Carolina is probably one of the better landing spots for rookie receivers this year, although as this post from NFL.com points out, they have holes all over their team.
“The left side of the offensive line has been wiped out as well,” NFL Media analyst Brian Baldinger said on “Path to the Draft.” “I’m a big fan of Cyrus Kouandjio. I know he has some issues with his knee, and I don’t know what his medical is. But the value on film, just watching him at Alabama, he dominates the line of scrimmage. I don’t care how fast he runs the 40 in. That guy has quick feet, and he’d be perfect at left tackle.”
Carolina picks 28th in the first round, and most NFL.com mock drafts have the team grabbing a receiver there. While receivers such as Brandin Cooks, Kelvin Benjamin, Davante Adams and Odell Beckham could be available when it’s the club’s turn to pick on the first night, the quality of receivers available this year could allow the Panthers to go after that position later in the draft and grab someone like Kouandjio in the first round.
But the crazy thing is that the Panthers’ depth chart at WR looks like this:
- Jerricho Cotchery
- Jasan Avant
- Tiquan Underwoood
- Tavarres King
- Marvin McNutt
- Kealoha Pilares
CAR has gotten a good amount of shit from the pundit class this offseason for their handling of WR, and some of that is deserved. If they pass on WR in the first round you can plan to hear even more crying.
I don’t think Odell Beckham will still be there at 28, although a number of other receivers could be. But the NFL.com piece is probably right to say that the Panthers might be better off taking a few receivers later instead of taking one receiver in the first round. If they take a WR in the first they might be tempted to think that’s their guy, whereas a few receivers drafted later implies more of a probabilistic outlook. This is a deep WR class and not particularly strong at the top.
I would like to see some kind of mix of Jordan Matthews, Austin Sefarian-Jenkins and/or Quincy Enunwa as combined value strategy for the Panthers. However, if CAR does take a WR in the first you can be sure that player will skyrocket up the rookie draft ADP ranks.
If the Panthers somehow came out of the draft with no receivers, then Tiquan Underwood might be the most interesting name on the roster. He can fly and might be the beneficiary of a good number of deep shots on 3rd and long after defenses have keyed on the CAR run game on 1st and 2nd down. I don’t have anything more concrete than that because I want to see what happens in the draft, but I’ll be looking at Underwood at some point this offseason.
As a note of housekeeping this post has filled the RotoViz Marvin McNutt quota for the week.