Another Carolina Panthers rookie camp has come and gone. Here are a few first impressions of the newest additions to the Panthers squad, and how things are shaking out at this point.
First round wide receiver DJ Moore was as advertised. For long time Carolina Panthers fans I can describe him as a combination of both Steve Smith and Muhsin Muhammad. Somewhere in the middle of the traits of those guys is DJ Moore. I am just unsure which player he leans more towards at this point. His routes were crisp, he didn’t drop balls, and he made at least on really good catch under tough conditions. You can’t ask for much more, no pun intended.
Second round corner Donte Jackson clearly displayed the speed that landed him in the second round. The guy can just flat out fly. Have you heard he likes to talk? I bet you have. Well, that is true too. He is very vocal even during drills where there is no football even present. If he needed my advice, which he definitely doesn’t, I would ask him to pace himself. There is a guy named Cam Newton coming to practice soon and he won’t take too kindly to hearing that much talk from a rookie. All in all Donte is a very likeable guy with the skills for him to contribute immediately.
Safety Rashaan Gaulden looks like a project at this point. Moving from nickel to safety in the NFL is no easy task for a rookie. I don’t suspect we will see him start this season. Unless, of course, he is either the quickest learner in this draft class or the Carolina Panthers are very bad off at the safety position. Lets hope for the former.
I really liked what I saw out of tight end Ian Thomas. He made more than one nice catch in stride, one of which was getting by Rashaan Gaulden. For a large tight end to shake a nickel/safety and make the completion is a very good sign. Thomas has all the physical skills needed to play tight end in the NFL. From what I saw out of him over the weekend, he could see significant playing time this season.
As for the rest of the draft picks, I cannot say with any confidence they will have a jersey on Sundays this season. For them it is special teams, special teams, special teams. Prove yourself there or land on the practice squad.Agree? Disagree? You can sound off right here with thousands of Carolina Panthers fans.