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Panthers Need Immediate Help

April 27, 2017

The NFL Draft starts tonight (Thursday) and a few hundred new athletes will begin their NFL careers.

It is not an understatement to say that the Carolina Panthers need a whole lot of help before the 2017 season starts and hope that some of it comes from a deep 2017 college draft.

The Panthers took a huge step back from their near undefeated, NFC championship season, finishing in last place in the NFC South at 6-10.

This team’s needs are quite obvious. They have to find a way to protect Cam Newton better. Carolina needs to spend a few early round choices on offensive linemen. Newton took a physical beating last season and this led to an obvious drop off in productivity.

Christian McCaffrey

Attention needs to be paid to the defensive front. One key to the 2015 success was the pass rush. Last season it was non-existent.

The franchise needs to draft a young runningback. Newton needs weapons and the Panthers are old at runningback. A deep threat receiver would not hurt either.

Carolina has the eighth pick in the first round and have two picks in the second round. This should lead to three new starters.

If he is available with the eighth pick, I would address the runningback need with Christian McCaffrey out of Stanford. Many are enamored with the notion of Leonard Fournette and Cam Newton in the backfield together in Carolina, but the Panthers already have a powerful running back in veteran Jonathan Stewart. The Panthers need a playmaker, someone who can open up the offense. McCaffrey is that running back.

I went through a bunch of mock drafts and would like to see Carolina take Carl Lawson out of Auburn. He is slated to be a second round selection and would immediately improve the Panthers’ pass rush. I like this stat I came across. Lawson averaged a hit or hurry every 5.4 pass rushing attempts last year. He features a speed rush off the edge and the stat I just gave you confirms that he is disruptive.

Julie’n Davenport

The other second round pick needs to be an offensive lineman and I like Julie’n Davenport, an offensive tackle out of Bucknell.

Davenport, from all I read, has the physical attributes to be a dominant left tackle. The Panthers have a need at offensive tackle, but it’s not an immediate one. They do need someone who can take over for Michael Oher next year during the upcoming season.

There will likely be some talent left at wide receiver in the third round. Dede Westbrook of Oklahoma may still be available. He was a true deep threat in college and everything I read said that he is good route runner with excellent hands.  

Worst Draft Picks By Panthers

Let’s hope the 2017 draft does not lead to mistakes like this.

Remember back in 2010 when Carolina took WR/KR Armanti Edwards out of App. State in the third round?

Edwards is still on the roster but he has done little to nothing in a Panthers uniform. Carolina could have had Jimmy Graham, who was selected six spots later. Now that is someone who Cam Newton would love to throw the ball to.

Carl Lawson

I am going to go back a ways for the next one. Runningback Tim Biakabutuka was taken in the first round of the 1996 draft. He produced very little over a six year career. Some players the franchise could have taken instead include RB Eddie George, WR Marvin Harrison, and LB Ray Lewis.

Two years later Carolina took defensive tackle Jason Peter in the first round. He never recorded a single sack over a very brief career. The Panthers could have taken WR Randy Moss with this selection.

I will close with the tragic story of Rae Carruth who was taken in the first round of the 1997 draft. The wide receiver out of Colorado was starting to make an impact before he murdered his girlfriend in a domestic violence incident.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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