Deja Dan..

Deja Dan..

Last year after the draft, I was excited and optimistic about the future of the Panthers. We had a new face and a potential franchise QB. This year I just feel Deja vu. Last night after watching the pick, I think Luke Kuechly felt alot like Dan Morgan. My friends quickly corrected me, saying that Dan was much smaller and not nearly the athlete of Luke. They also mentioned that he had injury issues in college.

However, when you look at the two players, they are ALMOST identical.
Lets compare.
Production in College:
They finished their college careers with the SAME NUMBER of tackles, with 532. This was a Big East record for Dan Morgan and I think Luke holds the ACC mark as well. In their final collegiate seasons, they both won the Dick Butkus Award, the Chuck Bednarik Award, their conference Defensive Player of the Year Award, and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy. They were also first team All Americans. The only real difference was that Dan’s Miami won the Sugar Bowl and finished the season 11-1.
Verdict: Same

Measurables:

Prospect

Height

Weight

Forty

Vertical

Bench Press

Dan Morgan

6′ 2″

240 lbs

4.56

37

21

Luke Kuechly

6′ 2.5″

242 lbs

4.58

38

27

Verdict: Nearly the same, Morgan is a step faster, but Luke is a bit stronger.

Looks and Appearance:
I am stretching this one a bit, but there are some similarities..

Verdict: Ok, that’s a bit of a reach.

Only time will tell if Luke can stay healthy and have the same production that Dan had when he was healthy. We are going to have one hell of a football player. However, the teams with the best defenses in the league are not stockpiling linebackers, but Defensive linemen. You have to rush the passer and of all the things that Luke does well, getting after the QB is not one of them. We had our pick of every single one of the top D-line prospects staring us in the face, and we went to a position where we have quality AND $70 million dollars invested?! It just seems like bad business. People will argue that he was the best player available, so he is who you had to pick, but I do not agree with that philosophy. I am not even convinced that he was the best player available. You tell me, which would you rather have, Charles Woodson or London Fletcher? Richard Seymour or James Laurinaitis? Hell, would you rather have Ray Lewis or Bruce Smith (this is far fetched, because it is essentially comparing the best of both position)? Or right now, would you not take Jason Pierre Paul over Patrick Willis? I guess it all comes down to this; the Panthers are putting a premium on a position that is being devalued EVERYWHERE else in the league. Linebackers are the running backs of the defense. You get 5 to 10 good years out of them and you replace them with something younger and cheaper. Yet here we go again, picking another Linebacker in the first round (and for those of you who keep track at home, of our last 11 first round picks, 6 have either been running backs or linebackers–positions that no one else in the NFL value very high). The worst part is that they are middle linebackers. They’re not even the exciting edge rushers like Clay Matthews and DeMarcus Ware. I feel like that character in the Godfather, and I am trying to stop hating Marty. Today I feel like screaming: “Just when I want out, you pulled me back in” (see he has me so mad, my movie references make shit for sense).

Either way, in my mind Marty has one pick today in which I can hopefully say: “Just when I thought you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this…and TOTALLY REDEEM YOURSELF!!!!!” This pick is Janoris Jenkins.

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