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Report: Panthers not sold on taking defensive lineman with first pick

Nick Fairley

With the NFL pressing pause for the week, perhaps the start of NFL Draft’s silly season can begin a little early.

We are six weeks away from finding out who the Panthers will draft No. 1 overall, and we’re bound to hear a lot of reports and rumors about their preference in the meantime.    This is a draft without a clear top pick, which will only increase the speculation.

One theory taking hold of late is that Cam Newton has a good chance to go first, despite his erratic effort throwing at the Combine.  A report from the Charlotte Observer Saturday helps support the theory.

Joseph Person credits two sources that say the Panthers are “not sold” on taking a defensive lineman No. 1 overall.  They are expected to take “long looks” at Newton and Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert.

That shouldn’t come as a surprise.  Teams drafting near No. 1 certainly haven’t set their board yet, and the draft’s best defensive linemen aren’t seen as “can’t miss” guys.  Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley could seemingly go anywhere in the top ten.  Clemson defensive end Da’Quan Bowers will have to show he’s healthy at his April 1 Pro Day.

There are five or more players that could conceivably go first overall:  LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson and Alabama defensive tackle Marcel Dareus could wind up being in the mix.

There are a lot of people paid to act like they know everything about the draft process.  The reality is that no one knows in early March, especially in this muddled draft year.

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31 Responses to “Report: Panthers not sold on taking defensive lineman with first pick”
  1. wryly1 says: Mar 5, 2011 6:07 PM

    Riiiiight!!! As if ANY club is going to publicly reveal their true intention with the RD1 pick. From now till they are on the clock, it’s all about jockeying, deception and disguise.

  2. 8man says: Mar 5, 2011 6:07 PM

    If they pick Newton they will look back one day and say, “We’d do it differently.”

    He may put butts in the seats, but he won’t post wins in January.

    Mark it down.

  3. Lou Pickney says: Mar 5, 2011 6:08 PM

    Adam Schefter knew in February 2010 that St. Louis was taking Sam Bradford #1 overall, and his report of that on WXOS radio held up quite nicely.

    There have been no such leaks from Carolina, in large part I suspect because the Panthers don’t even know yet what they’re going to do. And, until Da’Quan Bowers holds his private workout next month, they likely won’t have a definitive decision in place.

  4. tjacks7 says: Mar 5, 2011 6:09 PM

    Luckily for them, they need help at just about every position.

  5. rovibe says: Mar 5, 2011 6:13 PM

    Two things –

    The draft is 8 weeks away, not six. Just throwin’ that out there in case you were planning to fly to NY for the proceedings…

    Second, who cares what the Panthers say right now? Can anyone really trust the noise coming from the team holding the first pick in the draft? No way. All smokescreens from here on out.

  6. huskersrock1 says: Mar 5, 2011 6:21 PM

    Both Jamarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf are hoping it is Cammy Cam Cam

  7. somisseagle says: Mar 5, 2011 6:31 PM

    Can’t blame them. D-linemen are always big risks. So many defensive ends and tackles that are taken high don’t end up panning out.

    If I were them, I would take a hard look at AJ Green, or the best QB available.

  8. hobartbaker says: Mar 5, 2011 6:38 PM

    No worries, George Wtf!!! Jr. will coach the Newt up to Arena League backup level like himself.

  9. bigchoreographer says: Mar 5, 2011 6:54 PM

    AJ Green is the best player in the draft, and he fits a need…

  10. thespeaker08 says: Mar 5, 2011 7:15 PM

    I’ll quit being a Panthers fan if they draft Newton. I’ll take another two win season with Clausen.

    Even if Newton won us the Superbowl, i’d rather not watch that putz play for my favorite team.

  11. getweird4u says: Mar 5, 2011 7:29 PM

    Patrick Peterson is the best player in this draft.

  12. munchkin420 says: Mar 5, 2011 7:32 PM

    The Panthers can’t afford to do what the Niners did when they took Alex Smith. They need to either trade the pick even at a reduced value or take the best D’lineman. Taking a “franchise” QB at 1 that turns out to be a colossal waste will set this team further back than they already are particularly after they foolishly gave up their 2nd round pick to NE for Armanti Edwards.

  13. riderspantherssk says: Mar 5, 2011 8:31 PM

    If they draft Newton it will be a complete shot in the dark and proof that Hurney, et al. have no idea what they are doing. If you are willing to gamble on Cam Newton you probably also like VLTs. They both give you about the same odds of winning…

  14. nflwatcher says: Mar 5, 2011 8:41 PM

    A big factor to consider is how much the rookie wage scale could be reduced if a NFL deal comes together before the draft. If Carolina only has to risk 10 million guaranteed instead of Bradford’s 50, then maybe Newton is worth the risk.

  15. cromartiesforgottenchild says: Mar 5, 2011 8:49 PM

    A.J. Green and Patrick Peterson are the only two sure things in this draft. Well that and Mel Kiper being dead wrong about everything.

  16. gargoyle10 says: Mar 5, 2011 9:22 PM

    Cam is the MAN!!!!!!!!!

    Please take him off the board before the 12th pick!

    My purple bleeding heart BEGS!

    LOL!

  17. oldcracker says: Mar 5, 2011 9:52 PM

    The Bungals could use Cam. Can you imagine the circus with 85, T.O., and the Newton family? WOW!

  18. ppie12 says: Mar 5, 2011 10:18 PM

    take cam newton then. hahaha. good luck with that

  19. patpatriotagain says: Mar 6, 2011 2:32 AM

    interpretation:
    “we’re trying to build interest in the pick so we can trade out of it, because last year we basically traded away pick 33 to get pick 89, and now we’re royally screwed.”

  20. thegonz13 says: Mar 6, 2011 6:37 AM

    Smokescreen! There isn’t a team that reveals its true intentions six weeks before the draft

  21. bigmikeyreturns says: Mar 6, 2011 7:22 AM

    If you hold onto the 1 pick, taking Peterson is the smart move. Never take a QB number 1 overall, unless he’s the second coming of Steve Young (mad skills AND brains), and that isn’t available this year.

  22. edgy says: Mar 6, 2011 8:56 AM

    With no disrespect to the guys that are available, the only QB that deserves to be taken as the first pick is getting ready to break a sweat at Stanford. I’m guessing that this is nothing more than a negotiation ploy to get the best deal out of linemen, if they aren’t able to get the rookie cap in place.

  23. postfixer says: Mar 6, 2011 10:03 AM

    AJ Green should be given a good look by the Panthers. I don’t know what their offensive line situation is like (can’t find the number of sacks they let up this last year), but there seems to be no consensus “elite” tackle. With a player like AJ Green, they could determine if their Quarterback of the future actually exists in Clausen, or give a new QB next year a solid target. In any case, adding big play talent like that couldn’t hurt the 32nd ranked passing offense.

  24. dkeyser says: Mar 6, 2011 10:23 AM

    I think its great that Jerry Richardson tanked his whole team before the seasnon and then the best QB in the draft decided to stay in school. Maybe in the future teams will learn not to get rid of everybody and still expect fans to shell out their hard earned money for a crap team.
    Karma’s a b*tch

  25. billsfan1 says: Mar 6, 2011 12:28 PM

    Why would the team picking first need to disguise anything…….and please don’t give me excuses regarding using it to trade….they have no need to play stupid

  26. prmpft says: Mar 6, 2011 12:35 PM

    …nor should they be – unless he can also play QB!!!

  27. swayzecrazy says: Mar 6, 2011 12:45 PM

    i’ve purchased PSL’s since 96, and this is the first year where i have NO idea who we’ll be drafting, and whether you believe it or not, nobody else does either. do not believe these mediocre news sources that claim to be an insider in this organization. the old senile boss himself, yes the same mandarin f*@&ing gantt and every other journalist jock sniffs, will make the final decision. and going by his recent behavior, it wouldn’t surprise if we picked patrick peterson, who by the way could actually be the best pick despite the insanity behind it.

  28. sfsaintsfan says: Mar 6, 2011 12:56 PM

    In two of the positions being considered for the top pick, QB and D Line, there is no clear consensus on who the best player is. With Patrick Peterson, you know you are getting the best secondary prospect and a player who compares favorably to Darrelle Revis, without the attitude.

    The Panthers play the Saints, who have one of the best passing attacks in the league, and the Falcons, who are an up and coming team. If you can’t hang with the best teams in your division, you should hang it up.

    Even though I think Patrick Peterson is the player they should take, I believe they will take Da’Quan Bowers if he has a good pro day.

  29. CKL says: Mar 6, 2011 1:02 PM

    I’m with munchkin and patpatriot…if they are smart they are trying to generate interest for a trade down.

  30. bigmikeyreturns says: Mar 6, 2011 1:20 PM

    Not saying they won’t try to generate interest in a trade down, but I’ve always felt that if you hold the 1 pick, one of the other 31 teams will love to have it. If team 4-8 wants it, and sweetens the deal appropriately, then I’d trade it down and perhaps still wind up with Peterson at 4 or 5. Who knows. I wish the draft was happening right now. I just wouldn’t worry too much about selling the 1 pick, because after all, it’s the 1 pick, and somebody wants it.

  31. dkeyser says: Mar 6, 2011 2:02 PM

    If i were running a team like the Panthers that had large holes to fill all over the roster, i would try and trade the top pick for 3-4 veterans and switch 1st rounders. Now im not saying get a bunch of scabs, but guys who have been in the league for 3-5 years and can come in right away and start.

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