Last year I made a thread addressing the need of another CB to compliment Chris Gamble. I still believe it's one of our top priorities this off season. Due to some events in my life I didn't get to see the rest of the NFL season after that horrible Atlanta game. So I didn't get to see how our secondary did. BUT I did some research and watched several games. I saw no change in the secondary, we are weak in that department. Captain is a solid nickle and nothing more. The jury is still out on Hogan, so he could be competing for that #2 spot in next season. The rest of the CB's are mediocre. Average at best. Gamble and Munnerlyn (regardless of how he feels about the cb situation, there's a need there Captain, sorry brah..) are the only two that, in my eyes, are stand out studs. I'm not going to get into the Safety position right now, but it does need an upgrade, mainly in the FS position. Personally I believe there's a need there too.
With this being said. I believe we should go after a CB to compliment Gamble on the other side while Captain defends the slot. How should we acquire this talent at corner this off season? There are 2 ways, technically 3 ways. But the first two are the more sensible ones.
Option #1. The NFL Draft. The draft is where it all begins. Fortunately for us, this years draft is FILLED with talent at the Cornerback position. I kid you not this year is definitely the year to draft not one but two CBs if possible. These are just some of the names of the people that are in this draft.
Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
Height: 6-0. Weight: 188.
Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
Height: 6-3. Weight: 190.
Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
Height: 5-10. Weight: 203.
Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
Height: 5-10. Weight: 191.
Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia
Height: 6-0. Weight: 185.
Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
Height: 6-1. Weight: 190.
Jayron Hosley, CB/PR, Virginia Tech
Height: 5-10. Weight: 172.
DeQuan Menzie, CB, Alabama
Height: 5-11. Weight: 195. (Highly under rated.)
Casey Hayward, CB, Vanderbilt
Height: 5-11. Weight: 188.
Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Height: 6-2. Weight: 215.
Micah Hyde, CB, Iowa
Height: 6-1. Weight: 185.
That's just a few, most of these guys are 1-2 round talent. I strongly believe that out of these, 3 of them are shutdown corners, blue chip players as well. Claiborne, Kirkpatrick, Jenkins.
As time goes by and the NFL combine, Pro days, and interviews are conducted. We will see which one of these guys is worth either taking at 8\9, trading up for, or somehow, some way, the top one falls to us. (Claiborne to me is the best prospect that would likely be the one to "fall" out of the grace of god..)
Either way if we miss out on the best prospect, there are still plenty CB's in this draft that can be very serviceable and be that needed #2 CB in our defense. I'd prefer us to go ahead and draft a CB to fix this ailment. But there are other ways such as..
Yes, I know how some of you feel about FA. The thing is that we've dealt with FA before. Plenty of times. I don't see anything bad with FA. I'd prefer us to deal with FA for only one of our needs in the defense. Wether it would be the Defensive line or the secondary. If we choose to go this way for the secondary, then the next couple of people should be on our list to try an get. Although our Salary cap may say we aren't able to acquire talent via this medium. Restructuring contracts and cutting/trading certain players may be enough to lure one of these guys here. Also, I do not believe players will bot be interested in coming to carolina. Our franchise has been revamped and the attitude is that we are on the rise. I don't see why players wouldn't take this as incentive to become a Panther this off season. Cam took care of that, glad we got the guy. Here's a list of CB's that I believe we can try and acquire.
Brandon Carr, CB, Chiefs. Age: 26
This would be the #1 guy I'd like to pursue. He's young, good size, a beast and could replace Gamble. I cream my pants thinking about him and Gamble covering together. This would be the best CB tandem we've had in a while. Dare I say the best in the NFC south if it would actually happen.
Cortland Finnegan, CB, Titans. Age: 28
Don't knock this guy. He's a hell of a player. (I know he's a 'dirty' player, but he's tough as nails, i'd like an aggressive guy like him in the secondary.)
Carlos Rogers, CB, 49ers. Age: 31
I know, he's old, but last year I was pushing for him to come here. Nothing happened, and he went to the 49ers. He did rather well. Wasn't injure at all. If the 49ers don't resign him, I think we can do it for a 2 year deal.
Tracy Porter, CB, Saints. Age: 26.
This past year was kinda bad for him, but he's a very good CB. Because of the down year he's had, he could come cheap. Although I see the Saints try and keep him, but I doubt they can keep him, Drew Brees, and all the other FA that they have. Odds are the saints will let him walk and he could land on our team. I'd welcome him.
William Middleton, CB, Jaguars. Age: 26.
This guy is young and has so much potential, next to gamble he could step up his game and learn from of the better corners of the NFL. Has good size as well. Can come at a very adequate price.
Terrell Thomas, CB, Giants. Age: 27.
He went down in August with a torn ACL, he should be back in top form this year. Also the Giants Secondary is very good. I don't know if they will try and keep his services but he could be one of the guys that is let go by the giants. Means we could acquire him through FA.
I'd prefer Carr or Middleton. I didn't add Mr Webb from the Raven because he's a RFA, meaning we'd have to give up a 1st (?) or second. Which I'm not a fan of. I don't want us to give up a draft pick for a guy, even if it's webb. I realize he's a great CB. Last year we should have gotten the guy but we didn't. I hope this year we, if we address this problem through FA, we do it quickly and without any hesitation.
Lastly the third option would be to trade for a CB, but again, I don't want us to trade draft picks for a player. Player for player is a rare thing. So really this last option is almost not going to happen.
Regardless of how we get a CB this year, we need to upgrade that position. Gamble can't do it all. I also realize that if the pass rush was there we'd be ok and that would automatically upgrade our corners abilities. But having to elite corners would also alleviate a dominant pass rush. At least I believe so. Hah.
Comments, thoughts? inb4tl,dr.
Good Article on CB's, via rayzor. http://www.bloggingt...gan-grimes-carr
Edited by IvanTheAwesome, 07 February 2012 - 02:37 PM.