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NFL Draft Provides Surprises

Before the NFL draft, Jimmy Clausen’s future could not have looked brighter. The former standout quarterback from Notre Dame had just skipped his final season of eligibility to pursue his dreams in the NFL draft.

So when Clausen, who was picked by many analysts to be the 9th best player in the draft, fell to the 48th overall pick, it took many observers by surprise.

The team lucky to receive Notre Dame’s number two all-time passing leader for minimal amounts of cash was none other than the Carolina Panthers.

The fact that Clausen fell into the desperate claws of the Panthers could easily be considered a blessing. After all, the Panthers cut Jake Delhomme following his career high 18-interception 2009 season and were praying that backup Matt Moore could bring them back to the Super Bowl.

Clausen ran a pro-style offense during his 3-year stay at South Bend, which will help him compete for the starting job with Moore this upcoming season.

As if there was not enough competition already, the Panthers selected former Cincinnati quarterback Tony Pike in the sixth round. This interesting decision likely means the Panthers will only be keeping one of the more talented quarterbacks: Moore or Clausen.

Following their QB picks, the Panthers looked to bolster their struggling receiver corps led by Pro Bowl receiver Steve Smith.

This attempt was clear after Carolina drafted LSU receivers Brandon Lafell and local legend Armanti Edwards from Appalachian State.

Edwards, who led Appalachian towards two of their historical three straight national championships, is an unusual case. While at Appalachian, Edwards starred as a quarterback.

In fact, playing as a receiver in the NFL will be the first time he has ever started at that position. Due to his freakish athleticism, the Panthers figured it was a worthy gamble.

Overall, the Panthers locked onto their main inconsistencies on the field, and strengthened them in one fell swoop. Not bad for a team that did not have a single first-round draft pick.

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