Panthers, Skins must maximize picks in draft
Apr 25, 2011
With the NFL Draft day just three days away the Carolina Panthers and the Washington Redskins are a bit slim when it comes to picks.
There is a new era for the Panthers as Ron Rivera takes over as head coach. The Panthers are in decent position having this year’s number one pick. They don’t have a second round pick, but they have two third-round picks, one fourth-round pick, a fifth-round pick and three picks between rounds six and seven.
The consensus is that the Panthers will take Auburn quarterback Cam Newton with the first pick. Newton has that star power already and has impressed football people over the last three months as his draft status has risen from a top 15 pick to the number one guy.
After last season, the Panthers are in desperate need of a quarterback. Having to go for another quarterback this year, the Panthers essentially wasted last year’s second round pick on Jimmy Clausen. This year with no second-round pick, the Panthers must maximize their mid-round picks.
Meanwhile, the Redskins are in much worse position and will have to get creative.
Some think the ‘Skins will take Alabama’s talented wide receivers Julio Jones. Not a bad pick, but the Skin’s need help at a number of different positions, probably most notably quarterback.
All of the talk is that Donovan McNabb will not be a Redskin this season, at least not once the season starts. The ‘Skins are looking to get something for him and the most recent talk is that the Vikings and ‘Skins are talking trade. (Nothing can be done with the current labor situation.) The McNabb situation is not cut and dry.
If McNabb is still on Washington’s roster the day after the first regular season game, the Redskins would essentially have to pick up the $10 million option on his contract. His base salary for 2011 would be $1.75 million, but if he is on the 53-man squad the entire season, McNabb could receive a total of $12.75 million. Getting McNabb and now trying to get rid of him after one year has been costly.
To acquire McNabb, the ‘Skins gave up one of this year’s second-round picks and a fourth rounder. They don’t have a third or fourth round pick this year and have two picks in the fifth, one in the sixth and three in the seventh rounds. They also need help at wide receiver, linebacker, corner and offensive line.
Back to Jones, he has all of the physical tools. Great speed. Highlight catches. Physical. Again, who will throw him the ball? Do the ‘Skins go with Jones and get their franchise quarterback next year? Do they trade down, pick up multiple draft picks and still pick up a quarterback for the future?
It would not surprise me in the least if McNabb is the quarterback for the ‘Skins this year.
Nfl.com and NFL Network analyst Steve Wyche talked to me about the Panthers, ‘Skins, Carolina’s Robert Quinn and Marvin Austin, and gave his updated top 10 mock draft before it is released on Nfl.com. He will be in Charlotte this week covering all things NFL with a Panthers hook.