|Panthers plan to keep rights to take Andrew Luck with the No. 1 pick in April's NFL draft|
|Written by Steve Reed|
|Tuesday, 04 January 2011 14:56|
CHARLOTTE – If Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck declares for the NFL draft, the Carolina Panthers aren’t about to give up an opportunity to draft him.|
Owner Jerry Richardson said Tuesday that he’s committed to keeping the top pick in the 2011 NFL draft which will be Luck, one of the highest-rated college players in almost a decade should he declare himself eligible for the NFL draft.
"I think it would be somewhat unusual for us to trade down in this particular case," Richardson said Tuesday at a press conference at Bank of America Stadium.
The Panthers did just that in 1995, trading away the first overall pick to Cincinnati and moving down the fifth spot to choose Kerry Collins of Penn State. The Panthers picked up a second-round pick from the Bengals as part of the deal, which they parlayed into taking defensive end Sean King from Northeastern Louisiana.
They won’t do that again.
Luck, who led Stanford to a 12-1 record and a victory in the Orange Bowl this season, is the consensus No. 1 pick in the NFL draft and the Panthers will take him if he's there.
"We're looking for someone that can be a top-flight player and hopefully make us a better team," Richardson said. "And I have no doubt if you have the first pick, we're likely to do that."
The Panthers need help on offensive, particularly at the quarterback position. In fact, one high-ranking team official said he believes the Panthers problems focus almost solely around finding stability at the quarterback position.
Luck might be the cure.
All that’s needed now is Luck to declare himself eligible for the draft.
Luck told reporters Monday night he plans to make a decision in the next few days on whether to forego his final two seasons of eligibility at Stanford to the join the NFL.
After the Orange Bowl, former Stanford and Denver Broncos great John Elway called Luck “the total package.”
“He's got the size, he can move around and he can win from the pocket,” Elway told the Miami Herald. “He has the arm strength to make all the throws. He's intelligent and a leader. When you look at an Andrew Luck, you don't see a guy that comes along like that very often."
The Panthers aren't interested in Jim Harbaugh, Luck's coach at Stanford, as their new head coach.