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Welcome to the 2013 Annual Post Draft Huddle Freak Out

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#1 NanceUSMC


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Posted 29 April 2013 - 01:30 PM

The Draft has come and gone, and now the bemoaning may now start! Year after year, the months of build up and anticipation always lead to Post-Draft depression and anxiety over who was, and who was not selected... This year proves to be no different...

So, breaking it all down, what does it REALLY mean? Let's analyze!

The prospects:

Star Lotulelei: A no brainer of a pick... If the Panthers had been selecting in the top 5, I would argue still that he is the player they should have selected... The fact that he fell to us at 14 is a coup... Makes our DL instantly formidable, and immediately changes a weakness into a strength... This is a selection that will effect both sides of the football, by solidifying the run defense, keeping the defense out of long drives, and helping to keep the offense on the field... This pick is a home run...

Kawann Short: What? Another D-Lineman?!?!? How can this be?? Well, I'll tell you how this can be... How tired did you get of watching the Panthers defense run out of steam in the 4th quarter after leading a team by 10 points, only to lose by a field goal or last drive TD? This pick takes first round talent, and makes an already effective line (formidable because of the Lotulelei pick) deep and scary! They should no longer wear down and allow opponents to rush their way to victory late in games... This pick not only adds depth, but it adds depth of first round potential, meaning we stay solid talent-wise, even when the 'second' unit is out there (which is often)... I love this thought process...

* Now, interject this note... When you win the line of scrimmage, EVERYONE gets better... LBs free up for tackles and sacks... DBs don't have to cover as long... The QB can't get comfortable (no more of this 7-8 seconds to find a receiver crap)... RBs have trouble finding holes... The whole wheel just turns a little smoother... That is what I feel was accomplished with the first two picks...

Edmund Kugbila: Small school mauler... Where have we seen one of those before? This is a depth and developmental pick with huge upside... Much like Silatolu was last year... He will push Hangartner, or allow him to move to another position in the event of injury or need... Provided he reaches his potential, this is a mauler who should add solid production for years to come... Again, this is an effort to solidify the line, and win the LOS battle for the long-term... This is a solid pick, but not the home run the previous two were...

A. J. Klein: We already have phenominal talent at LB, so why do we select (as one poster referred to it) a 4th string LB over other players on the board, and other positions of need? Well, we have solid talent, but we have fragile talent... Klein is fast, productive and most importantly, versatile... He can play all three LB positions, making him a highly valuable backup option in the event we lose someone to injury... This alone justifies grabbing him in the 5th... This is the type of pick that starts the year as a backup, and finishes the year as a starter...

Kenjon Barner: A fantastic talent... A real playmaker when the ball is in his hands... So how does he fit? That's a bit more tricky than the other 4 picks... Truth is, I'm not real sure... He won't break the Stewart/Williams/Tolbert stranglehold... But, again, let's look deeper... I don't remember the last time Stewart and Williams both played a full 16... So, let's say one only plays 10 games, and the other 14... That's where he comes in... Initially he may see nothing more than Special Teams here and there, and a handful of plays per game (say 5-8)... But as the season rolls on, and the inevitible injuries occur, his workload will increase, and he will be a valuable option to spell whomever is starting at that point... This is also the kind of weapon you stash on your roster for the future, when you no longer have the stable of RBs that we currently do... Think Darren Sproles in terms of danger level with the ball... So while I understand the angst about selecting yet another RB, this is fantastic value in the 6th round, and has the potential to be a solid play going forward... I like the pick, but can understand the trepidation...

All in all, I give us a solid B... But hey, what do I know?

Now, what about the areas we weren't able to address??

Let's investigate!

WR: No, Smith isn't getting any younger... No his replacement is not yet on the team... But with such a thin class of receivers in this draft, his replacement wasn't in this draft either... Outside of Tavon Austin, there is no receiver in this class that is currently a true difference maker, and in my opinion, none that are significantly better than Brandon LaFell... So why take one? You draft to improve, not to hold par... Of course it's still a position of need, but it wasn't a need that would be filled with a 4th round WR in a poor WR class... The Panthers likely worked out so many receivers to get a better feel and read of what each one was capable of... And at the end of the day, I believe they made the correct call passing on this class... The talent was simply not there to justify the selection over others on the Panthers board... Bank on one more year from Smith, and go after his replacement next offseason...

OL: See Smith above... Gross is still good enough to depend on... We couldn't fill all our needs in one draft, and frankly, he's better than anything available from the 4th round on... Bell is likely better than anything available from the 4th on... Hangartner's versatility, combined with Kugbila freeing him up to move in the event of injury, and we're in better shape on the OL... Not ideal, but better... Still a work in progress...

DB: I personally think the upgrades to the DL will be the best thing for the DBs this offseason could have hoped for... It wasn't a great class for CBs, and we just put young talent into the position last offseason anyway... That talent needs to produce... I like the veterans we added in the offseason as stop-gap solutions... There's more work to do here, but given the other upgrades, I believe this unit improves as a result...

So what about weapons for Cam?

Well, we HAVE weapons... Williams, Stewart, Tolbert, Olsen, Smith, LaFell... Those are all weapons... But at the end of the day, the biggest weapon for Cam, is Cam himself... Provided Cam is the player he was over the last 8 games, and not the player he was that cost us games against Atlanta and Seattle, this offense will be nasty... And should be on the field longer, given the defensive upgrades... THAT is where Cam can be helped, and has already been helped this offseason...

We were never going to go into this offseason and meet all of our needs... It just wasn't going to happen given our cap situation, and lack of draft picks... And who really counts on starters in rounds 5, 6 or 7? Those are rare... Best thing to do is take the talent that is highest on your board, and let the coaches figure out where they fit... That's why players like Barner are taken over a DB who has questions and may not even make the team, or may come in and be such a disruption that it causes issues in the locker room...

So while I think we will all agree that things are far from perfect, they're a hell of a lot better than they were 6 months ago...

That said, the key to the whole thing is none other than good ole #1... As goes Cam, so go the Panthers... Regardless of who is added this offseason...

#2 Jackofalltrades


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Posted 29 April 2013 - 01:34 PM


#3 chknwing


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Posted 29 April 2013 - 01:34 PM

dejavu. I know Ive seen this some where before.

#4 Peppers90 NC

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 01:36 PM

I read that Kugbila was recruited by big schools such as Alabama, but his SAT's were too low to get into D-1. I usually would be concerned but he moved to the states at 10 years old.

#5 nosuchthingasapanther


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Posted 29 April 2013 - 01:36 PM

I don't remember the last time Stewart and Williams both played a full 16...


#6 Jase


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Posted 29 April 2013 - 01:39 PM

wake me when the looting starts.

Dibs on Zod's codpiece.

#7 Scrumtrilescent


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Posted 29 April 2013 - 01:43 PM

Posted Image

#8 SZ James (banned)

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 01:44 PM

this is my favorite rewording yet!!!

A+ would read again times ∞

#9 chknwing


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Posted 29 April 2013 - 01:46 PM

wake me when the looting starts.

Dibs on Zod's codpiece.

why would you want a thimble?

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