The Panthers are on the brink of a new frontier. . There are so many directions that this team can go in. The Draft has done nothing but complicate the situation. We have 4 players that are graded high and could each be the no.1 pick. Of course we could use all of these players in one way or another, but which one would help us the most? Who is that impact player that will help cornerstone this new legacy of Panther football. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each of these players after the jump.
Nick Fairley, DT
- Non-stop motor guy that doesn’t take plays off
- Could be a dominant penetrator in a 4-3 scheme
- Long arms, wrap up tackler
- Quick feet
- Shoots gaps quickly
- Rumored as a "dirty" player
- Decent closing speed; tends to lose footing when getting to the backfield missing tackles
- Solid but not amazing strength
- Needs work on stunts and getting around another defensive lineman
Nick Fairley is considered by many to be the consensus no. 1. He played and outstanding game during the National Championship and was critical to helping lead Auburn to a National Title. Defensive Tackle is a high need on the Panthers list. Nick Fairley would be a safe pick for the Panthers. He is an instant starter and would help tremendously against the run. He would provide that inside presence we have not seen since Kris Jenkins. With Charles Johnson, Everette Brown, Greg Hardy, and Andre Neblett (I think he was pretty decent last year), that D-line could easily turn into one of the best in the league. With Rivera being a defensive guy, Fairley makes sense as the Panthers first pick. As Peppers was with Fox, so could Fairley be with Rivera.
A.J. Green, WR
- Uses his height and excellent body control to come down with the ball in most jump ball situations
- Superior speed
- Played in pro style offense
- Big Play ability
- Bigger, stronger cornerbacks will outmuscle him unless he adds more strength and bulk
- Improve route running skills
- Receivers take at least 2-3 years to really shine at the wide out position in the NFL
Summary: AJ Green is the best wide out in the 2011 class. This guy could be the next Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson. The Panthers could use an offensive weapon like that to help the leagues worse offense. This would also benefit Steve Smith as well, allowing him to play in the slot and taking away the double coverage he has experienced for years. Defenses would have to account for the Green which in turn could really help the run game. If the Panthers picked Green, they would eventually have a new #1 receiver to pair with their already talented young receivers in Gettis and LaFell. And don’t forget Armanti, the guy is the wild card in this bunch. The Panthers receivers would be solid to great bunch for the next 5-10 years. A good pick for the Panthers but may not pull the trigger due to drafting 3 receivers in 2010.
Patrick Peterson, CB
- Attacks routes but has awareness of the play
- Quick closing speed
- Excellent range; can play well in man or zone
- Explodes out of his dig to the ball
- Would provide upgrade as a return man
- Back-pedaling speed
- Needs to improve zone coverage
- Needs to improve getting off blocks in run game
It’s impressive that Patrick Peterson is possibly rated as the no.1 pick in the draft. Cornerbacks usually are not to be considered of that honor. That maybe tempting to a Panthers organization that just jettisoned Richard Marshall and appear up in the air with Chris Gamble. Peterson would help with these pass heavy offenses that we face in our division. Especially with the NFL moving toward a more passing friendly league, you need good corners more than ever. Imagine, Peterson and Gamble on an opposing teams #1 and 2 receivers and Munnerlyn covering the slot or tight end. That would be a hard group to pass on. That would help the defensive line get more pressure because of better coverage down the field. Include Godfrey and Martin and that Panthers secondary just became one of the best and youngest in the league-for years to come. The Panthers are being gutsy nowadays. They could possibly trade down if possible to get Peterson.
Da’Quan Bowers, DE
- Effective Bull Rush and swim moves
- Can line up inside in certain situations
- Plays well in pursuit
- Effective against the run
- Powerful tackler
- Seems to lose focus and take plays off
- Needs to work on staying low and maintaining leverage
- Sometimes jumps out of stance rendering him useless
- Seems to lose confidence easily; takes a few plays to get back in groove
Da’Quan Bowers equals Julius Peppers 2.0. This guy could provide even more pass rush for the Panthers. Bowers in rotation with our other young and talented DE’s would be phenomenal. There would almost be no drop off in the pass rush and players could stay fresher through out the game. But with the emergence of Greg Hardy, improved play of Everette Brown, and dominance of Charles Johnson, Bowers seems expendable. Though if the Panthers were to draft him, that would give them great flexibility with the defensive line. The DC could be very creative with blitz packages causing all types of havoc in the backfield. The only thing that may have Panthers fans skiddish is his "taking plays off". He who shall not be named did this and created a bad taste in mouth of Panther fans.
So there you have it. The pros and cons of our potential #1 picks. so who do we pick? Sound off Panther fans.