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El Chingon

Darin Gantt's Panthers Draft Needs

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El Chingon    644

Hate him or love him, the guy knows Panther football.

 

Offensive tackle: Despite the fixation on what was left behind after the release of wide receiver Steve Smith (more on that later), the Panthers are actually thinner in the middle of the offense than they are on the perimeter.

When stalwart left tackle Jordan Gross retired, it left them with a bunch of bad options, the worst perhaps being moving right tackle Byron Bell (who was overmatched on the other side). But other than praying that a converted defensive tackle (Nate Chandler) can be a reliable starter, they don’t have any other options on the current roster, so they might have to cross their fingers and pray Cam Newton is still mobile at the end of the season.

They did a bit of sniffing around in free agency, and put in an offer for Anthony Collins before he signed with the Buccaneers. There’s not a starting-caliber left tackle on the market at the moment, and picking 28th might be too low to find one either. But if there’s not, they might be best-served holding their nose with Bell for a year and drafting an upgrade at right tackle, which wouldn’t be hard to find.

Defensive end: Stick with me here, and this was the case even before backup Frank Alexander’s four-game suspension.

Even though they have as good a pair of starters as any team in the league, the Panthers are also devoting more than 20 percent of their salary cap to Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy. That’s not long-term sustainable, and the kind of situation that could cripple a team if one of them is injured.

While Johnson is vastly overpaid, he’s at least consistently productive (44.0 sacks the last four seasons). Franchise-tagged Hardy is more explosive, but he’s only there for another year, and there’s a reasonable concern about giving the former sixth-rounder a gigantic long-term deal.

The Panthers need some cover for future years and depth for the short-term, so if the right guy is there in the first two rounds, you can’t discount them looking to keep a strength strong.

Wide receiver: Sure, it’s an issue.

But free agent pick-ups Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant and Tiquan Underwood are better able to get them through a game than what they’ve got at tackle.

The Panthers have a few kids they like at the position (such as Tavarres King and Marvin McNutt), but it’s clear they’re going to dip into one of the draft’s deepest positions, perhaps twice. It’s hard to imagine they’ll get through Friday without taking at least one.

Cornerback: Much like their receiving corps, there’s not much of not there.

But they proved last year they could get by with scraps in the secondary because of the strength of their defensive front seven.

They brought in veteran Antoine Cason, who has played well for Ron Rivera before. Otherwise, it’s more of the fill-ins from last year, minus the departed Captain Munnerlyn (Vikings) and Drayton Florence (unsigned). It’s not a good group, personnel wise. But it doesn’t have to be great for the Panthers to be effective.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/05/03/draft-needs-carolina-panthers/

 

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MHS831    4,697

This confirms what I and many others have been saying about DE--if you are looking for a long-term deal before July 15, you may be disappointed.

 

If you consider the draft is not just for 2014 but for the long-term future (at least 4-5 years) then DE makes a lot of sense.

 

WR:  A good one in the second round, a RT in the third, depth at DB, OLB, and maybe WR later.

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KillerKat    10,949

Then Gettelmen fuged up and should have never tagged Hardy. If we take a DE after overhauling WR and losing Gross. Then it was a mistake.

I've disagreed with tagging Hardy. Only move I didn't like that Gettleman has made so far.

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La Pantera    985

i think if there is no long term deal reached with hardy this season (and i doubt there will be) then CJ will be a cap casualty next offseason. and GH will get his money. i wouldnt be shocked to see a DE this draft. i just hope like hell its not before the 3rd...

 

 

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TylerVagyler    1,286

i think if there is no long term deal reached with hardy this season (and i doubt there will be) then CJ will be a cap casualty next offseason. and GH will get his money. i wouldnt be shocked to see a DE this draft. i just hope like hell its not before the 3rd...

 

Yep. If Hardy produces again and resigns, CJ is most likely gone. 

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TylerVagyler    1,286

I think it's hilarious Gantt has the same attitude about WRs as this franchise has had for the last several years.

 

"Yeah, it's a problem....but let's fix _________ first".

 

Eventually, we have to seriously address the issue.

 

 

(sorry for the triple post).

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El Chingon    644

I'm glad Gantt is here to tell us what we all already know.

I admire Gantt's honesty. I wish he was still covering the Panthers full time.

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jtnc    3,667

I think it's hilarious Gantt has the same attitude about WRs as this franchise has had for the last several years.

"Yeah, it's a problem....but let's fix _________ first".

Eventually, we have to seriously address the issue.

(sorry for the triple post).

You mean the same Gantt who continues to praise Hurney to this day?

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CelticCat    324

Everyone's getting carried away with the Kony Ealy workout I see.

 

I doubt even he would end up being BPA if the board fell against us.

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panthers55    5,146

We can franchise Hardy next year for 15.5 million so there is no reason we can't keep him for at least another year.  When he figures out we don't have to sign him to CJ money to get him to produce at a contract year level he might be more reasonable in getting a deal done.  He is chomping at the bit to make big money, maybe he will make a team friendly deal given he will be still be set for life. 

In the end getting him on a 2 year deal for 28 million and nothing up front isn't bad.  Lets see if he wants to sign next year as well.  That is how I hopes it goes.  Unless he falls off and then he will sign a deal with no problem if we want him.

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jtnc    3,667

We sacrificed our entire team to tag Hardy, and now you're telling me you .can't get a deal done?

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