|4th Round: Panthers take a chance on CB Hogan, who has troubled past and knee injury|
|Written by Steve Reed|
|Saturday, 30 April 2011 12:15|
CHARLOTTE -- The Carolina Panthers have a reputation for drafting players with very few red flags, but clearly went out on a limb with Saturday's fourth round pick selecting Brandon Hogan, a talented but troubled cornerback from West Virginia.|
Hogan has a prior record that includes separate arrests for DUI and public urination last year.
Equally concerning is he’s coming off a torn ACL in December and won’t be full speed until August.
Clearly, he’s a high-risk, high-reward pick.
A talented player, Hogan had a rough senior season at West Virginia.
He was arrested in September for DUI after being spotted at 3 a.m. driving the wrong way on a one-way street. In was his second run-in with the law after pleading guilty in three months earlier to urinating in public.
Then, in West Virginia’s final regular season game of the season against Rutgers, Hogan tore his left ACL and needed surgery and has been rehabbing ever since. Hogan said he started running this month and is ahead of schedule, but said he won’t be full speed until August putting his availability for the preseason in question.
As for the off-the-field incidents, Hogan writes them off as youthful indiscretions, saying he’s learned his lesson.
When the Panthers talked to him about his past he told them, “I basically said I learned from my mistakes growing up and have matured. Going through that stuff and having to fight and overcome I feel like I’ve grown up and put it behind me and I’m trying to learn from my mistakes.”
He added: “It can’t happen again.”
It’s tough to argue about Hogan’s success on the field.
He was named an honorable mention All-American as a senior by Sports Illustrated and was chosen All-Big East Conference first-team by the league’s coaches. He had a career-high 74 tackles as a senior and seven career interceptions.
He has excellent vision in zone coverage and could help the Panthers in nickel situations.
“I think I can tackle really, really well and my cover skills are very good,” said Hogan, who originally came to West Virginia to play wide receiver, but moved to cornerback after his freshman season.
The Panthers clearly had a high grade on him despite his problems and chances are he would have gone higher had it not been for the run-ins with the law or the knee problems.
"I can’t say how much it affected (my draft stock), but I know it affected it a lot there," Hogan said of how the off-the-field issues. "The draft is an iffy, iffy call. I’m just grateful to be picked up. I know it was a problem and I’m just trying to put all of that stuff behind me and look forward and start a new career.”