I think by now we've all had time to take in and digest the Bobcats' selection of Cody Zeller. In fact, the staff here at Rufus on Fire gave you our opinions after you all had been doing the same since last Thursday. While it's one thing to get the opinions of the people that follow the team's every move on a regular basis, it can be good to get some outside perspective too. That's why, for your reading pleasure, we have compiled a collection of opinions from various national and local outlets on the Zeller pick.
SB Nation NBA Staff: The Bobcats continued the theme of draft night surprises when they grabbed Zeller with the No. 4 pick, ahead of Alex Len and Nerlens Noel. His stock fluctuated wildly throughout the season, but a 7'0 with his skill and speed was never going to stay on the board for too long.
Kurt Helin - Pro Basketball Talk: 1) Charlotte Bobcats. Cody Zeller at No. 4? With Nerlens Noel and Ben McLemore still on the board? Zeller's will have a nice career but there were guys with a lot more potential available. I thought this smelled of a Michael Jordan decision, but have been told by sources (and as is mentioned in the comments on this post) it was a Rich Cho pick. I like Cho, so good luck with this. I don't get it.
(The number one in which the Bobcats are ranked here is under the "Losers" category, FYI. At least they won something? Sorta.)
Chad Ford - ESPN.com: This is, in some ways, a bizarre pick. With Nerlens Noel and Ben McLemore on the board, they take Zeller -- a guy who is going to have to make a major positional change in the NBA. Zeller might have been underrated, but I don't think he's as good a prospect as Noel or McLemore. Once again I think the Bobcats have blown it.
Jonathan Jones - Charlotte Observer: Cody Zeller, C, Indiana: He was one vote shy of being a unanimous preseason All-American, but by the end of the season he was the second-brightest star on his team.
Zach Harper - Eye on Basketball: Zeller was heralded in the beginning of the college season but quickly fell in draft stock after having a good but ultimately disappointing sophomore season. After his freshman year, some thought the big man might be able to go No. 1 in the 2013 draft, but that faded away over the course of a season in which he didn't dominate. Instead, some wondered if he'd even make it into the top 10 before the Bobcats surprised everybody with this selection.
Matt Moore - Eye on Basketball: Well, at least they're used to being here. Not only did they reach for a player, but they reached for a guy who could wind up being a block magnet. And he may not be considerably better, at least immediately -- than Byron Mullens. Think about that. In a draft with so many good scoring weapons, they took a big with huge concerns about his ability to finish at the rim despite his size. Just not a great look with them taking Cody Zeller.
Ben Golliver -- Sports Illustrated/The Point Forward: Holding the No. 1 spot in the Desperate Franchise Power Rankings, the Bobcats passed on arguably the two players with the biggest upside, Noel and McLemore, to select Cody Zeller. The Indiana product should be ready to fill minutes as soon as training camp opens, but he hardly appears to have franchise-changing potential. On the bright side, he did drop a fantastic pre-draft Twitter wisecrack: "I was going to shave to get ready for tonight, but then I remembered that I don't have the ability to grow facial hair." (Insert Michael Jordan's ownership skills joke here.)
Adi Joseph -- USA Today: Zeller was the presumed top pick entering this season. Then he got picked to shreds by analysts. He's a terrific athlete with a 7-foot frame and great skill. Still, Zeller will have to improve his toughness a lot if he expects to man the center position. He may be a better fit at power forward initially as a result. Zeller is the best offensive center in this draft, but he doesn't have as much upside as Noel or Alex Len, making this a surprise. That's not necessarily a bad thing, particularly in a draft without guaranteed stars. Grade: B
Welp, there you have it. Most view the Zeller pick as a bit of a head scratcher, but like judging winners of a draft, we won't know who the real losers are for years. Hopefully for the Bobcats and Zeller they wind up surprising everyone.