Albert Haynesworth did when he got his big paycheck.

So who would I take #1 if I were Carolina? I would probably look to trade down and get a second round pick to go along with a first or even another first round pick if possible but if I had a gun to my head and had to pick one guy right now it would be Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers. The sky is the limit it for Bowers and with the close proximity of Clemson to Charlotte he would be in a comfort zone with the franchise. I can see Bowers developing into another Julius Peppers.

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