During the 2010 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers selected Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen in the second round after he fell like a missile from pre-draft grades. CBS Sports had Clausen rated as the No. 2 quarterback and the No. 12 overall player in the entire class, but the college standout lasted until pick No. 48.
Speaking at the 2017 NFL Combine, former Carolina Panthers, and current Chicago Bears, head coach John Fox admitted that he had never even scouted Clausen prior to selecting him in the 2010 NFL Draft.
“There’s a lot that goes into it,” Fox said. “You have to do a lot of research. That situation was a little bit unique because I think people projected him maybe even into the top 10. On draft day, that’s not how it materialized. I can’t give you all the exacts. He was dropping.”
Fox continued: “Personally, I never even watched him because he wasn’t a targeted guy for me in our predraft assignments. But I can say now I would hope we draft someone that I’ve actually gotten a chance to watch.”
While it may be shocking to hear that the Panthers would select a player that the head coach has never even watched on film, it may not be all that surprising. Fox and the Panthers probably never thought in a million years that Clausen would slip all the way to the second round as the team was without a first round pick in 2010. When he slid that far, the Panthers, who needed a quarterback, tried to pounce on value.
Unfortunately, things didn’t work out as Clausen appeared in 13 games the following season for the Panthers and only completed 52.5 percent of his passes for 1,558 yards with three touchdowns and nine interceptions as the team finished with a 2-14 record.
The following offseason, Carolina would select Cam Newton with the No. 1 overall pick and Clausen would never play another snap for the team.