Star college quarterback Jimmy Clausen had to wait until selection No 48 before being picked up by the Carolina Panthers on day two of the NFL draft on Friday. After the first round on Thursday, the selections on Friday were about teams looking for some bargain selections, and the Panthers would not have reckoned on Clausen still being available that late. The former Notre Dame quarterback had been projected by some to be a first-round choice.
Clausen was 16-18 as a college starter after being one of the nation's most sought recruits. The Panthers' choice drew scattered boos from the crowd, but with Jake Delhomme gone and Matt Moore the incumbent, Carolina seems a good landing spot. "(Offensive) coach (John) Fox told me he said it was the same exact system I've played in the last three years. I'm really excited about that," Clausen said.
Clausen kicked off a spurt of more anticipated selections - and three All-Americans. Safety Taylor Mays went to San Francisco, followed by cornerback-kick returner Javier Arenas to Kansas City, and running back Toby Gerhart, the Heisman Trophy runner-up, to Minnesota. The Vikings traded up 11 spots in the second round for Gerhart, a rarity as a white running back, and also a top baseball prospect. The Vikings needed a back-up to star runner Adrian Peterson after losing Chester Taylor in free agency.
"I'm there to complement the best running back in the league, Adrian Peterson," Gerhart said. "I remember when I first started college, Adrian Peterson was the man in college. I remember saying I want to emulate my game after him." Texas quarterback Colt McCoy finally was drafted, 85th overall, by Cleveland. That was one slot after his favorite college receiver, Jordan Shipley, went to Cincinnati.
"It has been a long day," McCoy said after speaking to Browns president Mike Holmgren. "I told him, 'You won't regret it and we'll win a lot of games.' " Wide receiver Golden Tate went 60th overall to Seattle. St Louis was looking for a blocker for quarterback Sam Bradford, who went at No.1 on Thursday, and ignored several trade offers to stay put. They went for experienced tackle Rodger Saffold. "Oh man, it was a long night," Saffold said. "Your heart's racing the entire time and I'm just glad St Louis called. I didn't know how much longer I could have taken it."
Minnesota, which traded out of the first round, has had injury issues at cornerback, so went for Chris Cook. And Tampa Bay's defensive line has been a sieve, which it addressed with the selections of Gerald McCoy at No.3 overall and then Brian Price on Friday. Othernotables on Day 2: Kansas City got a prime kick returner and receiving threat in slightly-built Dexter McCluster; giant defensive tackle Terrence Cody went to Baltimore; and Cincinnati selected linebacker Carlos Dunlap, who was arrested for drink-driving in December. The Bengals have a history of bringing in players with off-field issues.
"That was the only incident on my record," Dunlap said. "Pretty much, I told them that was my first and last incident. I learned from it. I apologised to everyone." *AP