Tuesday, April 26, 2011

If Panthers Are Smart, Then Marcell Dareus Is a Perfect Fit


This is where I have the chance to pretend that I am a player's scout for the Carolina Panthers. This is now a moment where I can admittedly offer unsolicited advice for a franchise lacking a defensive star, a versatile defender, a monstrous pass rusher -- someone who can personify a menace -- a rare specimen in the NFL.

This is where I can call Marcell Dareus, a prospect respectfully expected to be atop Thursday's draft board among other relentless names coming out of an unpredictable class, such as LSU defensive back Patrick Peterson, Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller and North Carolina linebacker Robert Quinn, a rightful product in solidifying the designed scheme in Charlotte with his versatility to presumably improve upon and quickly adapt to maybe the 3-4 or the 4-3 game plans exploited by the Panthers' playbook.

If there are executives necessarily seeking a standout pass rusher who was roughly impressive and forceful during his convincing period of time in school where he become accustomed to the campus lifestyle but wasn't the basic college student in study halls or the cafeterias in Alabama, it's the Panthers cleverly aiming to select Dareus. If there's unequivocally a draftee, by any means, built with beastlike, natural strength and, in retrospect, is armed with stylish footwork to bull rush opposing linemen and then harass the quarterback, it's Dareus who is worthy of fitting within the Panthers' system to address flaws. It seems that some of us are actually familiar with his extraordinary performance in the BCS National Championship Game against Texas.

Remember when he emerged onto the national setting with a solid performance in Pasadena? We can't ever forget that he dictated the significance of the title game by producing the two important plays of his collegiate football career. So, it is well established that Dareus, from the speculations floating around the league, has an incremental draft stock since he is a paramount target with the Panthers, also beholding the availability of Auburn's Cam Newton and Missouri's Blaine Gabbert, a pair of noticeable quarterbacks in such an erratic class.

There's no telling whether or not Newton develops into an impact star or even an all-time bust, but as it is for now, at least, he's a risk and could be a wasteful choice. Why must the Panthers foolishly select another quarterback?? Why must Panthers' general manager Marty Hurney suggest that Carolina takes a quarterback with the No. 1 pick overall on Thursday?? Huh??

"This is a quarterback league," Hurney said. "Look at the draft order of the draft. The ones who have them are picking low, and the ones who don't are pick high."

The exploration of likely selecting another quarterback remains uncertain, but if so, it is an ill-advised move to land a potential franchise quarterback with the top choice. The idea of it is, should the Panthers orchestrate a boneheaded decision by merely choosing Newton, is that the new coaching staff isn't fascinated with the second-year quarterback Jimmy Clausen in which bringing aboard a franchise passer is a glaring possibility.

And while all indicators point towards Newton, envisioned by most draftniks and analyst, the Panthers are impulsive and pressured to snatch a franchise player in the first round when honestly the team has immeasurable pieces to fill in order to lift into prime contention and translate the personality within an organization that incorporates a brand of youth and talent.

The fan base, and the entire town, vividly believes the Panthers will gamble on Newton when Carolina spent an abundance of the offseason evaluating the Heisman Trophy winner, intrigued with his work ethic, prodigy and heart to amazingly ignore the adversity and perform at the highest level. This in all is the path the Panthers will take, apparently without addressing the abundance of necessities particularly in the defensive department where arguably Carolina is flawed the most, helpless, weakened and very defenseless. An array of players in the draft makes it complex for any team with the No. 1 overall selection, but it's considerably sensible to deepen the roster by grabbing Dareus.

To believe in Dareus now, though, is smart when in truth the Panthers cannot do anything wrong with the first selection overall if the team is ailing in every department. Quite simply, if the Panthers are rebuilding to escape the inevitable and woes in an era of flaws and painful losses to fall into the loser column, then it would be a no-brainer to select Dareus. And now, after a miserable season with a 2-14 season, Carolina is trying desperately to overhaul and dismiss all the failures that dismantled the team in a depressed town where the folks stopped believing in the Panthers and were glued to televisions each April.

The resulting madness, not to mention the indignities in a town where the masses were accustomed to the bleakness, elicited a lifeless texture in Carolina. The welfare of the Panthers having the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft is a blessing to hopefully heal the wretched and agonized scars that respectively blemished the franchise and caused Carolina to stumble and plunge into oblivion. Just because he threw 31 touchdowns and rushed for 20 in one of his greatest seasons of his accomplished career that roughly enhanced his Careerbuilder.com status in the NFL Draft, with a colossal shot to pocket bundles of cash, it's not telling that he is certainly the best player in the draft.

Not much is needed from Newton, though, if Dareus is available on the board, presumably the defensive star forgotten thus far when many are brainwashed precisely over Newton among others. The last thing the Panthers want is to be victimized and labeled the resemblance of Oakland with Newton turning into an enormous bust by next season. Newton, for one, is a large risk factor, unproven and scrutinized not expected to ascend on the NFL level. Then, for the Panthers, they shouldn't be investing potentially 80 million in an unidentified player with no body of work. But of course, there are other plenty of top prospects in this draft.

Among those prospects, since the Panthers have the luxury to select first, Carolina is facing a difficult circumstance with a numerous of players, fittingly a fixture for first-year head coach Ron Rivera and his system as they seek to place an identity on the franchise. The availability of Clemson Defensive end Da'Quan Bowers, Auburn DT Nick Fairley and Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara are useful selections, but it would be wiser to bring in Dareus, who can pass rush and work effectively in the run stoppage. There is even, as we know it, Patrick Peterson, a shutdown corner with the potential to lock down the NFL's top receivers, but nobody is like Dareus.

Speaking of which, many believe that the Panthers can hold off on grabbing a quarterback, regardless to whether or not the pocket throwers are the centerpiece of the league. They have been predicted to maybe be the No. 1 overall pick next year, a pick Carolina can certainly obtain gifted prospects in Andrew Luck or Matt Barkley, comparable throwers with accuracy and powerful arms to scan the field and run a pro-style system. As far as it goes, Rivera has openly discussed much interest in Newton all this week.

"As far as skill set goes, the young man has tremendous physical talents," Rivera told reporters before Newton's Pro Day workout. "He's got natural size, the ability to run, a tremendous arm, and a pretty good pocket presence already.”

Everybody should be skeptical about Newton, and certain about Dareus.