The Carolina Panthers are 1-11 and easily one of the worst teams in football. As such, they’re likely to receive a high selection in the first round of the NFL draft after the season, which is about all the fans have to remain optimistic. Because Carolina has had such poor quarterback play, many fans are hoping the team will choose a quarterback in the first round.
The top names often mentioned are Andrew Luck and Ryan Mallett, both of whom are quarterbacking teams to BCS bowl games. While the fans enjoy talking about next season, the current players don’t. Take for instance running back Tyrell Sutton who tweeted Sunday evening after the team’s loss to the Seahawks “Seriously…Stop mentioning Andrew luck to me.”
There is a delicate balance there; this season is over for the fans so they have to think about next year, while the current players are continually proving their individual worth and trying to win. Not only are the interests of the players and fans divergent in this regard, but what makes the situation more complicated is one man: The Jimmy.
The Panthers spent a second round pick on former Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen, a player who many people felt had first-round talent. Clausen has been one of the worst quarterbacks in the league this year, but he’s also a rookie. Still, being a rookie hasn’t stopped Sam Bradford from looking great despite having little talent surrounding him, so Panthers fans have a legitimate concern: is Jimmy their man? In fact, I was just asked that very question on Sunday — should the Panthers take a quarterback with their likely top three pick, or stay invested with Clausen? I would go with Luck (if he comes out) or Mallett if I were them. They need a quarterback and I like those two much more than Jimmy. If you don’t have good quarterback play, you can’t win consistently. Sorry Tyrell, get used to the lucky charm.