Now that the Carolina Panthers have made moves in free agency, it is time to take a serious look at the NFL draft. This year the Panthers have real needs at almost every position on the field. It seems as if they could select the “best player available” at any round and land a player they could use immediately. As such, here is how I see the first three rounds shaking out for the black cats.
Round 1 – Brian Burns – Edge – Florida State
The Carolina Panthers will be mixing things up on defense quite a bit this year. Some explain it as moving to a 3-4, but it isn’t that cut and dry. NFC South offenses have grown too accustomed to the Panthers’ scheme, making this change necessary. Even though they just signed Bruce Irvin, they cannot continue to sign veteran players to short contracts. They need a home grown long term player. Enter Brian Burns out of Florida State.
Burns has the size and athleticism the Carolina Panthers need in their outside backers. He will start out as a natural pass rushing specialist but work his way into a more well rounded game throughout his career. Plus, Marty Hurney does love him some skinny FSU ends. (longtime Panthers fan reference)
Round 2 – Michael Deiter – C/G – Wisconsin
The Carolina Panthers address their offensive line in round two by selecting a player that has played at just about every position there it. Deiter could start day one at left guard for the Panthers, but could also fill in at center if needed. Afterall, Newly acquired center Paradis hasn’t exactly been the picture of health lately. By selecting Michael Deiter the Panthers get a day 1 starter at one position and long term insurance at others. Well worth a second round pick.
Round 3a – Will Grier – QB – W by God VU
I will take a moment for the overly emotional “Cam Newton over team” fans to calm down. Everyone good? Good.
So the Carolina Panthers have not drafted a QB since 2011. That is not a great strategy in terms of long term success. Should Grier be drafted Cam Newton without a doubt would still be the starter and no there would be no real camp competition. But I gotta tell you, seeing Cam not able to throw a ball 20 yards with any amount of heat had me shook. This after a a relatively healthy season with no offseason surgery to heal from. Well, this season he has had an offseason procedure.
If the Carolina Panthers do not draft a contingency QB then this season completely rests on a shoulder that no one, not even Cam Newton himself, knows how long it can hold up. No thanks. Draft Will Grier. Worst case scenario you have a quality backup QB and a bit of insurance should Cam Newton not stay in Carolina once his contract is up.
Carolina Panthers GM may need to trade up higher into the third round or even late into the second round but I do believe it could happen.
Round 3b – Marvell Tell – Safety – USC
This could be the second consecutive year the Carolina Panthers select a safety in round 3. It seems like the safety position will forever haunt the franchise as a perennial need. I like Tell for the Panthers at the free safety position. A pure coverage guy would be a nice thing to see after watching the Panthers secondary get torched time and time again. Tell would not be a day one starter, but few third rounders would be. Plus, if he was ever named a Captain… just think about it.Agree? Disagree? You can sound off right here with thousands of Carolina Panthers fans.