Draft Rewind: Breaking Down the New Panthers

Who was Marty Hurney's best selection? Who is the most likely to surprise? And what will each of the rookies bring to the table?

The Panthers' primary goal entering the NFL draft was to upgrade their passing game and they did just that.

The Panthers not only drafted quarterback Jimmy Clausen after he fell to No. 48, but also took Cincinnati's Tony Pike when he was still on the board at the end of the sixth round. They will push the young starter Matt Moore in training camp.

But make no doubt about it, Moore is still the starter.

Carolina spent two picks in the third round on wide receivers Brandon LaFell and Armanti Edwards. LaFell has a good chance to start opposite Steve Smith. He'll need to beat out Dwayne Jarrett, which shouldn't be too tough. They traded up for Edwards, which is a risky move considering they gave up a second round pick in next year's NFL draft to get him.

On Saturday, the Panthers took five defensive players including three defensive backs. Not sure where they plan to put all of these guys, especially after signing free agent defensive backs Marcus Hudson and Aaron Francisco.

BEST PICK: Quarterback Jimmy Clausen. The Panthers should be ecstatic to get a guy who was ranked in the top 10 on a lot of boards, including their own, at No. 48.

COULD SURPRISE: Wide receiver/ returner Armanti Edwards. It may take a few years but Edwards could develop into a game-breaker for the Panthers.

A closer look at the Panthers' picks:

Round 2/48 -- Jimmy Clausen, QB, 6-3, 222, Notre Dame

The Panthers were ecstatic to have Clausen fall to them at No. 48 since they had him among the top 10 players on their draft board.

Round 3/78 -- Brandon LaFell, WR, 6-2, 211, LSU

Panthers view him as a young version of Muhsin Muhammad, who is 37 and a free agent. Decent speed and a good downfield blocker.

Round 3/89 -- Armanti Edwards, WR, 5-10, 182, Appalachian State

Panthers became infatuated with him and traded away their second round pick 2011 to get him. Risky move considered he's a college quarterback who'll ask to be a wide receiver.

Round 4/124 -- Eric Norwood, LB, 6-1, 245, South Carolina

Could battle with Dan Connor for the starting spot at the Sam linebacker spot. An all-out player who goes after the ball.

Round 6/175 -- Greg Hardy, DE, 6-4, 281, Ole Miss

Hopes to figure into the pass rushing rotation that is now without Julius Peppers.

Round 6/202 -- Jordan Pugh, DB, 5-11, 220, Texas A&M

Could battle for the No. 4 cornerback spot or play some safety.

Round 6/204 -- David Gettis, WR, 6-3, 217, Baylor

His best chance to compete for a job is as a return man. He's more experienced than Edwards.

Round 6/204 -- Tony Pike, QB, 6-6, 235, Cincinnati

Pike was clearly one of those best players on the board they Panthers couldn't pass on. He joins Matt Moore and Jimmy Clausen in a young but inexperienced quarterback corps.

Round 7/223 -- R.J. Stanford, DB, 6-3, 217, Utah

Will look to compete for a job, but could end up on the practice squad.

Round 7/249 -- Robert McClain, DB, 2-9, 198, UConn

Again, another guy who will have a tough time making the roster.


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