Panthers Draft Clausen

April 24, 2010


Clausen lands in Carolina; McCoy falls to Browns in third round

New York, NY – Jimmy Clausen waited longer than anticipated to hear his name announced during the 2010 NFL Draft, as the Notre Dame quarterback was taken with the 48th overall pick by the Carolina Panthers.

The Panthers, who did not pick in the first round, were in need of a new signal-caller after waiving Jake Delhomme in March. Clausen, 22, opted to leave school a year early after tossing 28 touchdowns with just four interceptions last season for the disappointing Fighting Irish.

“We talked to a lot of people and obviouisly felt good about him,” Carolina general manager Marty Hurney said. “We think he’s an excellent quarterback. We feel extremely fortunate to get a quarterback of his ability with the 48th pick…It was just a great feeling.”

The selection was the 16th in the second round of the NFL’s 75th annual draft, which kicked off for the first time in primetime on Thursday with the Rams taking Oklahoma quarterback and 2008 Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford as the first overall pick.

The runner-up in that Heisman race was Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, who was not taken until Cleveland made the 21st pick in the third round — 85th overall. The Browns ridded themselves of Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson in the offseason but also added Delhomme and Seneca Wallace to the fray.

McCoy, the all-time winningest college QB, is listed at 6-foot-2, 210-pounds and suffered a injury to his throwing shoulder in the BCS national championship game in January. He finished his illustrious Longhorns career with 13,253 passing yards, 112 touchdowns and 45 interceptions.

“It was awesome,” McCoy said. “My heart skipped a beat, but I was so thankful to hear from [team president Mike] Holmgren and all the people in Cleveland. I can’t be more excited. He said, ‘We want you to be a Cleveland Brown,’ and I said, ‘You won’t regret it, and we’re going to win a lot of games.'”

The second round commenced Friday with St. Louis selecting what it hopes will be a stalwart in protecting its newest commodity in Rodger Saffold, a 6- foot-4, 316-pound offensive tackle from Indiana.

The Vikings were next on the clock, and they added depth to a wounded defensive backfield with the addition of Virginia cornerback Chris Cook.

Minnesota acquired the 34th overall selection, along with the 100th and 214th overall picks from Detroit in exchange for the 30th overall pick, which was California running back Jahvid Best, and the 128th overall pick.

Brian Price, a defensive tackle out of UCLA, was taken next by Tampa Bay. The 2009 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year will team with Gerald McCoy — the No. 3 overall pick and another vaunted defensive tackle out of Oklahoma — to anchor a Buccanneers defense that allowed the sixth most yards in the league last season.

The Kansas City Chiefs took Ole Miss running back Dexter McCluster with the 36th overall pick. The speedy McCluster finished No. 2 on the Rebels’ career all-purpose yardage list with 4,089 yards.

The Philadelphia Eagles, who obtained the 37th pick from Washington via a trade involving quarterback Donovan McNabb earlier this month, opted for South Florida safety Nate Allen, who finished his collegiate career with 226 career tackles.

“He’s a safety, but he can also play cornerback,” Eagles head coach Andy Reid said of Allen. “He’s got a great eye for the ball and he’s a very, very good tackler…He’s very intelligent.”

Oregon safety T.J. Ward was next off the board when Cleveland chose him to patrol the secondary alongside Florida safety Joe Haden, who was the Browns’ first-round choice.

Tampa Bay acquired the next pick from Oakland and took Illinois wide receiver Arrelious Benn.

Miami followed with linebacker Koa Misi, who finished his three-year career at Utah with 206 total tackles, 26.0 tackles for a loss and 10.5 sacks. With the ninth pick in the second round, the Bills landed Torell Troup, a 6-foot-3, 314-pound defensive tackle from UCF.

Arizona tight end Rob Gronkowski then went to New England. The 6-foot-6, 264- pound receiving threat recorded 47 receptions for 672 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2008 but missed the 2009 campaign after going through back surgery.

Sergio Kindle, whose stock faded recently due to injury concerns, was taken next by the Baltimore Ravens. The Texas product became first ever player to be named a finalist for the Butkus (nation’s top linebacker) and Hendricks Awards (nation’s top defensive end) as a senior in 2009.

Another Longhorn fell by the wayside with the following pick, as the Oakland Raiders took Lamarr Houston, who had seven sacks last season for the Big 12 champions.

With the 45th overall pick, Denver got some extra protection for its quarterback carousel in Utah’s Zane Beadles, a 6-foot-4, 310-pound guard that can also play tackle.

The Giants followed with East Carolina defensive tackle Linval Joseph, and the Arizona Cardinals traded up to acquire TCU linebacker Daryl Washington with the 47th overall pick.

After Clausen went off the board, the San Francisco 49ers appeared to get plenty of value with the 49th overall pick, grabbing USC safety Taylor Mays, who was a first-team All-American as a junior and second-team All-American as a senior.

Another talented defensive back, Javier Arenas, went next to Kansas City. The play-making cornerback helped Alabama win the national title last season.

Even though the Vikings possess one of the best running backs in the league in Adrian Peterson, they took 2009 Doak Walker Award winner Toby Gerhart with the next pick. The Stanford workhorse rushed for 1,871 yards and 28 TDs last season, finishing second in the Heisman balloting.

“I come in joining a great team, a powerful offense and a great defense, a team that was really close to getting to the Super Bowl,” Gerhart said. “I’m not exactly sure what my role will be, but it’s there to complement the best running back in the league, Adrian Peterson.”

Three consecutive defensive ends were taken next: Virginia Tech’s Jason Worilds went to Pittsburgh, Florida’s Jermaine Cunningham was picked by New England and fellow Gator Carlos Dunlap ended up in Cincinnati.

Dallas traded up to grab Penn State linebacker Sean Lee in a trade with Philadelphia, and Green Bay followed by choosing Purdue defensive tackle Mike Neal.

Alabama’s Terrence Cody, a two-time first-team All American defensive tackle, went to Baltimore with the 57th overall pick. The 6-foot-4, 365-pound behemoth posted 52 tackles — 10 1/2 for loss — for the national champion Crimson Tide last season.

“After [Thursday], we put together a list of players that we wanted to target [on Friday]. At the top of the list were five flyers, and we got three of the five,” Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said of Kindle, Cody and Oregon tight end Ed Dickson, who they selected with the 70th overall pick.

The Texans went with Auburn running back Ben Tate before the Eagles traded their pick to Cleveland. With McCoy still on the board, the Browns also took a running back in Montario Hardesty out of Tennessee.

Notre Dame’s Golden Tate, the 2009 Biletnikoff Award winner (nation’s top wide receiver), was subsequently taken by Seattle, and offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse of Massachusetts went to the New York Jets at 61st overall.

The Patriots were again on the clock at No. 62 and grabbed Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes, who was first-team All-SEC the past three seasons and compiled 307 tackles during his four-year career.

After Indianapolis chose Iowa linebacker Pat Angerer, New Orleans rounded out the second round by selecting USC offensive lineman Charles Brown.

The Chicago Bears made their first pick of the draft in the third round, taking Florida safety Major Wright with the 75th overall pick. The Bears traded away their first and second round picks in previous deals but still ended up with a quick safety that ended his Gator career with 165 tackles and eight interceptions.

Two notable receivers went back-to-back at No. 77 and 78 overall, as the Titans chose USC’s Damian Williams and Carolina grabbed LSU’s Brandon LaFell. Williams totaled 147 receptions for 2,114 yards and 17 touchdowns as a Trojan, while LaFell finished second in Tigers history in receiving touchdowns (25), third in catches (175) and fifth in receiving yards (2,517).

McCoy’s No. 1 target, Jordan Shipley, was picked by the Bengals with the 20th slot in the third round. The athletic receiver, who was also a valuable punt returner, set UT single-season records for receptions (116), receiving yards (1,485) and touchdown grabs (13) in 2009.

Appalachian State quarterback Armanti Edwards, the only two-time winner of the Walter Payton Award (2009-08) given to the nation’s top FCS player, was taken 89th overall by the Panthers, who traded up for the pick. The versatile Edwards will likely see time at wide receiver despite little experience there.

The last pick of the third round was Alabama guard Mike Johnson, who was taken by Atlanta with the 98th overall choice.

The remainder of the draft will occur on Saturday, beginning at 10:00 a.m. (et).

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