Friday, February 24, 2012

No.9, No.9, No.9 -- Panthers lose coin flip but it's OK, really

That old Beatles song with the disturbing "No.9, No.9" refrain is running through my head this morning after the Panthers lost a coin flip in Indianapolis with the Miami Dolphins, meaning Carolina will draft No.9 in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft (which begins on Thursday, April 26). They will then pick No.8 in the second round, ahead of Miami.

But hey, it's OK to lose a coin flip, as I wrote about in my last column. Previous recent No.9 picks have included Chicago linebacker Brian Urlacher, Jacksonville running back Fred Taylor and Minnesota defensive tackle Kevin Williams, and they all turned out all right.

The difference between No.8 and No.9 is ultimately pretty negligible -- you should be able to get a starter either way. The Bobcats had the No.9 pick in the 2011 NBA draft, incidentally, and ended up with Kemba Walker.

Now I haven't studied the draft to any great length, but I sure liked Boston College inside linebacker Luke Kuechly when I saw him play on TV. He'd be a great possibility, as would LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers. While defense is the huge need for the Panthers, you'd also have to consider Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon if he fell that far (I don't think he will).

Two other random notes on a Friday:

-- My friend, the talented sportswriter Bethany Bradsher, will be at the Barnes and Noble Arboretum to sign copies of her book "The Classic" from 1-3 p.m. Saturday. Bradsher's book is a rollicking history of the old Dixie Classic, which was a fantastic college basketball tournament in Raleigh 50 years ago that included all of the Big Four ACC teams until it was brought down by a gambling scandal. It's well worth your time and money.

-- My parents are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary today. In this day and age, that's quite a number. Congrats to them!!

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm hoping for either DT or DE. Namely, Quinton Coples, Devon Still, or Michael Brockers. Of the three, I'm leaning towards Coples. He is a freak of an athlete with basically the same build and talents of Peppers. The big question mark is the work ethic. Scouts think it's all abouth how hard he's willing to work,he can be as good as he wants to be. Reminds me of what they said about Peppers when he came from UNC. And lets face it, the only way to beat NO and Atlanta is to get pressure on the QB ... which has looked weak since losing number 90

Anonymous said...

Panthers need to get a WR they have no #1 WR's. Steve Smith is not a #1 if he played for someone like the Giants he would be struggling just to be a #3. He is completely over rated as is.

Anonymous said...

Right Anonymous @ 10:20am

Steve Smith is overrated...are you kidding me? Do you even watch the games? You think Steve would be behind Manningham, Nicks, or Cruz?

You sir, have just lost all football creditability. If you would have used your real name, I would dismiss your future thoughts/posts just by looking at your name.

Anonymous said...

To the guy who said Steve Smith is not a #1 but a #3. I will refrain from calling you dumb, but you sir are not very smart and should not say things that make you look like an idiot. Count the Pro Bowls and compare to others in the NFL. You make me laugh.

-Chris Mitchell

Anonymous said...

The Panthers are not good enough to pick a player based on position need. They need to take the best player available at #9 regardless of position.

MW said...

11:27-Highly agree!

10:20-Others won't, but I will. You're stupid, absolute idiotic comment. Remember when mom would say think about it before you say it? Well you sir should've thought long and hard about what you just said.

Anonymous said...

COPLES.!..He can play inside at DT or DE ,and DT is DEEP in this draft ,and Claiborne the CB from LSU will be gone ,and there's not another CB worth the #9 pick + this is a passing league ,and the Panthers have two pro-bowl QB's in the SE division not to mention the schedule the team has next year ,so they better get a DE to go with CJ to slow the opposing QB's down.

The Panthers need DEFENSE in the draft and FA the offense is good as is with Gettis coming back ,and it won't be any different than last year without being ALOT better at stopping the other teams offense. The way the team is now the team could put up 42 points and still lose.

Anonymous said...

I am a UNC fan and please do NOT draft Coples. This guy is only in it for the money and does not have the competitive fire that just wants to win. He will only play hard in the contract year but will take plays off the other years. I don't know much about the other guys on D that might be available but please draft someone who is talented but also has a high motor. In the wise words of Kevin Durant, "hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard."

Joe Smith said...

Anonymous at 10:20 - You are an absolute GENIUS! I could not agree more. With a roster where Legedu Naanee and Brandon Lafell are fighting to be your #2, I guess Smith would stand out since there is no one else to throw to. He wouldn't stand out as much in a good system with better options.

Joe Smith said...

Anonymous at 11am - Steve Smith would be behind Cruz and Nicks. He would probably fill a slot roll or take Manninghams place. Lets look at the stats - Cruz 82rec 1,536yds and 9tds, Nicks 76rec 1,192yds and 7tds, Smith 79rec 1,394yds and 7tds. One other thing is Cruz, Nicks and even Manningham all have more super bowl rings than Smith.

Rboggs81 said...

I know people may question this logic but I hope Hurney goes to the Bengals and offers up a trade with them (our 8 plus one of our RBs)to get their two first rounders. Then we draft a CB and DT later in the first round where there will still be quality players. If Kirkpatrick falls, take him or Janoris Jenkins then take Dontari Poe (DT) with the other pick, 2 major holes plugged right there. Of course, that assumes we could convince Cincy to trade with us and if not them, then maybe New England would be willing to move up, there two picks value add up to just about the value of the 9th spot so it could be a clean swap.

Anonymous said...

Football is a team sport...that's why Cruz, Manningham, and Nicks have a ring. Their "TEAM" won.

One has Eli Manning, an eight year veteran QB, and one has, although a great rookie, Cam Newton.

Those posting about Steve Smith is overrated are probably bandwagoning Giants/Saints fans. Stop being lukewarm, it's sickening.

Anonymous said...

I'd dare you tell Steve Smith is overrated to his face. IF he had a quality receiver opposite him he may have more receptions and yards. Kinda hard to to get open when opposing teams put a guy over the top(that's double team to yous that don't know). I don't think he'd start over Nicks, but Cruz couldn't handle his jock strap. Cruz is Alvin Harper made over, he gets open because the #1 on the other side is a stud.

Anonymous said...

Back to the topic at hand....the draft. Devon Still is recovering from a tough injury, he might, be a long term solution; Quinton Coples work ethic scares me; and Michael Brockers is a beast of a dude that could make an immediate impact. I hate seeing the Cats go with DT's two years in a row, but until they can get consistent run defense and a serious pass rush, they'll be doomed to mediocrity. I think Justin Blackmon and Morris Claiborne will be gone when the Panthers pick, but I would take either one over Brockers and hope for some CB/OLB/OL/S help in the second round. Courtney Upshaw, Dre Kirkpatrick, Mark Barron and a few others have shown some poor judgement in recent weeks, but (at least) one of them is going to come out of this looking like a steal. Justin Blackmon could well be the next Hakeem Nicks, but he'll be gone as well. Another really good alternative is Reily Reiff. Travelle Wharton's contract is due and we could sure use a little push on the O-Line. With Shockey considering retirement and what another 1-year deal would probably cost against the cap, looking for a young TE to groom isn't out of the realm of possiblities.

Only second day of the combine...still yet to see Pro Day.

Go Panthers !!

Anonymous said...

Poor article as per the usual here.

Anonymous said...

^ - quintessential Panther's fan...curse the light...I like real fans

bob said...

don't pay a lot of attention to the outrageous comments made by "anonymous". frequently, these are comments made by the observer staff to "stir" the pot. by making these knucklehead statements, they get you guys fired up & posting more responses. then you come back tomorrow to see if 'anonymous" responded to you. this keeps the page "hits" count up which they use to sell advertising.

Anonymous said...

WHO IS THE USELESS IDIOT SPEWING ALL UP THESE BOARDS WITH KNOW NOTHING TRASH ?

GET A JOB !!!!!!!!!!!!

Joe Smith said...

I do have a job. I was at work when I posted. Go Giants! Panthers are the new Bengals.

Anonymous said...

Coples = Peppers; and we all now how playing 100% for 1/4 of the game works out!

We need DT, LB, CB or OT help. Just take the best player available at one of those positions at 9. Brockers, Still, Kueckly, Clairborne, Reif or Martin would be nice.

Michael Bacon said...

This is a deep draft for defensive tackles -- we don't need to reach for one at #9. We do need a top athlete at defensive back, and as Hurney pointed out when he drafted Gamble, you just don't find those outside the first round.

Besides, there are good DTs on the market every year as teams switch from 3-4 to 4-3 and back, and guys who don't fit the system fall out.

And given that we're fine at DE right now, NO COPLES.

Anonymous said...

The real problem here is the people that are doing the selecting. Relative to player personnel decisions collectively Marty Hurney and the rest couldn't find a coherent sentence with two hands and a flashlight...Just look at our roster
(by the way that is over the cap)and the number of draft picks still on the team...I have forgotten more about football than these stiffs will ever know...

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