Carolina Panthers 2008 Draft
• Pick No. 13: Carolina Panthers select Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon
Pro analysis: Telling pick by the Panthers in Stewart. It tells us that they're not worried about Stewart's turf toe surgery. It also tells us that Carolina does not regard DeAngelo Williams as a feature back. Stewart has drawn some comparison to LaDainian Tomlinson, though he lacks L.T.'s burst. But Stewart can catch the ball, has some explosiveness and is very tough to bring down in the open field. If he can stay healthy, he could be an immediate force for a Panthers offense that didn't scare many defensive coordinators in 2007.
College analysis: Stewart arrived at Oregon as one of the country's top high school prospects and he displayed that tremendous ability during his three seasons with the Ducks. He packages size and speed that is rare to find in a running back that weighs 235 pounds. The big drawback has been his ability to stay healthy. Stewart battled injuries throughout his career and had surgery on his toe before the draft, however he did run for 253 yards against South Florida in the Sun Bowl with the injured foot.
• TRADE: The Carolina Panthers have moved into the 19th spot in a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Panthers surrendered a second-round pick (No. 43 overall), a fourth-round pick (No. 109 overall) and their 2009 first-round pick to the Eagles.
• Pick No. 19: Carolina Panthers select Jeff Otah, T, Pittsburgh
Pro analysis: With Stewart in the fold, the Panthers are now opting to refurbish their offensive line in front of him and QB Jake Delhomme. Jordan Gross was franchised and should play LT. Travelle Wharton signed a 6-year deal in the offseason, but Otah's presence almost certainly means Wharton will kick inside to guard. Ryan Kalil, a rookie last year, will take over for departed Justin Hartwig at center. Otah should become a fixture at right tackle. If Stewart and DeAngelo Williams can now find lanes to run and Delhomme stays clean, this could also spell a big season for WR Steve Smith. By giving up a 2009 first-rounder, it's pretty clear that Carolina head coach John Fox and GM Marty Hurney are in win-now mode, especially with Bill Cowher cooling his heels down the road in Raleigh, N.C.
College analysis: Otah played basketball and football at junior college before his two years at Pittsburgh. He made 24 starts for the collegiate Panthers and showed his ability by performing well against Virginia's Chris Long, who was selected by St. Louis with the No. 2 overall pick. Otah will try to follow in the footsteps of several successful NFL offensive tackles from Pittsburgh, including Mark May, Bill Fralic and Ruben Brown.
67... Charles Godfry CB Iowa
74... Dan Connor LB Penn State
141... Gary Barnidge TE Louisville
181... Nick Hayden DT Wisconsin
221... Hilee Taylor OLB North Carolina
241... Geoff Schwartz OG Oregon
250... Mackenzy Bernadeau OG Bentley
Last edited by BrAinPaiNt : 04-27-2008 at 06:14 PM.