After releasing CB Ken Lucas earlier today the Panthers were quick to anoint 4th year CB Richard Marshall to the starting spot opposite Chris Gamble. I found it a little annoying that the Panthers quickly announced their intentions with this position yet have remained mum about others with similar changes. "Why so soon I thought"...it seems out of character to some degree. But then I recalled the Panthers announced their offensive line shake-up last March, essentially telegraphing their desire to draft a tackle. My subsequent post on the announcement turned out to be fairly prophetic as far as the impact of the changes on the draft. For example:
I really like this scenario. If the Panthers are looking for a right tackle in the draft then there should be a good one available in the 2nd round such as Gosder Cherilus (BC), Carl Nicks (Neb) or Anthony Collins (Kansas). We could then use our #1 pick on DE or a RB. The Panthers may even be thinking of moving up in the draft:
Are the Panthers going to shake up their defense in a similar fashion? Releasing Lucas is certainly a good first move if that is the case. Here are some other promotions that the Panthers should consider while they are being so forthcoming.
- The Panthers released 3rd WR DJ Hackett yet haven't named his replacement. Why not go ahead and give 3rd year WR Dwayne Jarrett a shot of confidence and tell him it's his to lose? He's starting his 3rd season so this is the year a WR should make the jump, so the theory goes. Let's find out if he can do it or move on.
- A second promotion could go to DE Charles Johnson. In just his 3rd season Fox should throw some love his way too. It might be prudent to wait until the Julius Peppers situation sorts itself out but I like the way this kid plays. He is all out on every play.
- The last one isn't as much a promotion as it is simply a guy reclaiming his spot. PR Ryne Robinson is coming off a season lost to injury. We watched as the Panthers brought in Mark Jones who started slow but finished strong. Yet it wasn't strong enough to keep from getting cut. Jones might now get a call since the Panthers have a little coin tot work with.
So in addition to checking out my poll below also consider whether the Panthers quick promotion of Marshall might be a smoke screen in front of the Panthers desire to draft a CB. They now have no proven nickel corner on the roster. Could CJ Wilson play it? The Panthers expressed some confidence in him towards the end of last season but he is a 7th round pick. A ball-hawking, good tackler at the nickel position would fit Meeks defense nicely. A guy like Macho Harris comes to mind