Friday, April 26, 2013

So now what for Panthers on final day of draft?

So now what?

After taking back-to-back defensive tackles with their first two choices, the Panthers have picks left in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds of the 2013 NFL draft Saturday. Then they will work the phones and get their share of undrafted free agents, hoping 1-2 of those make the final roster as well.

While I’m generally a fan of the Panthers bulking up on the defensive line with Utah’s Star Lotulelei and Purdue’s Kawann Short, they now absolutely must address the offensive line. Taking an offensive lineman somewhere in every draft is a good idea given the demands of the position and how many of them you need. And the Panthers have to prepare for the eventual loss of Jordan Gross, their left tackle who will be 33 before next season begins.

General manager Dave Gettleman has done some work on the secondary already via free agency and the Panthers like some of the young talent they have there. But certainly defensive back is a strong option for Saturday, given the loss of Chris Gamble and the inconsistent play at safety last season.

Other possibilities for Saturday's three draft picks: a wide receiver, a tight end and a second offensive lineman. Coach Ron Rivera said the offensive coaches are getting “antsy,” given that the first two days of the draft have been devoted solely to defense – that should get rectified to an extent on Saturday.

One additional note, since I like to keep this blog fan-friendly: You really should consider coming out to the Panthers’ free draft party for fans on Saturday. It is free and open to the public from noon to 5 p.m., and I saw a lot of cool stuff already being set up on Friday at the stadium as they prepare for the fan onslaught. Autographs from players like Luke Kuechly and some of the new draft picks will be available, and fans will have access to behind-the-scenes tours of areas in the stadium not typically open to the public (including the Panther locker room). It's a good place to bring the kids, and the price is right.


Logan/MT said...

Drafting Short for a need they won't have until 2014 seems a big mistake given the real needs of this season. I'm hoping Saturday will be about meeting this seasons needs, the best player available works for the first round but after that, as we can see, is not exactly smart if winning is a priority.

Bryan Bonds said...

Ryan Swopes WR Texas A&M = Jordy Nelson

Mike W said...

Went to the draft party last year and it was pretty cool! Got to walk through the locker room and weight room then onto the field for the autographs. Awesome experience, especially if you have little guys/gals.

As far as the draft goes, would be nice to see them try to beef up the oline now and maybe grab a safety, maybe the kid from Syracuse? Not too sure about any of the WR left in the draft but feel like we have an abundance already on the roster. Either way, hope they stick to their guns and keep going with what they feel is the BPA.

Anonymous said...

You won't get a Left Tackle this low, nor a WR ready to play. There are some good DB's still there in the 4th though.

Andy D said...

Taking 2 defensive linemen was a mistake. With Tyrann Mathieu, and a bunch of fine wide receivers still available a second tackle could have been selected later. Mathieu could have solidified the secondary and was cheap in the second round.

PantherDan in Richmond said...

Sure wish I lived in Charlotte so I couls participate in these sorts of events...sounds awesome. Sigh.