The first week of Panthers training camp is close to being in the books so lets see who's stock is on the rise and who's is taking a hit. Hat tip to Little King, Darin Gantt, Steve Reed and everyone else that has contributed their insight and opinions while attending camp. Based on these reports here is the first CSR stock watch report for the 2010 training camp, which is highlighted by the WRs:
Stock is Rising:
WR Brandon LaFell - LaFell is quickly looking like the Panthers top candidate for impact rookie of the season. We knew he could block and had an NFL-ready body. What we didn't expect was such smooth route-running and nimble hands. The kid is going to make a serious run at #2 WR and you won;t find me betting against him
OG Mackenzy Bernadeau - Mac-Bern is the early leader for the RG position given his competition has yet to get on the field at RG much less mount a serious challenge. Geoff Schwartz continue to fill in for RT Jeff Otah as he completes his injury rehab and Duke Robinson showed up out of shape. Mac-Bern on the other hand has impressed since being drafted in the 7th round and looks and sounds ready to play the position:
"The right guard spot's what I'm looking to do, what I want to do," he said. "If coach feels differently, that's whatever it is. I'm ready to compete and take care of business, because I want that spot."
WR Kenny Moore - We didn't talk much about Moore during the offseason, other than the fact he was working hard during OTA's. By all accounts Moore is flat out getting it done, both in his zest for blocking and his crisp route-running. Moore could also provide the deep threat from the slot the Panthers have sorely needed. Moore is the leader for the slot position.
...more after the jump...
DE Greg Hardy - Hardy has been the talk of camp. The highly athletic 6th round pick looks like a first rounder with his size, speed and strength. If it translates to the field we could have the best 6th round pick since Tom Brady.
"Right now his base position for us is linebacker. We’ll see how that goes," coach John Fox said. "He spent a lot more time with his hand in the dirt in college. He definitely has those skills, so he can be a designated pass rusher as well as an every-down linebacker and we’ll evaluate that as we move forward."
OG Duke Robinson - As mentioned earlier Robinson showed up out of shape and over weight just when many thought he would be competing for a starting spot. He must be content just being a back-up because his stock is in the tank. Fortunately for him the Panthers haven't given up on him:
Robinson might be the best long-term answer. When in shape, he's a monster in the run game, and paired with Otah would create a mammoth wall for the backs to get lost behind. But until he can drop some weight and get on the field, there's no opportunity for him to prove himself.
"Duke, we know about; we've just got to get him fit," Fox said.
WR Dwayne Jarrett - I debated whether to put Jarrett on this list because honestly his stock has never been really that high since being drafted by the Panthers. He looked bad at the first couple of practices but has improved in the last few practices. Still until Jarrett starts to look like the #2 WR he should be at this point in his career he will receive extra scrutiny.
WR Armanti Edwards - Edwards is a very popular Panther in his short time with the team and I'm sure many will not be happy with me putting him on this list. But the truth is any player that switches positions when jumping to the NFL is going to need time to adjust and Edwards is no exception. He has been plagued by bobbles and drops in the kick return game and lacks the polish shown by fellow 3rd round pick Brandon LaFell. Edwards may well be a factor in 2010 but I'm thinking it will be later in the season.
CB CJ Wilson - For a 4th year player the Panthers expected to see a solid back-up CB looking to compete for a starting job. Instead they have seen soft coverage and a lack of aggressiveness required by DC Ron Meeks. Wilson's saving grace could very well be the fact the Panthers don't necessarily have anyone better to take his place.