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The first pick
April 28, 2011 - Mike Mathison
I was driving around today when I heard Dan Patrick say he would select LSU's Patrick Peterson with the first pick in the NFL Draft.
I never listened to his explanation as I was at my destination, so I thought about it and decided it was a good selection and here's my cynical thinking.
If you are Ron Rivera, do you really want to put your first NFL head coaching position in the hands of Cam Newton?
You are not sure if you are going to get Peyton Manning, JaMarcus Russell, Drew Bledsoe or Tim Couch.
Peterson can start for you in two positions -- cornerback and return specialist.
The Panthers have Jimmy Clausen and will go 2-14 with Clausen or Newton.
But, if they go 2-14 with Clausen, they will have the worst record in the NFL for the second year in a row and then can draft Stanford's Andrew Luck one year from now.
I call that, in the long run, a win-win situaion.
Most people don't have Newton in the top 15 of players eligible for the draft.
I understand that Carolina has to take Newton. If they don't and he turns out to be more Manning than Russell, the organization will never live it down.
But, they can still pull a Houston and select a defensive guy first instead of the offensive guy.
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