The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Apr 15, 2024

The Impact of the Number One Draft Pick

By Zachary Cohen | Sports Editor

The Carolina Panthers are set to make franchise history, and select a player number one overall in the NFL Draft. Though one of the leagues youngest franchises, the Panthers have never picked high than number two. With that number one slot comes a lot of pressure, because with one move, one franchise can alter the entire league forever.

In the 76 year history of the NFL Draft, there have been just 12 Hall of Famers taken with the number one pick; that’s one one every six years, on average. It’s a very tricky game and luck has a lot to do with it.

There have been a total of 29 quarterbacks taken in the history of the Draft, and a lot of scouts and analysts expect the Panthers to take Auburn quarterback Cam Newton with their pick. Newton is a big strong armed quarterback with a ton of upside, and has yet to show any flaws in any of his work outs. It seems like an easy decision, until you think back four years and remember who the Oakland Raiders used their number one draft pick on.

When evaluating a player to draft, you need to not only look at his repertoire, but also how that player will fir in your system, and in your locker room. Even when that player does fit your system, he isn’t always the best choice. The biggest draft bust of all time, JaMarcus Russell, possessed one of the strongest arms scouts had seen in years, and had a perfect pro day. The Raiders drafted the gunslinger out of LSU, and it made sense because the style of offense the Raiders play; stretch the field and bomb the ball down field. However, he didn’t have the heart for the game, and didn’t have the dedication needed to be one of the best passers in the game. So even though he fit the mold for what the team wanted to do, he wasn’t like in the locker room, because of that lack of heart and dedication, and ultimately wound up getting cut, and doesn’t even play in the league today.

So if not the captain of the offense, how about a defensive player? A rare occurrence, there have only been 19 defensive players taken at that number one slot. In this years draft, there are only two realistic choices to be that man; Patrick Peterson a defensive back out of LSU and Nick Fairley, a defensive tackle from Auburn. History says this won’t happen, Fairley has a very slight chance, and Peterson even slimmer; there have been just 6 defensive tackles and only one defensive back taken number one.

The Panthers have a lot of power, and will alter not only the league, but other draftees as well. If they don’t select Newton number one, how far will he fall? If they do select him, will he jut be another JaMarcus Russell or Vince Young, or will he be the next Warren Moon? Carolina has only appeared in one Super Bowl, and haven’t had an impact on the league since. This could be their moment to make a big splash and land that franchise quarterback every team dreams about. They could always pass up on Newton and choose a receiver like Julio Jones to replace the aging Steve Smith, or maybe they’ll pull a page out of Al Davis’s book and choose a punter with their pick.

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The Impact of the Number One Draft Pick