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Roman Harper, Former Saints & Panthers Defensive Back

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
March 10, 2023 7:02 pm

Roman Harper, Former Saints & Panthers Defensive Back

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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March 10, 2023 7:02 pm

Roman Harper joined Zach to discuss his reaction to the Panthers trading up to the No. 1 pick and if he thinks CJ Stroud would be the best fit. 


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Subscribe to NerdWallet's Smart Money Podcast today. Roman, appreciate you jumping on board on the short notice. Just got to get your reaction to this deal that the Panthers made with the Bears today to move into the number one pick slot. Well, big time move by the Panthers. You got to appreciate them wanting to go up there. Obviously, they have somebody in mind.

You're not doing this to be like, okay, well, maybe you are doing this just to say, I want to just be the front one, the first one in line to say which one I want. But it's got to be a quarterback and it's got to be their guy. And the biggest kicker for me, the biggest shock is not what they had to give up, but adding DJ Moore to the package. That's a huge gift for Chicago Bears. Not only that, but they're still going to be able to get a great defensive player at nine. So the Bears are in great position here to really try and build going forward. I love this move for the Bears specifically. I know I'm more related to the Panthers, which, you know, now they're going to go out there and get their quarterback number one. And I can't wait to see who it's going to be. Is it Bryce Young or the CJ Stroud?

I would love to know. I truly have no clue, but you got to be happy. The Panthers, I mean, they showed their hand. That was a great move by them. Nobody really saw this coming. And I would say great gift by Chicago as well to go out there and not only get a whole bunch of picks.

I mean, what is that? Two first rounders, two second rounders and a top tier wide receiver in the NFL. You love what you do. If you're Chicago, you can't be more happy. You got to be thrilled because now you could get a piece right away for D.J. Moore, for Justin Fields with D.J. Moore, and you have more capital moving forward into the future.

You already had a pretty good amount of capital anyway. Here's my follow up, though. If you're running the draft, if you're Scott Fitterer, there's a big push now for Anthony Richardson. You know what CJ Stroud's done. Bryce Young has been the best quarterback in college football feels like for the last two years.

Who are you picking with the number one overall pick? Well, just on my board, I mean, I got Bryce Young number one just because of his ability to just go out there and just be a magician with the football, his accuracy, his understanding of in command of an offense, understanding that, you know, he's the one quarterback that I saw consistently set up protection, doing all the little things week in and week out that you love to see on Sundays and that you expect to see on Sunday. CJ Stroud is a maestro with the football, though.

You've got to give him credit. The man throws one of the most not only accurate, but one of the more catchable footballs that I've seen out of quarterbacks the last few years. And then, of course, everybody's going to continue to talk about and harp on the fact that how well he played against Georgia, knowing how great Jordan's defense has been the last two years. Well, he shredded them and he ran the ball.

He showed his athleticism, which is one thing that everybody thought he was a little bit missing. And so I think the biggest difference outside of size between he, CJ Stroud and Bryce Young, because those are the top two guys, you got to go with one of those. I don't think you give up all of that. So all of a sudden go get Anthony Richardson. If you do, it kind of feels like San Francisco a couple of years ago when they met all those straight trade away, all those all those those picks and things, and then go get Treyland for a year. And now you got to play.

And now you're stuck with him. You look like he's still battling for Brock Purdy. So you just don't know what you're going to get sometimes when you go out there a little bit more in recent for some guys that maybe haven't played as much as you would like them to have played, especially on the big stage like CJ Stroud and Bryce Young is done. So CJ hasn't always shown that he's able to create when things break down, which Bryce Young really flourishes in those times. But CJ, there's no doubt about it. You love his size, arm strength and everything else brings he brings to the table. Talking to Roman Harper right now. Is Bryce Young size a concern?

Because that's the only knock people have on him. Well, so the funny thing with me, because I was just talking to my man Kyle Bailey about this just last week or so is that, you know, it's not like Bryce Young just got this size. It's not like he just snuck up on us all that Oh, my gosh, he's just look, he's been like the small hands things with Joe Burrow and Kenny picket. Yeah, it's like, up until all of a sudden now and we got to understand too, this is talking season. This is when people get to talk and pick holes and, and all the things that we got. And everybody that they're showing on ESPN and all the other sports channels right now, they're all going first round. They're all going first round. So, you know, this is the only knock we have on Bryce.

So we got to talk about it. And the only knock you really gonna have on CJ Stroud is that he plays at Ohio State where other quarterbacks at Ohio State haven't done it. So those are the knots and that's what you're going to see over and over talked about, but you can't knock the tape. And when you see the man perform, are you going to be able to build an offense around what they do good and allow them to flourish in your system and under your tutelage? Look, Carolina has like, they got Caldwell, who's a quarterback guru. They got Frank Wright, who's a former quarterback and head coach and quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. You also bring in Josh McCow, who's a quarterback whisperer. And also, and all does all it played quarterback for like 14 teams. So you got three quarterback guys in the room. So wherever you bring in, you got plenty of guys that can coach them. So you're the Carolina Panthers.

You got to go and get your guy. And if you hit the home run, it sets your program up to be successful the next 10 to 15 years, hopefully. And so that is what you're aiming for. That is why I look at giving up DJ Moore's a big loss, but at the end of the day there, you're not even in the conversation for championships until you get that quarterback. But without the quarterback, you're not in the conversation.

Doesn't matter what you have out there. So if you get the quarterback, you can be talked about and that's what they're trying to do right now. Agreed. Wrapping up with Roman Harper. When you look at CJ Strad, I talked to him at the Heisman and he said he's more athletic than what people give him credit for. And he was looking forward to putting that on display soon. He did that using his legs in that semifinal game up against Georgia. So my question to that is why didn't we see more of that throughout the season when you had to wait until the last game of the year to really put that on display? You know, I, I would ask the same thing because when I watched him six, seven, eight games before that Georgia game, I'm like, he doesn't create when things are not clean and the talk is not always there. And just like he has a pocket to throw from it's kind of hesitant. It's not, it's kind of blurry and you don't love what you see, but all of a sudden Georgia came out, he knew exactly where to go with the football.

And when it didn't happen, he was taking it down and scrambling and a lot of those two man coverages. He understood that Georgia was playing a little bit more man and there's no one turned into man. So when guys have their backs turned for me, I'm taking off and I, you wanted to see him do more of that, especially in the big 10 where they are better than everybody else. Their play, as far as talent wise outside of Michigan, they're better than everybody.

So that's what it's weird. Cause you only saw it one game and you loved it cause it was against the best competition, which every scout is going to watch when you're playing good on good, but man, I wanted more of it and you just did not see that. So that is going to be a knock on him and that's, but these are decisions and it's going to come down to it. And I think both of these quarterbacks are going to be great in the league.

So I don't think you'd go wrong with either or, but nine out of 10 times, if I got two quarterbacks that I love, I'm usually going to go with the bigger guy. So I wouldn't be shocked if you see CJ Stroud come off the board, but I know Bryce Young's coming right after it. And Houston is going to be elated because, you know, Tamiko is going to get an Alabama quarterback that's proven in one and he failed to me.

So I didn't even have to like waste my time trying to go get him. I was able to get it and secure all my draft picks with Houston still had plenty of draft capital. They got two in the top 15 picks.

So Houston is another team that's like, yes, we're good. Cause now we're just going to take whatever's best and nobody can be mad at us for whatever pick comes to us. Roman Harper, when it comes to Anthony Richardson after the combine, everyone loves him. What do you say to people about Anthony Richardson and how do you think his game, even though it seems like he's a project, his game will eventually translate in the NFL as well, just to see him what the NFL has become. Look, I knew he was going to do everything he did at the combine.

The only thing that shocked me was I didn't know he was 244 pounds. I mean, he looks like a machine. He looks like Superman and he runs like him and jumps like him, but that doesn't, that doesn't have anything to do with playing quarterback. I watched him last year at times in certain games. I said, this guy is amazing. Then other games, I'm like, not only should he not be drafted in NFL, but he needs to stay in college and learn how to play the position a little bit better.

So it's going to take some time and tutelage. And I know some people say, Oh, he needs to sit. Some people are saying like, how do you learn when you need, you need to get them out there and let him play, but it's going to take the right team, the right situation. And everybody around him really pulling behind him to say, Hey, look, this is what we're going to have to do because he was tricked in a lot of coverages that he just didn't see him. When you roll up a pointer to the field and he throws it right to the flat, you get blown up or picked off. And this coverage has shown up multiple weeks in the past concept that Florida was able to run. It was a lot of one-sided reads.

You're not fulfilled reading and that's okay, but at some point you got to start to evolve from these things. So when you draft this guy high, you got to understand what you're getting with this player and you got to understand he's going to wow you with his size, his arm strength, but if you can't complete passes and people don't understand that they're two yards on the top of the numbers in the NFL, two yards on either side of the hat, that's gotta be a freaking layup and you gotta be able to dive that ball in there from 12 to 18 yards. That's where the greatest quarterbacks are one and lost that right there. You gotta be able to make those passes. There's gotta be layups and timing throws matters. So you gotta see it. You gotta have the release point and it's gotta be accurately thrown football.

And if you do that, you'll be successful. But Anthony Richardson did not always show that. He showed all the flashes of greatness, but the little instinctual things that I'm looking for, it wasn't always there and consistent. Roman Harper now with the Panthers having the number one overall pick, you played with Cam. Are any of these quarterbacks in this draft, can you see them being a better quarterback than Cam?

I mean, possibly so. I mean the thing about Cam that was so, was that he was so electrified, you know, you just, you know, he comes out, Oh, he can't throw the ball. He can't throw the ball. His first game throws like almost 400 yards.

It's like, Whoa, okay. He can throw the football. And then the first couple of years in his, in his quarterback process, you were like, okay, if you keep them inside the pocket and make him beat you throwing the football, we got him, but he wouldn't always stay there.

And then eventually he evolved into now he can beat you from the pocket. I saw him win the MVP. I saw him have the whole world dabbing. I saw him take us to the super bowl and lose it.

And then all of a sudden as his health deteriorated, he was not able to continue to evolve and become more than that. Not only that, but I don't know if everybody could have a cam who has such a, you know, he's such a larger than life personality in person that now he can't, he's not accepted in every locker room because he's going to outshine your starting quarterback. You put him and Kirk cousins in the same room. Everybody's going to interview Cam.

Ain't talking to Kurt. So it takes the right locker room to deal with those guys as well. I don't see that with this group of quarterbacks, but as far as star power, you love what Alabama's Bryce young brings. He's very soft-spoken played at a big program, won a Heisman, all those things matter. CJ Stroud played at a big school, computers to be very soft-spoken, great leadership qualities, all these quarterbacks you love. Uh, it's going to be really hard to say who's going to be better than cam that just right out flat out and say it, but he will be compared. Everybody will be compared to cam until they replace it. Well, this is breaking from Joe person of the athletic. He says the Panthers will say they're keeping their options open regarding which QB they'll take. They should, they know, but the sense around the league is according to Joe person that they're going to go and draft CJ Stroud. So how do you react to that?

I'm not shocked. I just said it, you know, if all things are even and said and done in the NFL, you always take the bigger one. That's why, you know, Julio Jones is drafted before AJ green or however else that works, you know, or, you know, if I got two defensive linemen that are the same and they're all the same productive, I'm gonna take the bigger one. That's what the NFL is.

It's big people running fast and a collision sport and grown men in a gladiator arena. So that's what happens. And Houston's gotta be elated. It's the same way when I was in 2006 playing for the same and everybody thought Reggie Bush was a consensus number one, overall pick in lo and behold, Houston, Houston, Texas say, no, we're going to take Mario Williams.

New Orleans was, they couldn't do it fast enough. Turn that pick in fast. Okay.

We're taking Reggie books. So you never know how this thing's going to play out. And it's always a little weird.

And we do not, we truly don't know. The only thing to expect on draft day is the unexpected Roman Harper. We always appreciate it. Thanks so much. Appreciate you carving out some time in the short notice. Thanks, Zach, man. Appreciate it as always, brother. I'll be listening to you in the car.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-11 10:18:15 / 2023-03-11 10:25:04 / 7

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