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Found 24 results

  1. Draft Talk with Jonathan Jones

    This week on the Huddle Podcast Sammi and I sat down with Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer to discuss the Carolina Panthers NFL Draft and more. Topics include: - Top Panthers Needs - Likely round 1 targets - Offensive tackles - various off topic musings and thoughts ... don't like it? Don't care. Direct MP3 Link -> Clicky iTunes -> Clicky or listen right here in your browser....
  2. http://footballgameplan.com/fbgps-2015-nfl-draft-special-inside-the-war-room-carolina-panthers/ Good morning Panther fans! Here's my inside the war room special for you guys. Enjoy! Em
  3. The Panthers have not drafted a quarterback since 2011... they are due. Even though it doesn't appear to be a team need on the surface, the Panthers would be wise to invest a mid to late round pick on a quarterback project. Yes, Cam Newton is the starter and in all probability the long term solution at QB. However, backup Derek Anderson is a free agent in 2016 and should get quite a few looks from around the league. It is likely a team would be willing to give him a chance to start, something he does not have in Carolina. Joe Webb is also a free agent next season. The Panthers like Webb as a fill in for many positions, but not as a full time backup QB. So don't be shocked if this year Dave Gettleman selects a QB on day 3 of the draft. A guy they may be targeting is Oregon State senior Sean Mannion. Mannion is a projected round 4-5 QB, which places him squarely in the area the Panthers may be considering a project QB to be a high value pick. At 6'6 and 229 pounds, he has the physical build to be an elite NFL pocket passer. Throw in the fact that he played in a pro style offense, may be the most accurate passer in the draft, and has great arm strength and it becomes easy to imagine him being a 4th or 5th round steal. His lack of mobility seems to be the only reason he will fall in the draft. Luckily, the Panthers aren't concerned about mobility in their backup QB. (See Derek Anderson) Skills competition: Highlights: (Notice the pocket presence)
  4. Panthers top 5 draft targets

    As the NFL Draft is one month away, I thought I would lay out for you who I believe are the Carolina Panthers top targets are in round 1. I've crunched the numbers, looked at the fit, checked the visitations, and listened to the whispers. So without further ado.... Carolina Panthers Round 1 Possibilities Andrus Peat - OT - Stanford A NFL ready tackle that stands 6'7 and weighs 315 pounds. Have you heard the Panthers are in need of an offensive tackle? Yeah? Well, this could be the guy. It is somewhat doubtful that Peat lasts until pick 25, but it is possible. If he is there, he is the pick. Todd Gurley - RB - Georgia Aside from the injury, there isn't much not to love about this kid. The future of Jonathan Stewart is less than certain for next season. Gurley is one of the more talented runners to come out of the draft in years. If he should fall to 25, Gettleman would have a tough time not selecting him. Huge value at 25. Landon Collins - S - Alabama Had a nice meeting with the Panthers a while back. He is a prototypical Ron Rivera strong safety, that is to say he is aggressive against the run. Many will tell you he can't cover, but don't listen to them. You aren't rated the #1 safety in the draft if you cannot play in the defensive backfield. Could replace Roman Harper on day 1. Jaelen Strong - WR - Arizona St As stated in my current receiver depth chart, the Panthers are without a solid #2 receiver to compliment Kelvin Benjamin. Well, Jaelen Strong could be the ideal guy at pick 25 to fill that need. Not the fastest receiver in the draft, but makes up for it in routes, hands, work ethic, and instincts. Gettleman prefers these types of players as seen in previous drafts. (insert "the game is not played in underwear" audio clip) Cedric Ogbuehi - OT - Texas A&M An offensive tackle with a torn ACL in round 1? Yes, it could happen. If none of the above prospects are available in round 1, I feel the Panthers are interested enough in Ogbuehi to select him. If not for the ACL injury, Cedric is easily a top 10 pick. Like Gurley, it would be hard for Gettleman to pass up this kind of value. Remember, Gettleman is a 5 year plan guy. Selecting a player that may not play his rookie year is very possible. So there you have it, five guys I feel have a good shot at being selected in round 1 by the Panthers.
  5. Shaq Thompson In The First?

    <p>One of the more intriguing defensive players in this years draft is Shaq Thompson out of Washington. While reading up on his abilities, I couldn't help but make comparison's to the Panthers own Thomas Davis. Davis is in the twilight of his career, and now would be the time to groom an eventual replacement. Shaq Thompson might be the perfect candidate. Here is why... </p><div class="getty embed image" style="background-color:#fff;display:inline-block;font-family:'Helvetica Neue',Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;color:#a7a7a7;font-size:11px;width:100%;max-width:594px;"><div style="overflow:hidden;position:relative;height:0;padding:66.666667% 0 0 0;width:100%;"><iframe src="//embed.gettyimages.com/embed/464197094?et=4WzUCeEVSTBuGhO4bkfhzQ&sig=TyTes7zgM3jcWewBnVSaJYR3WOstTvvONzjJcLPaoFs=&caption=true" width="594" height="396" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="display:inline-block;position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></div><p style="margin:0;"></p><div style="padding:0;margin:0 0 0 10px;text-align:left;"><a data-ipb='nomediaparse' href='http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/464197094' target="_blank" style="color:#a7a7a7;text-decoration:none;font-weight:normal !important;border:none;display:inline-block;">View image</a> | <a data-ipb='nomediaparse' href='http://www.gettyimages.com' target="_blank" style="color:#a7a7a7;text-decoration:none;font-weight:normal !important;border:none;display:inline-block;">gettyimages.com</a></div></div><p> </p><p>First, the measurables ... </p><p> </p><p><strong>Thomas Davis 2005 Draft Profile</strong></p><p> </p><p>Height - 6'1</p><p>Weight - 230</p><p>40 yard dash - 4.6</p><p>3-Cone - 7.10</p><p>Vertical - 36.5</p><p>20 Yard Shuttle - 4.01</p><p> </p><p><strong>Shaq Thompson 2015 Draft Profile</strong></p><p> </p><p>Height - 6'0</p><p>Weight - 228</p><p>40 yard dash - 4.64</p><p>3-cone - 6.99</p><p>Vertical - 33.5</p><p>20 yard shuttle - 4.08</p><p> </p><p>As you can see, the two have a similar size, with Thomas Davis being slightly taller. Thomas Davis has slightly faster straight line speed, but Shaq Thompson was faster in the 3 cone (a more important measurement for a linebacker, imo). </p><p> </p><p>Most NFL scouts have Thompson playing a OLB in a 4-3 scheme but have some concerns about his size and ability to keep enough weight on. Thomas Davis had these very same concerns surrounding him, enough so that coach John Fox tried him at safety early in his career. I am not so sure if Shaq Thompson's case that is of real concern to the Panthers. They have a good history of keeping guys bulked up through their training staff. </p><p> </p><p>Like Thomas Davis who played safety and linebacker at Georgia, Thompson also played outside and inside linebacker and safety on occasion. He also played running back, which is pretty incredible. This tells me this kid is just pure football player, and if there is one thing that Dave Gettleman loves, its real football players. </p><p> </p><p>Shaq Thompson is all over the place on the mock drafts. Most agree he is a first round selection, but no one knows where he should fall. It is hard to project with a player like Thompson. Many teams may pass on him due to his uncertainty. It will take a strong defensive mind to take him and put him in a place of success. </p><p> </p><p>Should Shaq fall to the 25th pick, don't be shocked if the Panthers pull the trigger on him. </p>
  6. One of the more intriguing defensive players in this years draft is Shaq Thompson out of Washington. While reading up on his abilities, I couldn't help but make comparison's to the Panthers own Thomas Davis. Davis is in the twilight of his career, and now would be the time to groom an eventual replacement. Shaq Thompson might be the perfect candidate. Here is why... View image | gettyimages.com First, the measurables ... Thomas Davis 2005 Draft Profile Height - 6'1 Weight - 230 40 yard dash - 4.6 3-Cone - 7.10 Vertical - 36.5 20 Yard Shuttle - 4.01 Shaq Thompson 2015 Draft Profile Height - 6'0 Weight - 228 40 yard dash - 4.64 3-cone - 6.99 Vertical - 33.5 20 yard shuttle - 4.08 As you can see, the two have a similar size, with Thomas Davis being slightly taller. Thomas Davis has slightly faster straight line speed, but Shaq Thompson was faster in the 3 cone (a more important measurement for a linebacker, imo). Most NFL scouts have Thompson playing a OLB in a 4-3 scheme but have some concerns about his size and ability to keep enough weight on. Thomas Davis had these very same concerns surrounding him, enough so that coach John Fox tried him at safety early in his career. I am not so sure if Shaq Thompson's case that is of real concern to the Panthers. They have a good history of keeping guys bulked up through their training staff. Like Thomas Davis who played safety and linebacker at Georgia, Thompson also played outside and inside linebacker and safety on occasion. He also played running back, which is pretty incredible. This tells me this kid is just pure football player, and if there is one thing that Dave Gettleman loves, its real football players. Shaq Thompson is all over the place on the mock drafts. Most agree he is a first round selection, but no one knows where he should fall. It is hard to project with a player like Thompson. Many teams may pass on him due to his uncertainty. It will take a strong defensive mind to take him and put him in a place of success. Should Shaq fall to the 25th pick, don't be shocked if the Panthers pull the trigger on him.
  7. <div>The following is my best guess at what will transpire in rounds 1-3 of the NFL Draft next month as far as the Panthers are concerned. </div><div> </div><div>All three picks are not only the best players available, but also players whose football talents line up perfectly with what the Carolina Panthers do on the field. </div><div> </div><div>So, without further ado... </div><div> </div><div> </div><div> </div><div><span style="font-size:18px;"><strong>2015 Panthers Mock Rounds 1-3</strong></span></div><div> </div><div> </div><div><span style="font-size:18px;"><strong>Round 1 , Pick 25</strong></span></div><div> </div><div><strong>Landon Collins - S - Alabama</strong></div><div> </div><div>Gettleman practices what he preaches in picking the best player available, but also fills a need. Landon Collins is one of those guys that is projected high but could drop in the first round. He ran a good 40, but other than that had a rather average combine. He won’t drop out of the first round, but he could drop to the mid 20s where the Panthers will select him if available. </div><div> </div><div>Collins is a prototype Ron Rivera strong safety. He punishes runners and has sound tackling technique. He is the best run defense safety in the draft, and as Dave Gettleman always says, you have to first defend the run to be able to rush the passer. </div><div> </div><iframe width="300" height="169" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rrewHLPO1b8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><div> </div><div><span style="font-size:18px;"><strong>Round 2, Pick 57</strong></span></div><div> </div><div><strong>Jake Fisher - OT - Oregon</strong></div><div> </div><div>Fisher had arguably helped himself the most at the combine out of all offensive tackles, which will bump him up into the second round. Fisher isn’t the physical stud that the first round tackles are, but he is a true football player. The Ducks offensive line performance decreased drastically without Fisher in the lineup. Throw in the fact that he is accustomed to protecting a mobile QB, and this is a no brainer for the Panthers. </div><div> </div><iframe width="300" height="169" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/HPisipQR_gU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><div> </div><div><span style="font-size:18px;"><strong>Round 3, Pick 89</strong></span></div><div> </div><div><strong>Nick O’Leary - TE - FSU</strong></div><div> </div><div>If there is one thing Ron Rivera and Mike Shula love, its an H-Back. A guy that can line up as a tight end or fullback opens up plenty of matchups that would be favorable to the Panthers. They tried this with both Ed Dickson and Brandon Williams last season, but had limited success. Nick O’Leary is the best H-Back this year’s draft and a good value in the late 3rd round.</div><div> </div><div>In addition, even though he is not much of a deep threat, he is a reliable receiver with solid hands for Cam Newton to target in mid to short yardage situations. He was a safety outlet for Winston at FSU, he can be one for Newton in Carolina. </div><div> </div><iframe width="300" height="169" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/mg2QmmGlGY8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  8. The following is my best guess at what will transpire in rounds 1-3 of the NFL Draft next month as far as the Panthers are concerned. All three picks are not only the best players available, but also players whose football talents line up perfectly with what the Carolina Panthers do on the field. So, without further ado... 2015 Panthers Mock Rounds 1-3 Round 1 , Pick 25 Landon Collins - S - Alabama Gettleman practices what he preaches in picking the best player available, but also fills a need. Landon Collins is one of those guys that is projected high but could drop in the first round. He ran a good 40, but other than that had a rather average combine. He won’t drop out of the first round, but he could drop to the mid 20s where the Panthers will select him if available. Collins is a prototype Ron Rivera strong safety. He punishes runners and has sound tackling technique. He is the best run defense safety in the draft, and as Dave Gettleman always says, you have to first defend the run to be able to rush the passer. Round 2, Pick 57 Jake Fisher - OT - Oregon FIsher had arguably helped himself the most at the combine out of all offensive tackles, which will bump him up into the second round. Fisher isn’t the physical stud that the first round tackles are, but he is a true football player. The Ducks offensive line performance decreased drastically without Fisher in the lineup. Throw in the fact that he is accustomed to protecting a mobile QB, and this is a no brainer for the Panthers. Round 3, Pick 89 Nick O’Leary - TE - FSU If there is one thing Ron Rivera and Mike Shula love, its an H-Back. A guy that can line up as a tight end or fullback opens up plenty of matchups that would be favorable to the Panthers. They tried this with both Ed Dickson and Brandon Williams last season, but had limited success. Nick O’Leary is the best H-Back this year’s draft and a good value in the late 3rd round. In addition, even though he is not much of a deep threat, he is a reliable receiver with solid hands for Cam Newton to target in mid to short yardage situations. He was a safety outlet for Winston at FSU, he can be one for Newton in Carolina.
  9. Justin Coleman - CB - Tennessee 5'11 , 185lbs This year I expect the Panthers to address their need for a nickel in the mid to late rounds of the NFL Draft. Last season we saw the Panthers adjust to not having a solid nickel option by often going with their "buffalo" package, which placed safety Colin Jones in the nickel spot. While this had positive results in run defense, it was a liability at times against the passing game. A guy they could be targeting is Tennessee corner Justin Coleman. View image | gettyimages.com The Panthers met with Coleman at the East West Shrine Game and were impressed with him. Coleman is a perfect fit for what the Carolina Panthers look for at the nickel position. Namely, tenacity and run stopping ability. Coleman spent most of his senior year at nickel for the Vols, and had his best college season to date. Coleman helped himself greatly at the NFL Combine when he ranked as one of the quickest corners, posting top 5 results in both the 20 and 40 yard shuttle. He posted a 4.5 40 yard dash which gave his straight line speed the 6th best ranking. Throw in the fact that his 20 reps on the bench press was the third best in the group and it is clear Coleman has the physical skills the Panthers look for at nickel. These impressive combine numbers could possibly take him out of the sixth or seventh rounds and up into the fourth or fifth. The Panthers are expected to have at least one compensatory draft pick in the area Coleman is projected to be selected. This only increases the odds of Gettleman pulling the trigger on him.
  10. Justin Coleman - CB - Tennessee 5'11 , 185lbs This year I expect the Panthers to address their need for a nickel in the mid to late rounds of the NFL Draft. Last season we saw the Panthers adjust to not having a solid nickel option by often going with their "buffalo" package, which placed safety Colin Jones in the nickel spot. While this had positive results in run defense, it was a liability at times against the passing game. A guy they could be targeting is Tennessee corner Justin Coleman. The Panthers met with Coleman at the East West Shrine Game and were impressed with him. Coleman is a perfect fit for what the Carolina Panthers look for at the nickel position. Namely, tenacity and run stopping ability. Coleman spent most of his senior year at nickel for the Vols, and had his best college season to date. Coleman helped himself greatly at the NFL Combine when he ranked as one of the quickest corners, posting top 5 results in both the 20 and 40 yard shuttle. He posted a 4.5 40 yard dash which gave his straight line speed the 6th best ranking. Throw in the fact that his 20 reps on the bench press was the third best in the group and it is clear Coleman has the physical skills the Panthers look for at nickel. These impressive combine numbers could possibly take him out of the sixth or seventh rounds and up into the fourth or fifth. The Panthers are expected to have at least one compensatory draft pick in the area Coleman is projected to be selected. This only increases the odds of Gettleman pulling the trigger on him.
  11. Along with Deangelo's departure I see many media outlets assuming the Panthers draft a running back. I am not so sure about that. Most point to the fact that the Panthers lost Tyler Gaffney last season to the Patriots, but they forget that Fozzy Whitaker was brought in as a replacement. Fozzy ended up making the team and was a bright spot, as we all know. Also, Darrin Reaves was recently re-signed for another season. Reaves showed real promise in camp last season but dealt with injuries late. He stepped in as a starter in one game and performed about the same as the other runningbacks behind that offensive line (3.6 a carry). The Panthers are not done with this kid yet. So, looking at the roster it could be... Jonathan Stewart Mike Tolbert Fozzy Whitaker Darrin Reaves Honestly, that is a pretty darn good lineup both in terms of starter quality and depth.
  12. 2 Late Round Offensive Tackles

    With at least eight and maybe as many as 10 draft picks this year, I think the Carolina Panthers select more than one offensive tackle throughout the draft. It would not shock me to see two or even three taken. The OT position on the team is the weakest and most shallow of all positions. As you know, I am done with the thought of drafting more small school projects. I want the biggest, meanest guys from large schools. I don't want to hear about upside and potential because of physical gifts. I want football players. That said, here are a few later round (rounds 5-7) offensive tackles that I think may be worth looking at. Rob Havenstein - OT - Wisconsin 6'8" 332lbs Talk about your Hog Mollie. This guy is the size of David Foucault but actually has legitimate football program experience at Wisconsin. Three year starter at right tackle. I like Havenstein because he is one of those guys that doesn't look all that athletic. He isn't a physical specimen and won't do all that well in the combine strength tests, just like Andrew Norwell. Because of that he will drop to round 5 or 6. But this kid is a real football player and has that mean streak I always appreciate on the line. I'd love to see the Panthers groom this guy for the right side. Possibly spelling Trai Turner at guard as he is groomed for a tackle spot in coming years. Austin Shepard - OT - Alabama 6' 5" 320 Here is another guy the Panthers could use right away as a backup guard and groom for the future. He took over at right tackle for Bama in 2013 and performed well ever since. Stronger in the run game than edge rushers, which is why I think he starts out at guard and can be groomed for the right side. Comes from a small town in Georgia, will enjoy staying in the south. Plus, he definitely looks and sounds the part... Both of these guys are projected as right side players. It will be difficult to find a left tackle in the later rounds, but the right side is a definite possibility. I would be happy if the Panthers spent a 5th - 7th round draft pick on either (or both) of these guys.
  13. From Walter Football Justin Coleman, CB, Tennessee (EW) John Crockett, RB, North Dakota State (EW) Jamison Crowder, WR, Duke (SR) Garrett Grayson, QB, Colorado State (SR) John Miller, G, Louisville (EW) Steven Nelson, CB, Oregon State (SR) Ty Sambrailo, OT, Colorado State (SR) Wes Saxton, TE, South Alabama (EW) D'Joun Smith, CB, Florida Atlantic (SR) Damian Swann, CB, Georgia (EW) Jordan Taylor, WR, Rice (EW) Leterrius Walton, DT, Central Michigan (EW) Zach Zenner, FB, South Dakota State (EW) Breaking it down by soley the number of interviews, CB seems to be the heaviest emphasis... 4 CB 2 WR 1 RB 1 FB 1 TE 1 DT 1 OT 1 G 1 QB One of the most interesting prospect in my opinion here is Jamison Crowder who had a standout week at the Senior Bowl Could be an excellent compliment to the offense in the slot and an answer at punt returns. OT Ty Sambrailo is also an interesting prospect the Panthers interviewed. Some mocks have him going in the first round, but there is no way Gettleman reaches for him then. Walter Football has him going in the fourth round. He is all over the place in the mocks. The main concern around him appears to be his weight is mainly around the middle, and not in his legs. Will require some time in the weight room before he can play at the next level. Other than that, he has the size, arm span, and experience to be a solid tackle in the NFL. If he is still available in the third, he could be both the BPA and fill a need. Getts would pull the trigger on him.
  14. Here are what some of the more popular NFL Mock Draft websites are saying about the Panthers first round selection.... Walter Football La'el Collins, OT, LSU The Panthers couldn't block for Cam Newton whatsoever earlier in the season. The offensive line has been able to gel, but there are still some glaring holes there, particularly at both tackle positions. Bucky Brooks NFL.COM La'el Collins, OT, LSU It’s time for GM Dave Gettleman to upgrade the protection around Cam Newton. Drafttek Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin Running Back is not the first position that comes to mind when you think about the Panthers' needs. However, DeAngelo Williams may not return and if the often-injured Jonathan Stewart is the lead back, the Panthers would be rolling the dice. Even if Stewart stays healthy, he will be 28 going into next season. Gordon would be the future. He reminds me of a bigger and stronger version of Jamaal Charles. CBS Sports Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami The Panthers need offensive line help in the worst way and unless they address the position in free agency, tackle is the favorite to be the pick here. This pick had been Texas A&M's Cedric Ogbuehi, but he will likely fall out of the first round due to his ACL tear, making Flowers a possibility for Carolina. FOX Sports T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh Clemmings might be the most athletic tackle in this draft class. The 6-foot-5, 310-pound tackle isn't a road paver, per se, but he has great footwork and fluidity. He needs some work on the technical aspects of the game, but can contribute during his rookie season. Carolina's offensive line was a mess before hitting its stride in the season's final month. The unit could use a top-flight talent like Cummings. NFL Draft Geek Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami I'm not a Cam Newton supporter in the slightest, but you have to give him credit for managing any sort of offense behind arguably the worst offensive tackle combination in the NFL. Left tackle Byron Bell and right tackle Nate Chandler combined to be receive a negative 49.5 grade from Pro Football Focus, a combined 16 QB sacks allowed and Bell ranking second in the NFL 38 QB hurries allowed. Luckily for Carolina the 2015 NFL Draft is exceptionally deep with offensive tackles and they should be able to get a pretty good one late in the first round. Behind Andrus Peat, Miami's Ereck Flowers is my favorite as he's proven to be a nasty, tough and reliable left tackle who buries defenders in the run game. - See more at:
  15. If I had to choose a Panthers player form the pat to compare Tyler Gaffney to, I would have to go with Stephen Davis. In addition to having nearly the same size, they appear to have the same game as well. The Similarities: Both just over 6 foot. Both around 220ish Both have shorter strides while running. Davis learned to run lower in the NFL, Gaffney hopefully will as well. Both are more straight forward runners, have limited shiftiness, and aren't afraid of contact. Both have the patience to let their blocks develop and follow them well. Stephen Davis selected in the 4th in 1996. That might translate today to the 7th or even an UDFA. Gaffney of course drafted in the 6th.
  16. Sometimes it takes some digging to find the motivation behind draft picks. Sometimes it is completely obvious. The Carolina Panthers selection of Trai Turner in the 3rd round of the NFL Draft is a no brainer. One of the biggest flaws of the Panthers offense last season was a lack of push at the point of contact. The offensive line struggled all season to move the chains on short distances. Hampered by injuries and mediocre offensive guard talent at best, they failed to move the chains in the running game. So when Trai Turner, who Mel Kiper labeled as one of the best under the radar players in the draft, was still available in the third round for the Panthers the selection was possibly the easiest of the draft so far. Turner has work to do and much to learn, but at a hog mollyish 6'3 and 310lbs he can do one thing for the Panthers immediately. He can pave the road for Williams and Stewart. While Turner struggled at times at LSU in pass protection, he excelled in run blocking. Scouts praise his ability to get push off the line and finish his blocks with the defenders on the ground. He also showed the ability to find linebackers after his first blocks are finished, something the guards last season were rarely able to accomplish. The result could be more reliable 4-5 yard runs and sustained drives. You would be hard pressed to find anyone that watched the Panthers play last year that would disagree with this pick. He could very well start immediately, which is a rare find in the third round.
  17. I had a feeling the Panthers would be going defense with their second round pick, but I was thinking cornerback. Instead, the Panthers draft a defensive end which is probably one of the areas least in need, until you scratch the surface. How did the guy that many labeled as the second best defensive end in the draft fall to the Panthers in round 2? Why would the Panthers select him? Well, it is fairly simple. It begins with "unnamed NFL scouts" who questioned his attitude. . Con man... Con man... seems like I have heard that somewhere before. Oh, that's right, Cam Newton was called a con artist before the NFL draft as well. Remind me how that turned out for the Panthers. When it comes to such strong terminology against a player, it is obviously personal. And when scouts leave the business mindset and get personal, it is time to ignore them. Clearly Gettleman saw past the rhetoric. But is defensive end a need for the Panthers? Obviously, David Gettleman thinks so. This pick could be the biggest indicator yet on how long term contract talks are going with Greg Hardy. If Hardy is no longer with the Panthers next season, which is looking more and more likely, Ealy could possibly step in with solid production. In Carolina, Ealy has the best case scenario. He does not have to come in and be the number one guy. He doesn't even need to be the number two guy. He can come in and learn from one of the best defensive line coaches in the game, Eric Washington. Washington has proven he can get production out of just about any defensive marginal talent given to him. I would expect big returns from a physical talent like Kony Ealy. A realistic projection this season for Ealy would be as a situational pass rusher and in the rotation to spell Hardy and Johnson. While I would have preferred a starter in round 2, I really cannot fault Gettleman for looking to the future here and taking not only the best player available, but also a position of need.
  18. Paired with outside linebacker Jake Knott, Klein made up half of arguably the top linebacker tandem in the nation over the past couple of seasons. Klein's terrific play didn't end in Ames, however. A solid performance at the East-West Shrine Game might have teams wondering if the highly instinctive playmaker can enjoy similar production in the NFL. Klein was a three-star recruit out of Wisconsin, but didn't receive an offer from the Badgers and accepted a scholarship from the Cyclones. After limited playing time as a freshman in 2009, he became a starter in 2010 and was quickly a standout, registering 111 tackles, 8.0 tackles for loss and three interceptions (two returned for touchdowns), earning All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors. He followed that up two more remarkably statistically-similar campaigns, averaging 116.5 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and another interception, each of which he returned for a score. Characterized by many throughout his career as lacking athleticism, Klein leaves Iowa State having tied the FBS record with four touchdowns scored off of interception returns. Named a consensus All-Big 12 player in 2012 and the co-Defensive Player of the Year out of the conference (along with Oklahoma defensive end Frank Alexander) in 2011, Klein has proved himself to be among the more consistent and dependable linebackers in the country. While he may not possess the ideal timed speed or change of direction of his peers, he's fast on the field due to terrific instincts and effort. As such, don't be among those "surprised" when his success continues in the NFL, even if he winds up being drafted later than his production would seem to warrant.
  19. Kugbila was picked to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine, but this wasn’t likely the most fortuitous selection in his family’s history. Kugliba’s parents Cletus and Lucy, won a visa lottery that allowed their family to move to the United States from Ghana. Kugbila and his family moved to the U.S. in 2000 when he was 10 years old. His younger brother Romauld, an Archer grad, is a freshman on the West Georgia football team. Edmund began playing football in the seventh grade. His size and talent attracted schools such as Alabama, Georgia, Vanderbilt and Florida, but a low SAT score prevented him from academically qualifying for a Division I school. However, Kugbila has made the most of his time at Valdosta State. After playing in all 10 games in 2009 as a reserve, Kugbila started 10 games at tackle in the following season, and recorded the second most knockdown blocks on the team. In 2011, Kugbila moved to guard and played in all 10 games with eight starts. He was named all-conference and third team All-American. Kugbila finished his college career by helping Valdosta claim the national championship in 2012.
  20. Round 2: Panthers select Kawann Short

    Strengths: Good pass-rusher Fast, quick Capable of taking games over Can be dominant Plays with good pad level Good feet Quick get-off Good use of hands Repertoire of moves Able to use hands and feet at same time Has the ability to shed blocks Can beat double-teams Plays with good strength Athletic Can be extremely disruptive Splash plays Instinctive Capable run-defender
  21. With their first pick in the 2013 Draft the Carolina Panthers select Star Lotulelei Rarely does a player come along who so thoroughly dominates his competition that he generates buzz across the entire nation despite posting only average statistics and playing in a relatively small media market. That is precisely what 6-3, 318-pound defensive tackle Star Lotulelei accomplished for Utah. Recognized by Pac-12 offensive linemen as the best defensive lineman in the conference with the Morris Trophy in 2011, Lotulelei posted 44 tackles, nine tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks despite facing consistent double- and even occasional triple-team blocks in 2011. He battled through the same level of attention from defensive coordinators in 2012, and still earned his second selection to the All-Pac-12 first team. He finished the regular season with a team-high 11 tackles for loss and 5.0 sacks to go along with four pass breakups, four fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles. Lotulelei, who was born in Tonga, is married with a daughter. He prepped at Bingham High School in South Jordan, where he was part of a state championship team. He then spent two years at Snow College, racking up 52 tackles, 14 for losses, three sacks and a forced fumble in 2008. He attended Snow again in 2009, but did not play football before transferring to Utah. Lotulelei's once rock-solid status as a top half of the first round selection took a major hit when his medical check at the Scouting Combine revealed a heart issue. He immediately returned home and began undergoing a battery of tests from doctors. Rob Rang reported in early April that Lotulelei had passed the "gold standard" of heart tests, but many teams are likely to remove him from their draft boards nonetheless. http://www.cbssports.../star-lotulelei
  22. Casual Carolina Panthers fans are waking up this morning and yet again having a hard time pronouncing the name of the newest Carolina Panther. Amini Silatolu? Chances are you have not heard that name on sports center. Last season, if you are being honest, the Panthers offensive line was not one of the strengths of the Panthers. Their talented running backs helped to hide this fact by masking sub par offensive line blocking with positive runs. Since then the Panthers have lost their most talented guard in Tavelle Wharton, leaving the line even less likely to open up gaping holes for Deangelo Williams to sprint through. With their second round selection the Panthers addressed the loss of Travelle Wharton by replacing him with who some consider to have first round talent - Amini Silatolu. Don Banks of Sports Illustrated had San Fran taking Amini with the 30th pick of the first round. Silatolu has an important trait that some could say the Panthers Offensive Line could use an injection of... nastiness. Amini caught the eyes of the Panthers front office with his ability to finish off defenders. Granted, these defenders were from smaller schools, but at six foot three and three hundred and eleven pounds, the Panthers are confident his transition to the pro game will be a smooth one. While at Midwestern State, Amini was remarkable. At left tackkle, he had an overall blocking grade of 94.7 percent, the only offensive lineman in the draft with over 90 percent for his college career. He also posted 97 knockdowns. “The one thing that stands out is his nasty temperament. When you’re playing at a certain level like that you should dominate — and he did dominate the competition. So you feel like going to the next level he’s going to be very, very competitive.” - Ron Rivera “When you put on the tape of him he puts a lot of people on the ground. You see the athleticism and the physical play.” - Marty Hurney It isn't a flashy pick. Offensive Guard is not a pick that will stir up the fan base. However, you can bet your sweet ass Deangelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart toasted this pick Friday evening. Here is to hoping Amini has plenty of ire in his belly for the 2012 season. Maybe now the Panthers will actually run the ball on 3rd and 1.
  23. For those that don't know, Bob McGinn writes for the milwaukee journal-sentinel, and is one of the most respected sports writers in the nation. Every year he writes a huge article on all the top talent based solely on what scouts have said about them to him. It's anonymous, and some of it is surely a smoke screen, but it's great to read nonetheless. He's done wide receivers, tight ends, and offensive linemen. So just a couple local guys, I'll let you all read the rest on your own.
  24. The Case For Janoris Jenkins

    Janoris Jenkins | 5'10" | 193 | North Alabama N. Alabama Stats (1 year) 2 INTs, 53 tackles Florida Stats (3 Years) 8 INTs, 121 tackles First want to say that if Morris Claiborne falls to our #9 pick we'd be stupid not to select him. He might not be as good a cover corner but he is right up there with Janoris. That coupled along with Jenkins's past makes Mo a safer pick. But I just want to make the case for Janoris Jenkins, whether that be at #9 or if we trade down. Janoris Jenkins's talent should never really come into question. He has always been highly touted as he was one of the top recruits coming out of high school. As a true freshman, Janoris started from day 1 at CB. He was just the second true freshman to do that at the University of Florida. While in Gainesville he was a part of some great defenses. He even shared the field with Joe Haden. Anybody who watched Gator games would know that that was one of the best CB tandem in all of college football. But if you had to grade them separately, Janoris always seemed a couple notches above. Haden was the better athlete and had great ball skills. But Jenkins was the better cover corner and was able to limit the throws to his side of the field. The Browns now have their CB for the future in Haden and we could do the same with Jenkins. I know many are wary of Jenkins's past and rightfully so. He has been caught multiple times for marijuana and was kicked off UF's football team heading into his senior season. Personally, I think this was one of the best things that could have happened to Janoris. It gave Janoris a new perspective on his situation, "It humbled me a lot seeing how I went from Florida to a Division II football school in one season. It really humbled me as a kid. It taught me a lot. The environment was totally different, from 95,000 in "The Swamp" to 3,500 at UNA. Big difference." This humbling experience matured him and allowed him to see how his decision making can affect him on the football field. Going from the SEC to division II, Jenkins realized the spotlight wasn't nearly as big. Jenkins never failed a drug test at UNA according to Bowden and has kept his nose clean off the football field. Why It Makes Sense for the Panthers? I think most could argue that CB is the one position that needs to be upgraded the most. If not the top need, it's 1b. Besides Gamble, our CBs are hardly reliable. Adding a CB that can actually cover to go alongside Gamble will ease our safeties. I feel like playing safety on a team that can't defend the pass or the run has to be a tough task. Not knowing whether to shade a certain side of the field to defend the pass or coming up in the box to stop the run seemed like a constant dilemma for our safeties. Jenkins would be the first step in making this a more complete defense. I think many would agree that this years draft class is deep in the CB department but that doesn't mean there isn't a drop off in terms of talent. Personal Scouting Report First, I will begin with the negatives for Jenkins. I'll start with the obvious character concern. As many know, Jenkins played at UNA this year because he was no longer a part of the UF football team after multiple violations. Many have cited this reason alone for wanting nothing to do with him. As far as on the field weaknesses, there is really only one glaring concern and that is his size. I think his size, or lack thereof, is more of a concern in run support than in the pass game. If you can get past his character concerns, it's easy to see that Jenkins is a stud CB. Addressing his history of bad decision making, I truly think that his time at Division II matured him. If he can keep his nose clean he will be a great CB. He does lack size but that didn't seem like a problem for him when defending the top receivers in the SEC. He has good leaping ability. He is very agile and has fluid hips that allows him to change direction even while reacting to the wideout. And even on the rare occasion that there is a sizable separation, Jenkins is able to cover ground with his speed. He is the best cover corner in this years draft because of his ability to shut down and truly limit one side of the field. Concerning run support, Janoris has great instincts. He is very aggressive and is able to stop the back before he can make his move. But because of his size he is not always able to make the tackle. But the fact that he can get there with great speed, he can at least slow things down so the linebackers can clean up the mess.
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