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What can I say? I am intrigued by the two 1st round picks of Jonathon Stewart and Jeff Otah. I have to admit that I am not happy (for now) about all the picks the Panthers gave up for the latter though. It just seems too much for an unknown, and I don't care what anyone says, until a player has a season or two under his belt... they are an "unknown" in the NFL. I think I like the thought process behind these two picks though. It makes me anxious for training camp to begin (probably because I will not be participating in those 'two-a-days').
Then, in the third round (because of the trade up for Otah), they picked up some defensive players, Charles Godfrey and Dan Connor. I like these picks because I really think the Panther's defense has aged some. Also, with Julius Peppers struggles last year, anything that can help is an asset. I am also liking Gary Barnidge (TE) in the 5th.
The draft though is a bunch of hype. It is the promise of something new, something better. How many of these drafted players will make the team? You know the 1st and 2nd rounders have a really good chance, but from the 3rd on down... it's a Turkey shoot. They are going to have to prove to the coaches, and the rest of the team, that they are among the best and worth keeping around. As it should be. I like a good running game, it's more exciting to me than a West Coast offense. But it's hard on a running back. You all remember Biakabutuka? Now he was a good running back, but his knees just couldn't take it. Even Stephen Davis wore out, but not before he broke most of Mr. Biakabutuka's team records. I think the Panthers should feel honored that Davis retired in a Panthers uniform.
The proof will come, and by the end of October we will have a greater understanding of just how good the draft was.
Before I go, I have to shout out that I now have a second favorite team in the Detroit Lions. They picked up Caleb Campbell in the 7th round. I know he's not a sho-in, but he is the first West Pointer to be drafted in a long time. The media is hyping up some change in the rulings about such players 5 year post graduate commitment. How long has it been since Army had a player drafted into the NFL? I will be praying for him to make the team.