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Found 14 results

  1. Making his second first-round selection since reclaiming the Carolina Panthers general manager’s job, Marty Hurney looks to have nailed it once again with his selection of Brian Burns, an edge defender out of Florida State after he selected D.J. Moore in the first round last year, who went on to lead all rookie receivers with a 73.7 receiving grade in 2018. Burns is a special athlete who possesses a bend (and a spin move) that can win on the outside against anybody. Among 47 draft-eligible FBS edge defenders who rushed the quarterback at least 300 times last season, he ranked second with a 90.6 pass-rushing grade and his 19.7% pass-rush win rate ranked fifth. The former Florida State star ranked 14th on our Top 250 Big Board, with Carolina taking him two spots behind there at 16. The edge was clearly a focus for the Panthers who later went on to spend their fourth pick of the draft (pick 115) on former Alabama edge defender Christian Miller. Miller is a raw prospect (having played fewer than 700 defensive snaps over the course of his entire collegiate career), who was just outside our top 150 on the big board at 155, but he offers potential as a pass rusher. Miller ranked 18th among all FBS edge defenders who had at least 200 pass rush snaps in 2018 with a 79.7 pass-rushing grade, and his 22.7 pass-rush win rate ranked sixth among that group. Carolina ranked 25th as a team last season with a pressure rate of just 19.7% generated from their edge defenders. Spending a first-round pick on a stud like Burns and a fourth-round pick on an upside player like Miller at such a critical area of the field made complete sense for the Panthers.
  2. 1. Arizona: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma We live in a society (I sound like Costanza) that screams “Fake News!” when something seems just too obvious. We need to face reality, folks. When Cards GM Steve Keim walks into a meeting with club president Michael Bidwill today in Tempe to discuss the fate of the first overall pick, they could do a couple of things. They could decide to take Murray, the choice of head coach Kliff Kinsgbury. They could decide to take the best edge-rusher (Nick Bosa)—who I hear is the choice of many in the building—or the best player (Quinnen Williams) in the draft. I’ll be surprised, as will America, if the choice is anyone but Murray, particularly because the Raiders, at four, are not likely to want to trade up for what it would cost. I do want to give you one cautionary tale on Kyler Murray, assuming he is picked here. Over the last seven years of football—three years of varsity high school football, a short one-year stint at Texans A&M, sitting a year at Oklahoma after transferring, mostly sitting in 2017 behind Baker Mayfield, and starting last year at Oklahoma—Murray has started 60 games. He is 57-3. Who knows if he starts right away in the NFL? But in the NFL, he could lose more starts in a month than he lost in the previous seven years. It’ll be interesting to see how Murray adjusts to adversity. Not sure he’s ever had much of it, at least in football. 2. San Francisco: Nick Bosa, edge rusher, Ohio State Niners have loved him since the Cotton Bowl in 2017, when Bosa’s 1.5 sacks led the marauding Ohio State defense in a 24-7 pummeling of USC’s Sam Darnold in the last game of the star QB’s college career. I hear the Cardinals think of Bosa as a “generational player,” which just speaks to their love of Murray if they’re willing to pass on Bosa and leave him to the Niners. Edge-rusher is the element San Francisco hasn’t gotten right. To fortify the defensive front, the 49ers chose Arik Armstead 17th in 2015, DeForest Buckner seventh in 2016, and Solomon Thomas third in 2017 … and still their biggest team need is pressuring the quarterback. Four picks in the top 20 in the span of five drafts along the defensive line—if Bosa doesn’t put the defensive front over the top, this is some bad drafting. 3. New York Jets: Ed Oliver, DT, HoustoImagine Josh McDaniels, Chad O’Shea and Brian Daboll—the offensive brains of the AFC East—designing protections to keep Leonard Williams and Oliver from wrecking games over the next three or four years. I realize that with new coordinator Gregg Williams staying with a 3-4 defense that this isn’t the perfect fit for Oliver, but Williams once bragged about being able to play 42 different defenses with his scheme, and he’d figure out how to make Oliver work. For a long time, I’d penciled in Josh Allen here because of the Jets’ edge-rusher need, but when you do a mock, you go by your gut. And someone I trust told me the Jets don’t love Allen. So those are the kinds of scale-tippers that change the board—and, most often, make me look like a dope Thursday night about 8:45 ET. We shall see. Oh, and the Jets would like to trade down too, if they can get a ransom. I don’t see it. 4. Oakland: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama My guess after talking to multiple teams is that Williams is at the top of more boards than any player. One of the smartest guys in our business, ESPN’s Jeff Legwold, has Williams atop his Top 100 list that dropped Saturday. Since the Raiders have a crying need at tackle—their top-rated DT was not in the top 50 of the 2018 Pro Football Focus DT rankings—Jon Gruden, who has ultimate say in Oakland, will greenlight this pick, and GM Mike Mayock gladly will take Williams here as the first pick of his NFL GM career. 5. Tampa Bay: Devin White, LB, LSU Lots of people love White, a tackling machine who, at 237, tackles with the force of a 260-pounder. I’m taking my best guess of what GM Jason Licht would do if he was staring at White and Josh Allen here … because the Bucs need a pass-rusher too. Jason Pierre-Paul is 30, and other than possibly the precocious Carl Nassib, I don’t think there’s an eight-sack guy on the roster. But White can step in for the departed Kwon Alexander and be the sideline-to-sideline presence coordinator Todd Bowles would love. Plus, White might be the best defensive leader in this draft. 6. New York Giants: Josh Allen, edge rusher, Kentucky A veteran personnel man who knows Dave Gettleman said the other day, “Dave wants a pass-rusher in the worst way. He won’t reach for one, but he’ll get one with one his first three picks.” Giants pick 6-17-37, and if they have their heart set on one of the young quarterbacks—Gettleman, as usual, has been a good poker-player here, because even those who know him do not know which quarterback he likes—they should be able to get him at 17. Or, perhaps, if they play their cards right, to trade back up into the low first round with that fifth pick in the second round as bait. (The Rams would love to dump out of the 31st pick.) One other thing Gettleman would figure to love in Allen: No top-prospect rusher is more experienced: He played in 51 college games. 7. Jacksonville: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa Daniel Jeremiah said the other day he thinks Hockenson could be the reincarnation of Jason Witten. He’s the best blocking/receiving tight end to come out in several years, and he’ll need to be good so the Jags don’t regret passing on a desperately needed long-term tackle like Jawaan Taylor. My feeling is the Tom Coughlin/Dave Caldwell decision comes down to Hockenson or Taylor, and they go with the best tight end to come out in years—to support their new quarterback, Nick Foles, who had a great tight end in Zach Ertz in Philadelphia. 8. Detroit: Jawaan Taylor, T, Florida I will be surprised if the Lions pick Taylor here. The Lions want to trade out, and this is the area for the first offensive lineman—Taylor or Jonah Williams or, in what may be a stretch, Andre Dillard—to be picked. Could be Jacksonville, could be Buffalo, or it could be whoever picks at eight. (Man, I’m really selling Taylor to the Lions!) I just can’t figure out which team will jump up here. For a while I thought it was Atlanta, but the Falcons seem inclined to use all their picks, not trade a fairly high one to move from 14 to eight. 9. Buffalo: Jonah Williams, T-G, Alabama Bills love Quinnen Williams, but I can’t see the Raiders parting with him if he’s there at four. Bills could also trade up for Josh Allen, or pick T.J. Hockenson if he falls to them. But if they stay, Jonah Williams could be an upgrade to Spencer Long at right guard or possibly, eventually, Ty Nsekhe, at right tackle. Lots of differing opinions in the scouting community on Williams. I would ask Bills Nation to look up “quixotic” in the dictionary. This is a good player, a better-than-Cordy Glenn player, but Williams is not Walter Jones. Having said that, it’s a smart choice by Bills GM Brandon Beane, who is trying to build a playoff team one solid player at a time.
  3. http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000001027100/article/chad-reuter-2019-sevenround-nfl-mock-draft-round-1 Chad Reuter came out with his yearly mock. Outside of the 1st and 5th rd picks, I'm very meh about this entire mock. I'd be comfortable with an EDGE or an OT since there is a pressing need for both positions. That's just my opinion though. Enjoy.
  4. 16. Carolina Panthers Panthers get: 1-7, 6-178 Jaguars get: 1-16, 2-47, 3-100 The Panthers have enough starting-caliber talent across their roster to spend the first round of this draft focusing on their future. They probably want to come away with a defensive end to add to their rotation to play behind Mario Addison and Bruce Irvin. General manager Marty Hurney could try to find a downfield threat to replace Torrey Smith and supplement the oft-injured Curtis Samuel behind DJ Moore, although I doubt he'll use his first-round pick on a wide receiver in consecutive seasons. One other path to take would be to move up and draft tight end T.J. Hockensonas a replacement for 34-year-old Greg Olsen, who has missed 16 games over the past two seasons and might be close to joining a television network. Ian Thomasflashed promise in December while subbing for an injured Olsen, but there's nothing stopping the Panthers from using a heavy dose of two-tight-end sets. Carolina can use its second-round pick and the compensatory selection it nabbed for losing Andrew Norwell to move up for the Iowa tight end.
  5. TEAM NEEDS Silva's Analysis Edge Rusher: Already a weakness after Ron Rivera’s disappointing Panthers Defense finished bottom six in sacks (35) and bottom two in quarterback hits (72), this need was exacerbated by Julius Peppers’ retirement, even if it was expected. Only RE Addison (45) was credited with more QB pressures than Peppers (28) by PFF last season. Carolina needs multiple reinforcements on the edge. Irvin, who turns 32 early in the season, is purely a veteran depth investment. Offensive Line: Question marks exist at both tackle spots with Moton moving to left tackle full time and Williams coming off a lost season (knee). Left guard is wide open, and Paradis has struggled with injuries of late. Last year’s Panthers line played well early but faded down the stretch. Secondary: Carolina’s most-obvious secondary hole is at safety, where Reid was re-signed but 38-year-old FS Mike Adams wasn’t retained after the Panthers allowed the NFL’s seventh-most yards per pass attempt (7.7). 2018 third-round pick Gaulden was mostly a non-factor as a rookie. Top CB Bradberry deserves an extension entering the last year of his deal. No. 2 quarterback behind Newton (shoulder surgery) and No. 2 running back are less-immediate but still-existing needs. PANTHERS 2019 DRAFT PICKS Norris' Options 1 (16). T Andre Dillard, Washington State - We will have more answers about the Panthers' likely starting offensive line after the draft. One option, the Panthers could draft an interior offensive lineman, have Moton play on the left side and have Daryl Williams back on the right. That is … worrisome, as the Panthers don’t have a tackle on their roster that has spent extended time on the left, and Moton has already shined at right tackle. Instead, Dillard would be a perfect selection due to his wealth of pass pro reps at left tackle, allowing Moton to stay on the right side, forcing a camp competition between Daryl Williams and Van Roten at guard. 2 (47). EDGE Christian Miller, Alabama - This might sound early to some, but hear me out. Pass rushers who move and bend like Miller often aren't available outside of round one. His flexibility as a pass rusher is really appealing. And for a team that will be more multiple on defense in 2019 (which I read as the team knowing they must manufacture pressure rather than rely on players who can win their individual matchup), Miller is a perfect fit due to his responsibilities on Alabama’s defense. 3 (77). DL Khalen Saunders, Western Illinois - Interior line is a low-key need for the Panthers. Dontari Poe offered little after signing a big deal. Vernon Butler never lived up to his first-round selection. Saunders has some legit flashes of interior disruption despite coming from a smaller program. 3 (100). S Marquise Blair, Utah - Stop reading this and go watch Blair’s game. He flies forward and plays outside the tackle box and inside in trash, often beating linebackers to the play. That type of upfield, aggressive style is something the Panthers clearly valued in Eric Reid. It adds to their identity on defense. This might move Gaulden to the slot. 4 (115). QB Jarrett Stidham, Auburn - I wouldn’t be surprised if the Panthers panic a bit at quarterback, selecting one earlier than expected. Pick No. 100 is feasible, especially if a player from the tier they want to choose from is selected in round two (Will Grier, perhaps). I don’t get it. I’d rather sign Josh Johnson than try to develop a non-round one quarterback. 5 (154). RB Alexander Mattison, Boise State - The Panthers had a talented backup in C.J. Anderson last year, they just refused to use him. I don’t know what style they are looking for in McCaffrey’s backup, but rather than select a bruiser, why not side with a player who also succeeds in passing situations? A player that doesn’t force you to change your style? 6 (187). WR KeeSean Johnson, Fresno State - It appears the Panthers view D.J. Moore as an outside receiver. I’d love for them to attack the position even earlier, maybe with Miles Boykin in round two. If Not, Johnson is the type of player who can create separation and sustain it out of the slot.
  6. Round 1 (16): Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State Round 2 (47): Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware Round 3 (77): Jamel Dean, CB, Auburn Round 3 (100): Michael Deiter, OT, Wisconsin Sweat was spectacular at the Senior Bowl and combine, earning a bump in draft stock. The Panthers really want an edge rusher after registering just 35 sacks in 2018, so he is the logical pick here. Adderley and Dean bring a little life to a slightly barren secondary, and Deiter gives Carolina a versatile lineman to help make up for the loss of the Kalil brothers.
  7. Now that the dust has settled on round one, the Carolina Panthers have unfinished business to get down to in round two. I told you no uncertain terms who would be the pick in round one. Things become a little more murky in round two. Nevertheless, here is what I think will happen. 1. Panthers will try to trade up Like last year, there are still a few players on the board that the Panthers really like. Hunter Henry, Derek Henry, Emmanuel Ogbah to name a few. This would likely require a trade up into the top 10 of the second round. I am not so sure Gettleman is willing to give up enough to move that far. One possibility, however, is banking on that probable third round compensatory pick for next season and trading the existing 2017 third round pick away along with this year's. The Carolina Panthers could more easily move up to the teens. This would put them in position to draft someone they may not have a first round grade on, but someone who could impact the team immediately. 2. Panthers mid-second round targets In the second round today, aside from the players listed above, the targets could be... - Sterling Shepard - WR - Shepard would round out the Panthers WR corps perfectly and the Panthers do like him quite a bit. - Kendall Fuller - CB - Despite a minor injury last year, Fuller still high on the list of wants. This would certainly make fans who are still worried about the loss of Josh Norman happy. 3. If the Panthers cannot move up If the Panthers are unable to move up and must pick at 30, I like... - Su'a Cravens - SS - Would immediately compete for playing time with the departure of Roman Harper. Some project as a small outside LB, the Panthers could treat him like they did Thomas Davis initially and put him at strong safety. - Von Bell - FS - The Panthers really don't need another FS, but they like Bell enough to take him anyways. - Devontae Booker - RB - Good mix of size and ability. A well rounded running back that could take a roster spot from Whitaker, Artis-Payne, and/or Wegher.
  8. Now that the dust has settled on round one, the Carolina Panthers have unfinished business to get down to in round two. I told you no uncertain terms who would be the pick in round one. Things become a little more murky in round two. Nevertheless, here is what I think will happen. 1. Panthers will try to trade up Like last year, there are still a few players on the board that the Panthers really like. Hunter Henry, Derek Henry, Emmanuel Ogbah to name a few. This would likely require a trade up into the top 10 of the second round. I am not so sure Gettleman is willing to give up enough to move that far. One possibility, however, is banking on that probable third round compensatory pick for next season and trading the existing 2017 third round pick away along with this year's. The Carolina Panthers could more easily move up to the teens. This would put them in position to draft someone they may not have a first round grade on, but someone who could impact the team immediately. 2. Panthers mid-second round targets In the second round today, aside from the players listed above, the targets could be... - Sterling Shepard - WR - Shepard would round out the Panthers WR corps perfectly and the Panthers do like him quite a bit. - Kendall Fuller - CB - Despite a minor injury last year, Fuller still high on the list of wants. This would certainly make fans who are still worried about the loss of Josh Norman happy. 3. If the Panthers cannot move up If the Panthers are unable to move up and must pick at 30, I like... - Su'a Cravens - SS - Would immediately compete for playing time with the departure of Roman Harper. Some project as a small outside LB, the Panthers could treat him like they did Thomas Davis initially and put him at strong safety. - Von Bell - FS - The Panthers really don't need another FS, but they like Bell enough to take him anyways. - Devontae Booker - RB - Good mix of size and ability. A well rounded running back that could take a roster spot from Whitaker, Artis-Payne, and/or Wegher. View full article
  9. Another Carolina Panthers draft weekend has come and gone, and there is much to be discussed. I realize not everyone spends their weekend watching the draft, so here are the important beats for you in case you are cornered at the office watercooler by folks wanting your opinion on the draft. View image | gettyimages.com Round 1 - Shaq Thompson - LB - Washington The Panthers selected a linebacker in round 1? Yes, yes they did, and here is why... Last season the Panthers defense improved dramatically when they put safety Colin Jones in at the nickel position. When a safety drops down to nickel, the Panthers call is Buffalo (think buffalo nickel is a large nickel). They love this defensive package so much that they ran it 80% of the time in the 2014 playoffs. The downside, however, was Colin Jones being not too great against the run. Enter Shaq Thompson. If you had to draw on paper a guy that would be absolutely perfect in that Buffalo spot, you would draw Shaq. A tackling machine at the line against the run, and able to cover as well. This will allow the Panthers to defend well against the run and the pass without making as many substitutions. Shaq Thompson will change how the Panthers approach a game defensively, and you can't ask for more than that from a first round selection. He will start. View image | gettyimages.com Round 2 - Devin Funchess - WR - Michigan The Panthers traded their 3rd and 6th round selections to move up in the second round where they grabbed Devin Funchess. Funchess is roughly the same size as Kelvin Benjamin. The trade happened because Panthers GM Dave Gettleman had Funchess ranked as a first round selection and didn't think he would last until the Panthers pick. Having Benjamin, Funchess, and Greg Olsen together on the field will present a real issue for opposing defenses. One can't help but think that this combination was formed to combat Seattle and their tall secondary, possibly getting the Panthers over the hump and into the NFC Championship. View image | gettyimages.com Round 4 - Daryl Williams - OT - Oklahoma Once again the Panthers trade up, this time costing them a 5th and a 7th round selection. Daryle Williams is known as a massive road grading tackle. He is 327 pounds of nasty attitude on the field. Look for the Panthers to initially put him in at right tackle with the possibility of moving him to the left later in his career. This season he will play next to Trai Turner where they will be the best run blocking right side the Panthers have seen in years. Improving the run game ultimately is the best way to protect QB Cam Newton. If Newton is not caught in 3rd and long situations frequently, defenses cannot aggressively pass rush him as often. Last season Newton faced an ungodly number of 3rd and longs, and paid the price physically. Williams will go a long way in remedying that. image credit Jon Shapley Round 5a - David Mayo - LB - Texas State Another linebacker? Sure enough. Mayo was a highly productive middle linebacker at Texas State, which is the number one thing David Gettleman looks for in late round prospects. He isn't as concerned with 40 times or cone drills as other GMs. This is how the Panthers landed Bene Benwikere and Tre Boston last season. Production, production, production. Mayo will initially play on special teams, an area of great need. Last season the Panthers special teams unity cost them games. Mayo will be given the opportunity to earn a backup role to Luke Kuechly. For Mayo to come into the Panthers and learn behind the greatest middle linebacker in the NFL is an ideal situation for him. Should he develop into a solid middle linebacker he will become trade material for the Panthers. View image | gettyimages.com Round 5b - Cameron Artis-Payne - RB - Auburn Dave Gettleman told us he would be drafting a running back, and he was true to his word. Artis-Payne has decent size (5'10 and 212lbs) and nice footwork. He seems to hit the open holes quickly, something Deangelo Williams struggled with the past few seasons. Payne becomes the closest thing to Jonathan Stewart on the roster and earns an instant roster spot because of that fact. Not to be lost in the mix, Artis-Payne is also solid in pass protection, something that is a requirement in the Panthers single back formations. So why all the trades? Many Panther fans were extremely excited with the prospect of 9 total draft picks this season. Dave Gettleman? Not so much. Because of the huge success from last year's draft, Gettleman knew that the likelihood of 9 rookies making this year's Carolina Panthers team was slim to none. Solution? Trade up, target your guys, and come away with 5 solid players that will make the team. Don't worry, this is not Marty Hurney being loosey goosey with the draft picks, this is Dave Gettleman calculating and executing. Big difference. In short.... bup bup bup bup bup.
  10. According to NFL.com the Carolina Panthers are working out safety Landon Collins on Tuesday. "Alabama safety Landon Collins, the top safety prospect in the 2015 NFL Draft, will perform for the Carolina Panthers in a private workout Tuesday. One of three Alabama underclassmen to enter the draft, Collins told al.com of his scheduled workout with Carolina, which holds the No. 25 overall pick of the draft." Link Collins fits perfectly what Ron Rivera and Dave Gettleman love in a strong safety, mainly run stopping ability. I had the Panthers selecting Collins in my first However, due to the many wide receiver free agent moves this offseason, I no longer believe the draft's best safety makes it to pick 25.
  11. According to NFL.com the Carolina Panthers are working out safety Landon Collins on Tuesday. "Alabama safety Landon Collins, the top safety prospect in the 2015 NFL Draft, will perform for the Carolina Panthers in a private workout Tuesday. One of three Alabama underclassmen to enter the draft, Collins told al.com of his scheduled workout with Carolina, which holds the No. 25 overall pick of the draft." Link Collins fits perfectly what Ron Rivera and Dave Gettleman love in a strong safety, mainly run stopping ability. I had the Panthers selecting Collins in my first However, due to the many wide receiver free agent moves this offseason, I no longer believe the draft's best safety makes it to pick 25.
  12. I saw the computer comp on NFLN, and Mike Mayock said it was an interesting comparison---his tone giving me the feeling that he was actually considering it to be somewhat true, so I looked him up, and maybe... Nelson Agholor looks fairly smooth and looks to be a threat on punt returns. An unnamed NFC scout apparently believes that his ceiling is as a slot receiver. Perhaps the scout is right, but it sure does look like he can play on the outside when I look at his highlights, and he looks fairly physical. As for speed, he ran a 4.42 which is almost identical to Maclin's 4.45
  13. It is obvious to even the most casual fan that the Carolina Panthers need a major upgrade at left tackle in 2015. Not so clear, however, is where to find that player. I decided to take the top ten left tackles, as graded by Pro Football Focus, and see if a bit of profiling could help determine where elite left tackles come from and how they got there. (Yes, I am aware PFF is not the absolute truth in terms of performance, but for this exercise it is good enough) Turns out, the results were a mixed bag. Jason Peters - Philadelphia Eagles - Arkansas - UDFA 2004 - 6'4 328 Peters spent some time on the Buffalo practice squad early, was cut once, and eventually earned time at right tackle. He started at right tackle for the Bills in 2006. In 2007 he was a pro bowl left tackle. He has been a stud ever since even after an achilles injury in 2012. Andrew Whitworth - Cincinatti Bengals - LSU - Round 2 (55) 2006 - 6'7 334 Whitworth spent most of his time at left guard until 2009, three years after being drafted late in round two. He then moved to left tackle and performed well. Joe Thomas - Cleveland Browns - Wisconsin - Round 1 (3) 2007 - 6'6 313 Joe Thomas started at LT from the moment he was drafted third overall and performed well ever since. Joe Stayley - San Francisco 49ers - Central Michigan - Round 1 (28) 2007 6'5 306 Joe Stayley started at right tackle after he was taken late in the first round of 2007 where he performed well. He started at left tackle one year later in 2008 and had mixed results. He didn't come into his own at left tackle until 2012 (5 years after being drafted). Kelvin Beachum - Pittsburgh Steelers - Southern Methodist - Round 7 (248) 2012 6'3 306 Kelvin Beachum saw some playing time at right tackle after he was drafted in 2012, where he performed poorly. In 2013 he moved over to left tackle due to injuries along the line. He actually performed adequately then. Beachum started every game in 2014 and had positive numbers in every game. Tyron Smith - Dallas Cowboys - USC - Round 1 (9) 2011 - 6'5 307 Tyron Smith started at right tackle for the entire 2011 season where he performed well. He started at left tackle in 2012 and had mixed results. In 2013 he performed much better and ended with high ratings. Donald Penn - Oakland Raiders - Utah State - UDFA 2006 - 6'4 317 Domald Penn too over at left tackle in 2007 due to injuries for Tampa Bay and performed well. He was an above average left tackle from then on. He had his best season as a pro in 2014 with Oakland. Branden Albert - Miami Dolphins - Virginia - Round 1 (15) 2008 - 6'6 309 Branden Albert started at left tackle right of the gate in 2008 and has had mixed results until 2010 when he started to improve. He was having the best season of his career in 2014 until he tore his ACL and MCL in week 10. Jared Veldheer - Arizona Cardinals - Hillsdale - Round 3 (69) 2010 - 6'6 315 Jared Veldheer was actually slated to start at center, but was moved to left tackle his rookie year. He won the starting job by midseason. Duane Brown - Houston Texans - Virginia Tech - Round 1 (26) 2008 - 6'4 315 Duane Brown split time at left tackle and ended with poor grades overall his rookie season. He started performing well in 2010, two years after being drafted, So what information can we draw from this if the Panthers aspire to have a top ten left tackle? I would say.... - If you have a top ten pick, you might get a stud left tackle right out of the gate. Unfortunately, the Panthers pick much later - Half of the top ten left tackles are first round draft picks. That is a pretty strong trend. - Three of the top ten left tackles are either a 7th round pick or undrafted, emphasizing the fact that once you leave the first round... there is little difference in the rest of the prospects. Whats the difference in a 4th round tackle and a UDFA tackle? Not much, apparently. - The left tackles taken near the Panthers selection either played at right tackle or struggled a bit their rookie year at left, but ended up being well worth the wait. Luckily for the Panthers, this years draft is said to be especially deep for offensive tackles. It is very possible that a top 15 pick in other years could fall to 26 this year, increasing the chances for a franchise left tackle. - Jason Peters early career resembles that of Panthers right tackle Mike Remmers.... (just sayin), So the Panthers might actually have their future LT on the roster already, crazier things have happened. Remmers played well once he was called upon, just like Peters. Conclusion? It seems like there may be another perfect storm for the Panthers. Last year a top need was receiver, and the best player available was a receiver. This is an ideal scenario. This season the best player on the board could very well be an offensive tackle. If that ends up being the case, the Panthers will pull the trigger on a tackle. From there, it would be wise to start the rookie tackle at right tackle and allow Remmers and possibly a free agent compete for the left tackle position. This arrangement would at the very least be a marked improvement over the Chandler/Bell experiment from last season.
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