Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Carolina Panthers Call Clausen's Name At Pick #48

The recent NFL draft featured some surprising selections in the first and early second rounds. Inside linebacker Rolando McLain was the 8th overall selection by the Oakland Raiders (a good selection by Al Davis for once), Tim Tebow at #25 by the Denver Broncos, and teams like San Francisco, Buffalo, and Seattle not selecting a quarterback when given the opportunity. But the one surprise to nearly all draft experts and followers of football was Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen falling back to the 48th selection in the 2nd round by the Carolina Panthers.

Why did Clausen fall into the Panthers lap at pick forty-eight? Supposedly, there are some character and leadership issues that frightened many NFL general managers. Here's a quick synopsis of what was said.

Clausen was aloof, somewhat of a loaner, and was a troublemaker. As an incoming high profile rookie, those are damning allegations and unfortunately,there is some truth to this. Not always a solid citizen,Clausen got into a scuffle he got into at a bar while at South Bend. Apparently he wasn't always liked by teammates and supposedly lacked the fire that showed a lack leadership. To my knowledge, he isn't the only football quarterback to have these issues. Does the name Ben Roethlisberger ring a bell?

As far as talent, there can be no denying that Jimmy was the most NFL ready quarterback in this draft class. Under the tutelage of former Irish head man Charlie Weis, Clausen has the ability to read defenses, see the entire field, and make solid decisions to go with a strong arm.

On top of those attributes, Clausen will benefit in Carolina via the strong running attack the Panthers possess. That should limit the number of passing attempts Jimmy would make.

Also, Clausen will be pushed hard in camp by veteran starting quarterback Matt Moore and fellow rookie in 6th round pick Tony Pike, the prolific signal caller from the University of Cincinnati. This will keep Clausen motivated.

All in all, I believe Jimmy Clausen will have a very good if not outstanding career in the NFL. I foresee several playoff appearances and several Pro Bowls, maybe a Super Bowl too. He may not start immediately, but by mid season should the Panthers or Matt Moore struggle, Jimmy Clausen will have his chance to shine.

Those are my thoughts on Jimmy Clausen. What are yours?


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