DAN CONNOR: This is the first name that popped into my head. I really don't think it's a big drop off from Beason with Connor in the middle. He might not have the same leadership quality, but Connor showed a great nose for the ball in college and looked solid in the preseason. By the end of the year, I expect him to be getting some notoriety. 80+ tackles probable.
GREG HARDY: The obvious pick, and who doesn't want to see Lil Pep rack up 10 sacks this year? That might be a little farfetched, but he's already on SI's list for surprise rookies this year, so word has slipped out. He probably won't even start by years end, but I expect 6 sacks and a couple of forced fumbles out of him - a year a lot like Charles Johnson's '08 year playing in spot duty.
CAPTAIN MUNNERLYN: Already a guy the Panthers know and love, but I expect one of the starting corners to go down with injury for a period of time, and The Captain will be get a serious look as a starting corner this year and I expect him to shine. 4 INTs is likely.
GEOFF SCHWARTZ: Pegged to start Week 1 with Otah nursing some injuries, Schwartz has already replaced the guy with the same first name who used to play here. The O-Line usually gets banged up throughout the year, and The Dude will be seeing the field almost as much as a full-time starter. We might be seeing him walk away in a few years with a big contract to start somewhere else, but for now, he's the best kept secret on the Panther O-Line.
GARY BARNIDGE: Here's a guy just waiting to explode, but he's got two guys with more experience and trust from the coaching staff in front of him. But Barnidge is easily the best receiving TE on the roster and has made some big plays in limited playing time. There's no way they can keep him on the sidelines this year breaking in a new starting QB that needs that security blanket with teams triple covering Steve Smith. He could rack up 600 yards and a few TDs given significant playing time, which I think he will likely get this year.
JIMMY CLAUSEN: He isn't primed for a big year, or a year with many stats at all, but mark my words, he will start AT LEAST two games this year. Every ounce of Panther fan homerism in me says Matt Moore will be a superstar, but the realist football fan in me says Moore will struggle at times this year, and his inexperience might get him hurt. If Clausen gets any chance to see the field this year, he's going to light it up. The spotlight will be on him if he starts and he knows it. He plays well, wins a game or two, and the starting job is his next year (pending there is football). He wants to prove the doubters wrong, that let him fall so far in the draft.
The Clausen pick is probably the most interesting, but we stole him in this past draft and there's no way he won't see some action this year.
Edited by hepcat, 07 September 2010 - 10:02 AM.