If anybody still doesn’t know about Jonathan Stewart, allow me this opportunity to open your eyes. I’m not speaking of the host of the Daily Show on Comedy Central, but rather the second running back selected in the NFL Draft this weekend. Still don’t know who I’m talking about? He was a stud for the University of Oregon for the last few years, and the Carolina Panthers were wise enough to snatch up his pure athleticism and power before someone else did. He went 13th overall and was only the third offensive player taken at that point behind Darren McFadden and Matt I-Hope-I’m-As-Good-As-People-Think-I-Am Ryan. You may think, from the tone of my text right there, that I’m just hating on Matt Ryan, and who is to say that Jonathan Stewart will be as good as anyone (specifically me) thinks he is? That is a valid point, but let me offer something up for your consideration. Jonathan Stewart is an absolute beast. He scored higher than anyone had ever scored when he took Nike’s athleticism test, and he benches as much or more than the offensive line that blocked for him (400+). His legs are phenomenally strong, and he can break through tackles with proficiency. But not only is this kid a ridiculous physical specimen, he has also developed into a smart running back, knowing when to let things develop, and when to turn on the jets. He’s big, he’s strong, he’s fast, and he’s smart, and in the NFL, there is scarcely a better combination. I can’t count the number of times I thought this guy was going to get tackled, only to jump out of my seat in awe as I saw him spin off one defender, stiff-arm another, and then jump over another guy en route to a first down or a touchdown.
I’ve never been that big of an NFL fan, because I hail from a college town (Eugene, OR) and find the passion and pageantry of college sports to be far more intoxicating than the pros, but I might just start being a Panthers fan if they are smart and give J-Stew some touches. Hopefully they recognize that he has the athletic potential to be a big time back in the league, if not right away, in the near future. They must, otherwise why would they have drafted him so high? Exactly. Go Stew, Go Panthers, Go Ducks, I’m out.
MOST LIKELY TO –
enjoy the many looks of the Full House formation at Carolina – J-Stew
be stoked that they got J-Stew – Carolina Panthers
be the next junior running back to get drafted from Oregon – LaGarrette Blount
be yet another QB flop in Atlanta – Matt Ryan
go 6-10 this year – Oakland Raiders
win next season’s intramural football championship – my team
have a majorly disappointing year – Giants fans