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#2739073 According to PFT Panthers have interest in Sidney Rice

Posted by Woodie on 14 April 2014 - 02:56 PM

Oh yeah let's add another backup reciever so maybe the logjam will bust


If healthy, Rice is far from a backup. 

#2738646 Zack Martin a Panther if he follows Moses (in draft) to Promise Land?

Posted by Woodie on 13 April 2014 - 11:48 PM

The funny thing is that he is almost the exact same size as Gross, and has gotten high praise for his play.  So the only real problem is his arm length.  But is it a problem?  Like I said, he is about the same size as Gross, but he only has 32 7/8 inch arms.  However, Gross only has 33 1/4 inch arms...that's just over a quarter of an inch.  A negligible difference.


Jason Peters, who nobody has problems with his ability to play LT only has 33 1/8 inch arms.  And Joe Thomas, whom pretty much everyone here would kill for, has arms only 32 1/2 inches long...shorter than Martin's.


The point is that while ideally you would like to have a LT with longer arms, it's not a deal breaker.  It's more about technique and ability, which Martin has in spades.  So if he somehow fell to us, I think we would be making a Star-like sprint to the podium when it's our turn to pick.

#2738125 Number One Receiver vs Two Tight End Sets

Posted by Woodie on 13 April 2014 - 12:56 PM

Don't be shocked when (if) the Panthers draft looks like 1-CB, 2-OT, 3-WR, 4-LB, 5-OL, 6-WR, 7-DB


I think the only way we go CB before either WR or OL is if all viable options for 28 at those positions are gone, and I just don't see that as a possibility.  Especially with Kouandjio's knee problems apparently proving to be a false alarm and Moses, and possibly Bitonio, being a legitimate 1st round option.  Not to mention Robinson and Latimer putting their names in the hat for the 1st round according to many.  I just don't see any way 7 OT's and 7-8 WR's will be taken before our pick. 


And Rivera and McDermott have proven their defense works with mediocre CB's behind our front seven.  More than likely, I think we will look for a CB in the 3rd or 4th round, then look to next year to focus on CB.  So my guess is we go 1st - OT, 2nd - WR, 3rd - WR/OT, 4th - CB, 5th - 7th BPA between DE, WR/OT, S, OLB, and possibly QB.  

#2738108 Number One Receiver vs Two Tight End Sets

Posted by Woodie on 13 April 2014 - 12:38 PM

What we need to remember, particularly as a fanbase, is that RARELY does a rookie come in (regardless of where they are selected or how high their expectation) and step in as a #1 receiver...  The absolute worst thing we as a fanbase can do is to set unrealistic expectations on a kid coming in, and pressure him to be Smith's replacement...  It's unlikely to happen in the first year, and if we collectively add unneeded pressure, the results on that kid's psyche could very well be more than he's able to overcome in the long run...  We have to remember to keep our expectations grounded, and give the kid time to grow into the NFL...  Let the kid drop a pass here and there...  Let the kid go 2 or 3 games with no catches while he adjusts...  Just let the kid be a rookie...  And, IMHO, THAT is why we brought in mentors and released Smith (who we know from experience is not a great mentor)...


I think a lot of fans and media are too hung up with the notion of having a true #1 right out of the gate.  However, the thing is that we don't need a receiver to come in and be our #1.  We just need someone that is legit enough as a receiving threat to force defenses to pay attention and spread the field.  That, along with improved run blocking, will do wonders to improve our offensive efficiency.   

#2737892 Landry runs 4.58 at pro day

Posted by Woodie on 13 April 2014 - 12:55 AM

They use electronic timing at the combine they are hand timed in pro days ...

He is a 4.7 guy .


I think the start is by hand, but the finish is electronic, but I wouldn't swear to it.


Nevertheless, I think the combine 40 is, while not totally worthless, pretty close.  At most, it gives an indication of speed and is meant to level the playing field, but it's far from definitive, and can actually be quite misleading.  After all, running in aerodynamic shorts, shirts, and specially designed shoes is a far cry from carrying 25 lbs. of pads and running in cleats. 


I think putting everyone in pads to run the 40 would be far more telling about functional speed, which is what separates the studs from the duds, IMO.  A lot of guys have good speed in shorts, but lose it when the pads go on.  I want the guy that maintains his speed.   


Also, a runner can significantly improve their 40 time simply by working on their technique.  And have you ever seen a receiver line up in a 3 point stance with his off hand in the air?  Nope, but the player that comes out of that stance smoothly can run a much faster time than a guy that hasn't mastered the technique.  So a receiver can be judged and dinged for a move that he will never make on the football field and doesn't have any applicable value toward their position (well, unless we're talking OT's).

#2736044 Steve Wyche comments on NFLN this AM reg Dwill

Posted by Woodie on 11 April 2014 - 09:15 AM

This is not going to be a big issue with the team.  He's just being honest and saying that he is worried because we lost some guys he knows well and is comfortable with.  And he even admitted that he doesn't know a lot about the guys we have brought in, so it's more fear of the unknown than actually thinking the FO doesn't know what they're doing.  After all, change is hard when you are not privy to the big plan and don't know what's going on behind closed doors. 


So he, along with the entire team, will be fine once we get one or two high level receivers in the draft.  Also, once he gets to know Cotchery and Avant, I think he will adjust fine. 

#2735942 Panthers Sign FS Decoud

Posted by Woodie on 11 April 2014 - 07:19 AM

Eh, I f'ing hate saying this, but the falcons fan is right. This is a mediocre signing at best. Decoud in NO way improves this defense over last year, at absolute best it's a step to the side. I'm not even sure the guy will see the damn field that often, for reasons mentioned in this thread. My homer shades are usually pretty thick, but even I can see through them to know we shouldn't get excited over this signing.


That's just it, we don't need to improve the defense, just maintain the level we played at last year.  It was good enough to carry us to a 12-4 record and division crown.  What needs to improve is the offense.  That's what will take us to the SB.

#2733266 Max Henson lists our top pick in the latest mocks ('6.0'): NFL.com vs...

Posted by Woodie on 09 April 2014 - 05:48 PM

Oh, I didn't know that. But you get what I'm saying.


I was actually agreeing with you that it is comparing apples to lemons (I like the lemon twist, by the way).  While Otah had the ankle injury, it wasn't anything expected to linger, and there were no questions about his knees at the time we drafted him.

#2721534 1st round CB

Posted by Woodie on 30 March 2014 - 04:09 PM

Oh, but he is/was.


Andrew Luck was THE BEST PLAYER in the draft, no matter what position, no matter what team, no matter what "need".


You don't "pass" on that kind of talent just because you don't NEED him.


But that's the point, he was for most other teams, but he wouldn't have been for the Panthers, unless you advocate benching/trading Cam in favor of Luck, which I don't think the Panthers would have done.  How can he be the best player available to them if he wouldn't even play?  I think people mislabel most talented as BPA, they are not one and the same, even though that's how many fans tend to think of it. 


The idea behind BPA is to take the best player that is available for your team, It doesn't matter how talented a guy is.  There are many factors that come into play for identifying BPA (see MHS's post for some examples), whereas most talented only includes individual physical and mental traits.  It doesn't take into consideration fit, scheme, what they want the player to do, etc.  No successful team will ever draft a player in the first couple of rounds simply off of being the most talented, they include many of those other factors when making up their big board.  That doesn't mean that they will not take the most talented player, just not unless they see a logical role for them...such as Kalil and Luke.  If a player is not expected to ever see the field for your team (which is the case if we had hypothetically taken Luck), then his value is lowered, knocking him down your big board...meaning he wouldn't have been BPA.  


I also want to make sure that I am clear on the point of most talented.  If a team has a pick, and there is a player that is far and away the most talented, or plays a high demand position like QB, but doesn't fit any current or projected needs, then he offers value as a commodity.  So while the Panthers would not have viewed Luck as the BPA for them, they would have known he was for many other teams, so the pick would have had real value as trade bait.  So, we would have sold high to maximize the value of the pick.  But the value would have been in the other picks we would have received, not Luck himself. 

#2721450 5 1/2 weeks to go....

Posted by Woodie on 30 March 2014 - 01:41 PM

My Prediction.


1- WR | Kelvin Benjamin 6'-5" 240lbs


2- OT | Cyrus Kouandjio 6'-7" 322lbs


Talk about a boom or bust draft.

#2721424 Offensive Philosophy | Impact Players

Posted by Woodie on 30 March 2014 - 01:07 PM

Cooks maybe! Benjamin is definitely not gonna happen. He goes against everything Gman has said. Looking for NFL ready, route specialist! That's not Benjamin.

Spot on with OL! Like last year, we beefed up the Dline and our D came to life.
Expect the same with the OLine.

"Battle is won in the trenches" isn't just some happy saying designed to calm fans that wanted the shiny hood ornament!


This is so important and really would put an end to much of the bickering and worry among the fan base.  If we had a strong OL (not just good enough to get the job done, but a dominant one), then every other aspect of our offense would appear so much better.  Our running backs that people complain about would suddenly have holes to run through, appearing completely rejuvenated.  Cam would have time and space to let a play develop and step into his throws, and we wouldn't have to keep a TE in as an extra blocker, giving us another skill player the defense has to worry about.


SF's offense isn't good because of their skill players, it's good because of their strong OL.  Give Cam the kind of time Kaepernick has and he will truly dominate.  Give DW, Stew, and Tolbert the holes Gore has, and our running game will once again be scary.  We absolutely need better receivers, but we also need a big upgrade on our OL.  Hopefully Silotolu and Kugbila can give us that inside, and then if we can hit on our early round OT in the draft, we could be on our way...and then we'll have to hope Bell is capable at LT.

#2721418 Gettleman: Panthers to pick up Newton's 5th year option

Posted by Woodie on 30 March 2014 - 12:49 PM

So Cam and Luke in the same offseason..


Or we pick up Luke's 5th year option next year.  It depends on when we are fully cleared of some of these bad contracts and have the money to get everyone done.

#2721417 1st round CB

Posted by Woodie on 30 March 2014 - 12:46 PM

Well stated.  I think there are things that factor in as well that most draftniks like us fail to consider because our job is not to consider all aspects of the selection, as the GM is paid to do.


Existing contracts:  What are you paying guys now vs. how much can you upgrade and save $$ in the draft?  This is something that the new Rookie scale has created.  Before 2011, your first rounder was a big contract, but now, times have changed.  Hardy is tagged and there is not much movement to lock him up long term.  This befuddles some fans, but a long term deal limits options next year.  Johnson's contract is less restrictive in 2015, for example, and the DE crop is better in 2015.  What if Frank Alexander starts beasting in 2014 and Hardy disappears? 


Long-term vs. Short-term need: When we draft a player, it is for the long haul, not merely 2014.  However, people get upset with the one year contracts because they are stop-gap and not building a roster (in their eyes) but then expect the GM to draft players and give them 4-year deals to fill immediate needs.  Some positions take time to develop, and players are not natural fits.  Knowing the maturation of a player, the free agent and draft markets going forward, and the current roster are critical.  Think about drafting for 2014 needs--the players get no time to develop and learn the system and they often hit "the rookie wall". So you get a slow start and a slow finish in many cases. I think you need to look farther down the road when you draft.


Scarcity of the Position: Take a look at salaries today and you can clearly see how rare a good player at a particular position is--and it is a fluid process.  For example, above - average QBs are making $18-20 million.  A top DE is making $15 million.  A stud LT is making $14 million.  SO, it only makes sense that you want to draft one of these positions if you can because 1. they are hard to find, and 2. they save more money (for the length of the rookie contract). If I draft a RB in the first round (like Cleveland did) when they could have drafted a DE, they minimize the savings. Sure, they needed a RB in 2013, but RBs are cheap.  If you can use a rookie to fill a spot that costs you $10 million or more with a veteran, then you are in better position to find talent at other positions.  I think the Panthers should have a rotation at DE.  One veteran, one rookie contract at all times--like it was in 2013. 


Upside:  Some players have little upside and others are loaded.  Lately, some are questioning Alabama players in the NFL.  They are coming in banged up or maxed out in terms of potential.  They are better (on paper) because they are surrounded with better talent, some say, and when they have to carry a team, they cannot.  For Example, Cyrus (LT, Alabama) has a chronic knee issue that some scouts fear will end his pro career prematurely.   If you ask me, I would rather have Turner (LOT, N. Dakota St) because he will blossom into a better pro, in my opinion.  This is not profound stuff, but a lot of players who are maxed out tend to become busts.


Skill Set, physical attributes, divisional foes :  Teams are looking for certain attributes in players and, at times, they seem to override talent and upside.  Seattle seems to have showed the league you can win with big, 4.6 40 CBs found on day 3 of the draft.  Now everyone is looking for big.  The Panthers are giving that impression to me as well, going with the six footers at CB and WR. In fact, at WR, we seem to be focusing (according to visiting players) on route running and catching radius.  Cam throws high when he is off, so don't expect Brandin Cook (5'9") in the draft.  In addition, the strengths of divisional foes tend to determine what we do as well.  Remember when we took Thomas Davis with the 10th overall pick?  He was an answer to Michael Vick. 


So what is BPA?  Remember, all of the mocks take a look a look at the needs of a team and they create a big board based on the general talent-level of the players in the draft. If the Panthers need WR, OT, CB, then they will slide the top ranked OT over and insist that is what we are going to do.  I disagree.


Yes, we will find a T and a WR in this draft because it is good for both, but DE is not showing up as a need on any list.  If Gettelmen does not want to be handcuffed by Hardy/Johnson entering Cam's deal, do you think he might take Ealy if he is sitting there at #28?  Ealy would save $10m the day he is drafted.  Do you think he does not value the FS position?  Strong up the middle, remember.  If no WR or T is there, would he grab Pryor or Clinton-Dix?  Yessireee. 


So, it is my opinion that BPA has little meaning, for the most part. Don't get me wrong, if there is a top center sitting there in the fifth round and we have yet to draft a CB, we could go C.  Then we shop Kalil in 2015, drop a huge contract, and get younger.  That is the way it works.

You're right, there is so much more that goes into draft picks than simple BPA.  Fans have the luxury of falling in love with a player because they go to our favorite college, are great players in college, blow up the combine, have great measurable, or the Mike Mayocks keep telling us how great they are, but teams have to look so much deeper.  All the things you talked about are real considerations that most fans don't even think about. 


For instance, a lot of people like Kelvin Benjamin because he's big and can be a great red zone threat, while also helping Cam out with some of his high balls.  But what we don't know is what does the team want it's receivers to do.  Do we even want a receiver to be that guy or do we want a guy that can run crisp routes and be where he's supposed to?  Sure, both would be nice, but if it's a choice, what does the team prefer?  We really don't know.  We just know what we perceived as a weakness and need, but the team may have seen a completely different cause for that weakness.  Instead of the weakness being that we didn't have a guy that was big enough to go up and get some of those high balls and win a jump ball in the end zone, the team may see the weakness as we didn't have anyone but Smitty that could be trusted to be where he was supposed to be.  So, that forced adjustments in play calling as well as Cam having to wait too long and force a ball somewhere he didn't want to. 


This is why I don't think there really is a true BPA...there are just too many factors that go into determining who you'll pick that it's not as simple as this guy is the better general player, so we'll take him.  It's also why these so called experts (even the ex-GM's/scouts) rarely get it right and why someone they project in a particular round may go much higher than they rate. 


Kugbila is a guy that fits that mold.  Just because most of those analysts didn't have him high on there board, doesn't mean there were teams (us, obviously) that looked at his skill set and felt he fits exactly what we want out of the position.  Yet, most fans make up their own personal draft boards based on what these analyst say, which is why they get so up in arms over a so-called reach...which may be a reach in perception only, not reality.  Just like the Panthers had Kugbila higher than the analysts, whose to say other teams didn't as well (and from what I heard and read, there were several). 


This is why, as fans, we can discuss and debate, but ultimately should trust the front office to make the right decision, even if it's a bit counter to what we think...at least until they prove otherwise. 

#2721186 1st round CB

Posted by Woodie on 29 March 2014 - 10:47 PM

I am not fully buying the BPA approach (or I do not know what that means to the Panthers), but I can say that a lot depends on how much the Panthers actually believe the talk about the the young WRs or the "Bell to LT" project.


I do not expect a T to worth the 28th pick to be there at 28, and I think there are going to be WRs 28-75 that are all about equal.  So.......


There are positions that could attract Gettlemen that are both BPA (?) AND needs--but you have to remember one thing--the needs are not necessarily for 2014.  Gettlemen is looking longer term.  Most rookies go through adjustments and some hit the wall.  If you are drafting for 2014, you are probably making a mistake in some cases


About CB, we could take a player like Fuller, but I doubt it.  CBs are not "QBs, TD scorers, hog miollies, pass rushers" (the players Gettlemen said he likes).  I think CB in this defense is not prioritized.  I think he wants to be strong up the middle DT, MLB and S.  I think he wants the pass rushers. 


If not a WR or OT, I think it could be a S or a DE.  I think we know we will be without CJ or Hardy in 2015. 


Good thread.  Makes us think outside the box.


I think this is a very important point.  There is no consensus definition of what BPA is.  Some try to categorize it as overall BPA and some say BPA from a position of need. 


IMO, the truth is that they really are one and the same.  There is no such thing as overall BPA, because a player that has no value for you cannot be the best player that is available...at least for you.  For instance, If we had the #1 pick last year, Andrew Luck would not have been BPA because we have Cam, so Luck would have held no value as a player.  The value is what other teams place on him, resulting in a potential trade.  Therefore, BPA is simply the value a team places on how much a player will help the team.


People like to use Kalil and Luke as examples of us taking overall BPA regardless of need.  But that's not the case.  The team identified them as filling immediate needs in roles other than their college positions (Kalil started as a Guard, Luke at OLB), while also filling potential future needs at their natural positions...therefore, they had value as players.  But if the team didn't see any need for them, and didn't plan on or expect them to even see the field, then they would have held no value to the team, thus they would not have been BPA on their board.  


Using the Cam and Luck example, as things are, Luck would have held no value as a player for us because Cam is young, a star in the making, and we plan on keeping him long-term.  So, he would not have been BPA for us.  However, lets pretend that Cam was a 16 year veteran about to enter the last year of his contract, then Luck would have held value as a player since he could fill a future need as Cam's replacement. 


Bottom line, BPA is very subjective, and varies from team to team based on their needs and future plans.



#2721160 1st round CB

Posted by Woodie on 29 March 2014 - 10:11 PM

Yes, height and skill set are two different things.

Seems simple enough.


But Verrett doesn't play short.  He has great leaping ability and does an outstanding job of utilizing and controlling position to beat the receiver.  The thing is, he's got the speed, quickness, and vertical to be a matchup problem for any receiver...even the tall ones.  The only play I could see him having a tough time defending is the endzone jump ball, but even there, I expect that he will generally do a good job of denying position and keeping the receiver from being where the QB wants him. 


With that said, I find it hard to imagine any scenario in which CB is the clear BPA for us at #28.  I'm sure there will be a WR or OT the team has rated close enough to warrant taking with that pick.  So, ultimately this will be a moot point in reality, but an interesting discussion as a change of pace.

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