Alright so here is my first crack at figuring out which direction the Panthers should go now that the college season is over and bowl games have yet to start.
- Coming into the season we knew the biggest problem areas were WR, OL, and CB. They still remain the biggest problems as Smitty is getting older, LaFell is more complimentary than anything, Ginn has been a nice addition, but other than his speed he doesn't provide a lot other than dropping balls put in his lap.
- The right side of the OL is an absolute mess, Bell is not worthy of starting, they're rotating in Chandler, former DT, and Chris Scott, a journeyman. Hopefully Silatolu comes back healthy and even more improved as he started showing signs of being a dominant guard before his injury. Gross is getting older as well and getting his successor is important.
- Not much to say about our CBs, highlighted by Mighty Mouse Captain Munnerlyn and he's not really the guy you want people to think of when you hear "Carolina's Corner Backs."
Now to the meat and potatoes. With their first pick of the NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers select....
1. Kelvin Benjamin, WR, FSU
Big, strong, receiver. Great at high pointing the ball and catching it over everyone else, he would make a great target for Cam that needs to just get the ball up near him so he can haul it down. Cam gets a weapon in the form a 6' 5" 230 lb receiver, should be satisfying enough.
In the 2nd round of the NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers select...
70 La'el Collins, OT, LSU
Some think that he will end up being a guard at the NFL level, however, from what I've seen not only does he pack a punch in the run game, he has surprisingly light feet and good awareness to play Tackle at the next level. Unheralded player from LSU where a lot of attention has been focused on Mettenburger and the Receivers, but Collins is every bit just as good. Helps bolster our OLine and give Cam time to throw.
In the 3rd round, the Carolina Panthers select...
27 Victor Hampton, CB, USC
Local kid so you know the he's probably already on the Panthers radar. Solid CB whos name is rising as one of the best in the SEC, would be immediate help to a group that is simply sub-standard.
In the 4th Round of the NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers select...
86 CJ Fiedorowicz
I'm being a little biased with this pick, one of my favorites from this upcoming class. Big, powerful blocker with soft hands that can catch. Effectively replacing Hartsock who is a great blocker, but doesn't help us in the pass game. Figured since we had quite a bit of success with the 2 TE set Cam's rookie year, why not try to go back to that.
In the 5th round of the NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers select...
21 Tre Mason, RB, Auburn
In the likelihood that both DeAngelo and Stewart are cut in the offseason we will need to pick up another back as we would have Tolbert and Barner left on the current roster. We get another Auburn connection with Tre, who is shifty enough to get through holes, but still powerful enough to go through tackles. Added bonus, we can get De La Soul to perform at half times next season.
No 6th round picks
In the 7th round, continue to bolster problem areas with:
John Urschel, OG, Penn St.
-Winner of the Campbell Trophy or the Academic Heisman, Urschel is one of the smartest people to step foot on the field this season.
Carrington Byndom, CB, Texas
-Add a little more depth to the CB position, hes not particularly big or strong, but has good agility and coordination to merit some decision to draft him in the later rounds.
As always, questions, comments, snide remarks, and asshattery is welcomed and encouraged.
Finally found cut ups of Greg Robinson (OT, Auburn) against 'Bama, can really see why scouts love him. Physical at the POA and just moves people off the ball, thats his LoS and by god he'll do whatever he wants with it. Adept at down blocking and continues to push people out of the way, one thing he'll need to work on is engaging at the 2nd level, often would get there then just stop and look around a bit. Biggest concern is his pass blocking, not asked to do a lot of it since Auburn just runs, runs, runs, and runs some more. Gets top heavy and doesn't set his base to properly engage pass rushers. Lots to love, but if the Panthers end up drafting him Matsko has work to do.