There's been a lot of complaining in Pantherdom about our modus operandi this offseason. We have a huge need at wide receiver, and we've missed out on some goodies. Anquan Boldin, Santonio Holmes, and possibly Brandon Marshall could have been had well within our price range. However, while we haven't pulled the trigger on any of those players, their acquisitions by other teams have been more beneficial to us than you might think.......
While this years WR class pales in comparison to next seasons and last years, it still contains some goodies. Dez Bryant is a legitimate first round talent, while Demaryous Thomas and Arrellious Benn are big, deceptively fast receivers that are coveted in todays league. Damian Williams runs perfect routes, and Brandon LaFell is big and mean. All of these guys would make an immediate impact in Carolina. Some are better suited for us than others, but there is one receiver not included that is perfect for our scheme. Golden Tate, out of Notre Dame, has been a favorite of mine since the draft season started. He's blazing fast, breaks a ton of tackles, and has incredibly strong hands to fight for the ball. He is a little undersized for the position, but that didn't lower his stock much at all this offseason. He reminds me of our very own Steve Smith, and with Papa Smurf clamoring for a successor, he seems to be the perfect fit in Carolina. However, before this weekend I had dismissed him as a pipe dream, too many teams selected before us with needs at WR for me to even consider him falling. However, the Santonio Holmes trade impacted Carolina more than you would think.
In the first round, the only team whose most pressing need is WR is Cincinatti. Other teams could take a wideout, but for the sake of this post we'll assume they won't. And even if Bryant is snatched up before the Bengals can pick, they tend to prefer larger wideouts, which rules out Tate. Bryant, Benn, or Thomas are all realistic options here, the point is it likely won't be Tate. The Ravens and Jets fixed their need for a wideout with their trades for Boldin and Holmes. Barring a trade up into the first by another team, Tate should fall to the second round, where St. Louis picks. This is key. St. Louis will likely need weapons for their new QB, but they also have a need on the D-line. If Carlos Dunlap, Everson Griffen, or another top DE prospect are available, they might very well take him. Or a different WR might be the choice. Either way, this means Tate falls again. Now this is where Furney have to make a decision. They can try to trade with Detroit and get ahead of Tampa. Or they can wait to see if Tampa addresses their need at corner. If Kyle Wilson or Devin McCourty are available, the Bucs will likely take one of them. However, we must get ahead of Tampa Bays second second rounder. WR is a big need for them, and they won't wait longer than that to take a wideout. For the sake of argument, lets say we trade with Kansas City. We give them our second rounder, a sixth rounder this season, and next years second round selection. Given the fact that we have a comp pick from Peppers on the way next year, we don't lose too much in this trade. We might even be able to pull the same with Detroit. Point is, Tate is well within our range.
So for all of you guys complaining about a boring offseason, it's not over yet. Draft day is just around the corner, and we know how much Furney like to shake things up. The cards are set just right for us to make a splash. An elite WR or DL could be within our reach. For those of you with summer on the brain, get ready for the fat kid on the diving board. He's poised on the edge, ready to jump.