NFC South: Stefan LeFors
But 2007 also was a memorable draft for the Buccaneers and Falcons -- for all the wrong reasons. In fact, I had to have a lengthy debate with myself on if Atlanta or Tampa Bay had the worst class in division history that year.
1. 2007 by Tampa Bay. As I debated the demerits of what Atlanta and Tampa Bay did in this draft, it really came down to the fact that the Bucs hit the trifecta with their first three picks. They took Gaines Adams, Arron Sears and Sabby Piscitelli. You can’t really argue with that. Adams was a non-factor before the Bucs traded him to Chicago, Sears couldn’t play last year because of personal issues and Piscitelli showed last year that he can’t play. Safety Tanard Jackson, a fourth-round pick, has been a bright spot, but not enough to pull the Bucs out of the top spot.
2. 2007 by Atlanta. When the Bucs took Adams, they passed over Jamaal Anderson and the Falcons pounced on him with the No. 8 overall pick. If you don’t hit on a top-10 pick, you’ve got a problem. The Falcons have gotten nothing out of Anderson. They did get a solid starter in guard Justin Blalock in the second round and fourth-round pick Stephen Nicholas became a starter at linebacker last year. But Bobby Petrino and Rich McKay also gave the Falcons cornerback Chris Houston in the second round and receiver Laurent Robinson in the third. Houston started a lot of games for the Falcons, but the current Atlanta regime was thrilled to trade him to Detroit this year. Robinson never came close to being a factor.
3. 2003 by Tampa Bay. Speaking of Petrino, he played a major role in building what almost was the third-worst draft class in NFC South history. I gave very strong consideration to Carolina’s class of 2005. Louisville products Eric Shelton and Stefan LeFors were tremendous busts. Atiyyah Ellison and Jovan Haye showed they can play in the league, but only after they left the Panthers. But I couldn’t quite put Carolina in this slot because first-round pick Thomas Davis has worked out. If you want to see a class that truly flopped from top to bottom look back at the 2003 Bucs. They were without a first-round pick because it was used to help get coach Jon Gruden out of Oakland. But the Bucs jumped in after that and gave you this collection of draft picks -- Dewayne White, Chris Simms, Lance Nimmo, Austin King, Sean Mahan and Torrie Cox. Sad part is Cox, the last pick of the bunch, probably did the most of this group.
They’re the only two quarterbacks the Carolina tandem of John Fox and Marty Hurney have ever drafted. I’ve got a hunch it’s going to stay that way, and LeFors and Fasani are a big part of the reason.
LeFors was a fourth-round pick in 2005 and Fasani a fifth-round choice in 2002. Neither of them could play and they were just drafted with the hope that they might be backups. The truth is, Fox and Hurney don’t believe you should use an early pick to take a quarterback because it takes too long to develop at that position.
With Fox headed into a lame-duck season, that philosophy is probably truer than ever. Besides, the Panthers don’t have a first-round pick this year and don’t get me started on the possibility of Tim Tebow in the third round. The Panthers need a quarterback they can win with now.
Hurney danced when asked about the quarterback situation during Tuesday’s news conference, where the main agenda was to announce that defensive end Julius Peppers won’t bear the franchise tag. He gave the usual spiel about how highly the Panthers think of Jake Delhomme and said Matt Moore played well at the end of last season.
The Panthers are making it sound like they’re content to let Delhomme and Moore compete for the starting job. I’m not buying that. I think they’ll add a free agent with some NFL playing experience. There’s way too much at stake for Fox and Hurney in 2010. I think they have to at least get one more quarterback to compete with Moore and Delhomme, and I’m not even 100 percent convinced Delhomme will be on the roster when all is said and done.
Speaking of Fox, Hurney and history with quarterbacks, last time I checked, David Carr was scheduled to be a free agent.
Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
Today's the day most teams sign their undrafted free agents and the names are starting to trickle out. Here's an early list for the Carolina Panthers.
The big name on here is Louisville quarterback Hunter Cantwell simply because he's a quarterback and they always generate excitement. Cantwell has decent size and that's an advantage over the last quarterback (Stefan LeFors) the Panthers had from Louisville.
Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
Remember Stefan LeFors? He's the quarterback Carolina drafted in the fourth round back in 2005.
At the time, fans and coaches got their hopes up that the Louisville quarterback might be a sleeper and an eventual replacement for Jake Delhomme. Then they saw him play. LeFors was too small and didn't have a strong enough arm to play in the NFL.
They say water finds its own level and apparently that's what's happened to LeFors since he left the NFL. He's now playing in the Canadian Football League and he got traded from Edmonton to Winnipeg today.