Friday, May 1, 2015

Was Shaq Thompson a luxury pick? And about those crab legs....

3 thoughts on the first day of the NFL draft:

1) I thought Jameis Winston posting a picture of himself on Instagram with a plate of steaming crab legs Thursday night after Tampa Bay selected him No. 1 showed exactly the kind of immaturity that the Bucs don't need out of Winston. I know, I know, I sound like a grumpy old man, Winston was just having fun given that old accusation of stealing crab legs from a grocery store in Florida, etc. But the guy needs to start acting more like an NFL rookie who needs to learn some things and less like an entitled Big Man on Campus. Pronto. (The picture has now apparently been deleted from Winston's Instagram account -- but it's a little late for that).

2) Pro Football Focus had this to say about Carolina's pick at No.25, linebacker Shaq Thompson of Washington: "They say linebacker, we see safety. Thompson is not good when blockers get on him, but looks a natural in coverage. How that fits in with Carolina in the short term is most interesting, because there’s no way you’re taking Luke Kuechly or Thomas Davis off the field on those passing downs any time soon.

"Thompson had the sixth highest grade in coverage of all linebackers against Power-5 opposition but was down in 25th for his work against the run. Numbers that really sum him up. We can’t fault the Panthers for not going offensive line (biggest need) given the run on linemen, but it does seem like something of a luxury pick when you’ve got some real weapons at wide receiver on the board

So was Thompson a luxury pick? Not really. Thomas Davis is the longest-tenured Panther (he also announced the pick of Thompson last night, which had a bizarre symmetry to it). TD won't last forever, and Thompson may start right away at weakside linebacker if he can beat out A.J. Klein. I'm OK with the pick if Thompson can play, but Carolina still needs help at OL, DB and RB in the next six rounds. As for PFF idea of Thompson playing safety, the Panthers don't plan to do that (nor at RB, either, although he gained 456 yards rushing as a rare two-way player for Washington)

3) Thompson made an interesting comparison last night, saying he was similar to Bucs linebacker Lavonte David in the pros. For those who don't follow the Bucs much, David is one of the few really good players that Tampa Bay has -- kind of a poor man's version of Luke Kuechly. If Thompson can become Lavonte David, everyone in Charlotte should be happy.


Anonymous said...

We really need better sportswriters. Is this all we get?
These writers have no influence nor access to the Panthers and they seem completely okay with it.
Shaq Thompson in the 1st round was a luxury pick. Not doubt he will contribute but more in line with a 2nd or 3rd rounder.
We need help with offensive team speed and we gave up some incredible opportunities for a player we could have gotten in the 2nd round.
We seem to be drafting for depth when we should be drafting for starters.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Thompson will add something, now or eventually. But it still feels like a reach, with so many other holes that need filling.

Ben M said...

The guy, though slated between 1st and 2nd rounds, seems good at any role. Granted, the NFL does not work that way, and I personally would prefer him at safety. But seeing how Dave Gettleman did not call me and ask me for my opinion, I'll be eager to see how he works out at Will position.

Andre Manigault said...

Stop crying, if you don't follow them and study them you will never know. Shaq is just what we needed, they play a 43 he's starting Day1, So much speed is still on the Board quit complaining, this article is okay at best.. They have 10+ more everything in this draft, be patient

Bird said...

This pick has a Amini Silatolu feel to it. A "Who the heck is that guy and why did we pick him in the first round? I guess he must be very good, but just kinda unknown." pick. Later followed by "Oh, that's why he was unknown...". And finishing with "Whatever happened to...?"

Anonymous said...

Could not agree less on your take that Brady should be suspended 4 games.
Anyone who has played sports knows the violation is meaningless and this is more about the media throwing gas on the fire in order to generate a story.
Maybe Charlotte and its media should be more interested to spur the Panthers onto two straight winning years rather than going after a team which has shown it can be a top franchise for over a decade and a half.
How donor explain Brady winning the Super Bowl without the ball being deflated and inside a dome. Maybe they are just a good team. Ok now go write another puff piece on Cam Newton Observer. Can't wait to see another late pick thrown by Cam in the next playoff game loss. Geez this town is pathetic for sports coverage. Major league teams but a minor league fan base and local sports media.