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Draft Wrapup and Projections

May 12 2014 05:13 AM Zod Carolina Panthers
Round 1 - Kelvin Benjamin - WR FSU

The Panthers immediately addressed their wide receiver deficiency by selecting the best receiver on the board. At 6'5 he provides a legitimate end zone target as well as opening up the middle of the field. There are questions revolving around his concentration and tendency to drop easy passes. Ricky Proehl's #1 priority will be getting Kelvin ready for prime time.

2014 Projection: Eventual starter. His inexperience may keep him from starting immediately but should win the job eventually. In many respects Benjamin is still a raw player in need of refining. I suspect he will be starting by mid season while getting plenty of opportunities until that time, especially on 3rd downs. .


Round 2 - Kony Ealy - DE Missouri

Kony Ealy is a defensive line prospect that David Gettleman could not pass up, even with more immediate and pressing needs elsewhere. Ealy was considered first round talent and even invited to the green room at radio city music hall. When still available at the end of the second round, his value overshadowed anything else. Ealy has huge physical talent that will be quickly taken advantage of this season.

2014 Projection: Situational pass rusher, special teams player. Ealy will see playing time immediately, spelling Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy. Next season he will most likely be starting opposite one of them.

Round 3 - Trai Turner - OG LSU

This is my favorite pick of the draft. Turner is exactly what the Panthers needed last season and could have been the difference in the playoffs. Turner is a run blocking specialist with the size and strength to get push at the point of contact. Now, instead of the Panthers running backs looking for a hole in their own backfield, maybe, just maybe, one will develop at the line of scrimmage.

2014 Projection: Day 1 starter at right guard. Turner is the best OG prospect drafted by the Panthers in many seasons. To grab an immediate starter in the third round is a fantastic deal for the Panthers.

Round 4 - Tre Boston - SS UNC

Boston has all of the physical tools to make it in the NFL. Lack of experience and a propensity to let plays get behind him are his biggest negatives. The Panthers here are looking to pair Boston with Robert Lester as the future of the defensive backfield in years to come.

2014 Projection: Special Teams Player. The Panthers have already invested in the safety position through free agency and cannot afford to have an unproven rookie protecting against the long ball against guys like Drew Brees. Boston may see playing time during 4th quarters if the game is already decided.

Round 5 - Bene Benwikere - CB San Jose State

Not only did the Panthers again ignore more pressing roster needs, but they traded up to do so. Normally, this would concern me. But Gettleman has proven he has the eyes to find quality defensive players in later rounds or even UDFA's.. Benwikere has the size at six foot tall to compete with the taller receivers in the division. His five INTs last season show he has a nose for the ball.

2014 Projection: Special Teams Player. In all probability will make the final roster but will see little playing time other than Special Teams. Although, the same was said for Melvin White.

Round 6 - Tyler Gaffney - RB Stanford

I love this pick. Gaffney was super productive at Stanford, but fell in the draft from the view it was the Stanford system, not so much his skill as a RB. Gaffney is a between the tackles runner and could pick up carries if/when Jonathan Stewart is on the exercise bike. I am curious to see Trai Thomas, Mike Tolbert, and Tyler Gaffney playing together in short yardage situations during training camp.

2014 Projection: Although he could certainly play Special Teams, the Panthers have a log jam at running back. Someone may be cut and the cap hits of Deangelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart make it nearly impossible to cut them. Mike Tolbert is currently the best running back on the team. Gaffney or Barner could be the odd men out, although it would be a shame to cut either of these young prospects. I suspect one of the aforementioned Panthers running backs will have an IR beside his name before the start of the regular season, like so many season past.

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35 Comments

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Good list. I like that you offered substance for your projections and how each player would/might fit what the Panthers like to do.

Great Job Zod

 

I am pretty much in agreement with your assessment.

 

I did that draft simulator about a dozen times and almost ever time I took a WR in round one the OTs were never close.   Oddly enough that is pretty much how the draft fell.   No OT worthy of the round we were choosing in.  Except for Moses but Ealy was too good to pass up.

 

 

God Stewarts and Williams contracts piss me off. Talk about a numb nut decision to do that
I have a feeling that Bene will see playing time. I think he beats out Godfrey for the Nickel spot.


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Yup.

Good job O' fearless one!  I'm really digging this draft and I'm in the camp that believes G-man believes he addressed the needs in FA and drafted straight value over the  weekend.  I'm super excited now!  Come on Training Camp!!!!!

I think JStew will be the odd man out on I.R.

Great write up! I agree, Turner would have definitely been needed in the playoffs. Especially those goal line plays where our OGs got stood up when trying to sneak it in for a TD. He is one of my favorite picks. My favorite has to be KB. He has been my pick since watching him last season. While still raw, I believe he will be that redzone threat that we need.

I am not sure what we are going to do at RB, but I think DWill could be cut June 2.  Ya just don't badmouth the front office on Twitter and then expect them to pay you to be mediocre.

 

Turner is going to be awesome.

 

Gaffney was complimented on his blocking (blitz pickup) -- that tells me that they could be thinking sooner rather than later.

this is why we drafted benjamin, no other wr we had last year would have even gotten a finger on that ball.

 

FSUcatch.gif

I think JStew will be the odd man out on I.R.

 

 

This. Again.

Cool. I just think KB will be the starter from day 1, who is really his competition? I really dont think he is a work in progress as people think and the faster he can come along the better.

this is why we drafted benjamin, no other wr we had last year would have even gotten a finger on that ball.

 

FSUcatch.gif

There is so many things right about this gif

I love the Turner pick.

I thought Gettlemen said in the post draft presser that Benewikere would challenge/start at nickel?

I thought Gettlemen said in the post draft presser that Benewikere would challenge/start at nickel?


All it will take is one or two blown coverage plays in camp or preseason and Rivera won't have it.... Ask Josh Norman.

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I keep hoping Benewikere is better than Norman. From everything that I've researched on him he seems to have a better nose for the ball and is a little more savy at the position.

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carolina-chuck
May 12 2014 10:34 AM
Favorite pick: Ealy
Obvious pick: Benjamin
Best pick: Turner
Sleeper pick: Bene
Worst pick: Boston

Round 5 - Bene Benwikere - CB San Jose State

 

Not only did the Panthers again ignore more pressing roster needs, but they traded up to do so. Normally, this would concern me. But Gettleman has proven he has the eyes to find quality defensive players in later rounds or even UDFA's.. Benwikere has the size at six foot tall to compete with the taller receivers in the division. His five INTs last season show he has a nose for the ball.

 

2014 Projection: Special Teams Player. In all probability will make the final roster but will see little playing time other than Special Teams. Although, the same was said for Melvin White. 

 

Benwikere is 5'10 and 3/4 inches.

All it will take is one or two blown coverage plays in camp or preseason and Rivera won't have it.... Ask Josh Norman.

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Sure but you could say that for just about all the rookies we have.  Look how quickly Frank Alexander fell out of favor.  Who's to say Ealy doesn't follow suit?

Wilks has Bene and Tre in heavy rotation game 1. Bene is a starting corner by mid season and Tre is a starter next year!

Gaffney becomes a better version of Hartsock

Ealy gets 6 sacks on the year in DE rotation! We do not lose either CJ or Hardy next year. Hardy has long term deal signed on July 14th.

Turner becomes the anchor at RG and moves to RT eventually.

KB makes significant enough stride to be listed as our no.1 WR by start of season

Nice breakdown, Zod. I have the same feeling about Benwikere too. With Cason and White probably starting on the outside, we can't afford to have a rookie playing in our nickel package (what we're in most of the time) with Godfrey having both experience and run-supporting abilities. 

 

It'll be up to him to beat out the rest of the log-jam at CB in order to be a significant part of the team. We also added Byndom from Texas as an UDFA who could be a sleeper, especially with the athleticism he possesses. 

KB will start week 1. Book it.

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carolina-chuck
May 12 2014 11:54 AM
Bene is a better corner than what most Carolina fans think. He's been one of my favorite CB for most of the season.

He's capable of playing on the outside and should be a legitimate nickel to start with.

He's a legit 5'11-6 foot CB. He's no Captain Munnerlyn.

KB will start week 1. Book it.

 

Yeah I was thinking the same thing. He seems really really happy to be a Carolina Panther.

 

Ricky will have him ready.