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Why the Panthers Do Not Draft A WR Early

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#1 OnlyPantherFaninMaine


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Posted 04 February 2013 - 03:59 PM

I posted this in the draft forum as well but I figure I'd put it here to get more exposure and the other pretty much got derailed. I Apologize for the length in advance!

This past season twelve different Carolina Panthers caught a pass from Cam Newton. I realize and agree that there is a need for an heir to Steve Smith and a true number one receiver for after 89 hangs em' up. However, I don't believe this is the year Carolina takes a receiver early in the draft (rounds 1 or 2). To put it simply, there already aren't enough passes to go around in this offense with our crowded wide-receiver core and armada of running-backs. Couple this idea with seemingly bigger holes on our roster elsewhere, and I seriously doubt we invest in a top WR prospect early in the 2013 NFL Draft. I repeat: I believe there is a BIG need for that true #1 receiver that can develop and have a long career catching balls from Cam. Despite that, this year we don't draft him...and here's why.
  • Right now our WR core is crowded and unproven. It is largely made up of guys that Carolina (Hurney) has drafted. Just by watching film of this season and looking at our roster, I don't think that Gettleman will believe these players were utilized properly under Rob Chudzinski. I think the 2013 season will tell us exactly what we have at the receiver position. Is LaFell a number two or is he a third? Is Joe Adams really a weapon we can use to our advantage? Does Armanti finally contribute consistently? Is Gettis really the deep ball threat he showed glimpses of with Jimmy Clausen at the helm his rookie year? Can Pilares continue to pick up yards after the catch when given the opportunity? Does LaMont Bryant excel in training camp and earn a roster spot? Quite frankly I believe our new general manager goes into next year with these guys and possibly another late round receiver + a cheap veteran free agent. 2013 will be the season we as fans and an organization really find out who is here to stay and who won't be a Panther for the coming years.
  • I'd rather figure out, and Gettleman may agree, who emerges on our receiver core from the guys above while filling other needs elsewhere that will have more of an instant impact. Our defensive tackle position has been ignored for far too long. Dwan and Ron Edwards performed admirably last year but its uncertain whether either of them will be back and they are both older. Ron will likely be a cap casualty but I suspect we sign Dwan again. We need an infusion of talent at this position because Fua/Kearse/Neblett are far from long term solutions. A defensive tackle at 14 would solidify our line and allow Hardy and CJ to wreak havoc on opposing offenses. I just tend to believe that a WR at 14, especially this class of pass-catchers, would have a difficult time getting enough touches and playing time to make more of an impact this season than a defensive tackle.
  • If Captain is not resigned and Chris Gamble is released, which seems likely because of our cap situation, are you honestly comfortable with Josh Norman and Josh Thomas being our two corners going into next season in a division with the likes of Vincent Jackson, Roddy White, Julio Jones, and Marques Colston? I'm not. Sure, both played decent this past season but I tend to think that was more of a product of our defensive front getting pressure consistently. I do believe there are some decent options at corner we could pick up in free agency but that all lies with Gettleman and co. Once again, I think a corner in the first or second round is a real possibility and would have more of an instant impact on our team than a WR that is not an elite prospect fighting for playing time and catches in a crowded offense.
  • Our offensive line struggled mightily this year. Now, getting Kalil back in the middle will be huge for our front five but I'm still not sold. Gross is aging but I think Silatolu's development from year 1 to 2 will make Gross serviceable for at least this upcoming year. The weak link with Kalil in the line up is Hangartner. Cameron Newton is this franchise's most valuable asset and he needs to be protected at all times. I believe we address the right guard position in the second or fourth round this year and he will be an instant plug and play starting guard.
  • Charles Godfrey is decent but frequently overrated by this fan base. He is consistently ranked among the lowest safeties in the league come season's end by Pro Football Focus. DJ Campbell looks to be a smart player and he played well down the stretch after Godfrey moved to to FS and he took over at SS. However, if the reports that Barron was #1 on our board before selecting Kuechly last year are true, Rivera and his staff believe that safety is a major need and I don't think he saw anything this season that would make him change his mind.
  • Cam Newton. When he has time in the pocket and can set his feet he is as accurate as anyone. With another off-season and plenty of reps, I think Cam takes his passing to the next level and we see steady improvement in his short and intermediate routes. Ultimately Cam has the ability to make our receivers look better than they are if he can stay upright and move up in the pocket. Cam was hit more than any QB in the game last season and his protection will go a long way towards making this group of wide receivers better than they may actually be.
In essence, I do not think we will be selecting a WR with either of our first two picks this upcoming draft. The Carolina Panthers have too many other significant needs that need to be addressed while our receivers are sorted out in camp and throughout the season. By selecting a DT, CB/S, G with our first three picks, we likely get instant starters in all three of those positions which in turn would have a much bigger impact on the team's overall success than finding a receiver to be in the mix catching balls along with 10 others. If I was a betting man, I'd say the draft looked something like this by position for the Panthers when all said and done:

Round 1: DT

Round 2: Safety

Round 4: Guard

(Most Likely)


Round 1: CB

Round 2: Guard

Round 4: DT/S


Round 1: Guard

Round 2: DT

Round 4: CB/S

Honestly I think it is the Panther's best interest is to trade down from 14 into the mid-twenties and pick up a third. If we were to select guard, safety, defensive tackle, and corner in no particular order with our first 4 selections...I think it's not too unrealistic to expect all four of them to start.

#2 CarolinaCoolin



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Posted 04 February 2013 - 04:01 PM

It's a wide receiver or guard.

#3 4Corners


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Posted 04 February 2013 - 04:01 PM

"Charles Godfrey is frequently overrated by this fanbase"


#4 Frizzy350


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Posted 04 February 2013 - 04:07 PM

WR is a luxury pick.

Fixing our trenches is a necessity.

That is pretty much what it boils down to.

#5 chknwing


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Posted 04 February 2013 - 04:09 PM

carolina will be drafting OL in 1st round. bank on it.

#6 Rags



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Posted 04 February 2013 - 04:09 PM

WR is a luxury pick.

Yes, drafting at a posting where we have a 34 year old and a bunch of questions marks is a luxury.

Spot fuging on.

#7 Rags



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Posted 04 February 2013 - 04:13 PM

It's really cool how you guys think a 34 year old Steve (whom I love dearly) and a bunch of WR who've done meh to nothing is just perfectly fine.

I guess we'll just hope nothing happens to Smitty, ignore the games LaFell completely disappeared, assume Gettis is gonna come back from injury and play well/get out of Rivera's dog house, and Lamont Bryant will be the next Victor Cruz, and blame every offensive problem ever on Chud.

Something needs to be done at the WR position.

OL/WR in the first two rounds would be great.

#8 Sloth



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Posted 04 February 2013 - 04:17 PM

If something were to happen to Smith, we'd be done. We'd have one legitimate receiver in LaFell who isn't going to stretch a field, one pretty underwhelming guy in Murphy who is the slowest "burner" I've ever seen, one guy who last played when Clausen was the starter, Pilares who can't ever seem to crack a lineup, Edwards who just doesn't seem like more than a returner, Joe Adams, who is allergic to footballs and a practice squad guy with dreamy measurables. Also Smith, while still an amazing player IS slowing down some.

I don't know if it will be this year, but at some point the franchise will need to bite the bullet and give him some help. Yeah, it sucks that our draft picks at WR mostly haven't panned out, but it needs to happen.

#9 PhillyB


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Posted 04 February 2013 - 04:19 PM

fix the offensive line and your receivers look automatically better. regardless, if we don't address receiver with a legit starter this season it becomes imperative in 2014.

#10 Rags



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Posted 04 February 2013 - 04:46 PM

The Packers and the Falcons have let up way more Hits on the QB than we have, and arguably worse defensive play than we had last season, but still made it to the playoffs.

I'm not saying HEY IGNORE OLINE (I think we should draft a tackle in the first two rounds because Bell's a good depth/rotational guy but idk if he's a starter) but idk a solid run game and Cam gettign rid of the ball quicker would help on those hits/sacks.

Also the same one of you guys who think Silatolu is a bust, despite his improved play as the season went on, are some of the same peeps who think "yeah we're okay with these unproven guys at WR."

#11 Marguide


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Posted 04 February 2013 - 07:05 PM

DT is not typically a position with which you can expect much from a rookie. Sign a mid-range vet to play the nose and re-sign Dwan.

#12 Davidson Deac II

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 07:10 PM

I have a feeling we will take the best player available, if its at a position we need.

If the front office feels that none of the potential draftees is worth a 1st round pick, we might sign a free agent wr, if any of substance are available, and if we can somehow clear the cap space.