Here I go again, attempting to somehow fill the gaping holes that currently exist on our beloved Panther's roster. As any professional acting GM will tell you, the only way to make this happen is to lay out an offseason plan that will improve the Panthers the most for the upcoming season. This will be accomplished initially by filling positions of need through free agency because this will put our coaches, scouting department, and myself in position to subsequently select the best players, regardless of position, in the 2012 draft. After the jump, I'll give you, the fans, the pleasure of peeking into the future of your Carolina Panthers.
1. DT Paul Soliai
I can ensure you that the number one priority of the 2012 Carolina Panthers will be to stop the run. It was completely obvious from early on in the season that our defense exerted minimal resistance to opposing running backs. This deficiency, in our eyes, had to be addressed immediately. Enter Paul Soliai: an experienced, run-stuffing space eater that allows our linebackers to play downhill.
2. WR Vincent Jackson
This just makes too much sense. He's personally familiar with the offense and gives us a sure-fire second big play receiver with speed. Our fans wanted a big splash in free agency and we delivered. Enough said.
3. OLB Philllip Wheeler
More of a low key signing. He's a young, yet experienced player who will add immediate depth at the linebacker position.
1st round: CB Morris Claiborne LSU
This tall, speedy corner with shut-down potential will be an instant asset to this team. An underrated quality of this gifted athlete is the fact that he has excellent hands. We couldn't be more happy that he fell into our laps.
Trade: The Jets propose a trade up into our second round selection, which we accept. We receive their 2011 third and 5th round picks along with their 2012 second rounder. Even though the immediate loss of our high second round pick is seemingly a disadvantage, we just couldn't turn down what we felt was excellent compensation, not only for the present, but for the long term ramifications that come with obtaining a future early round selection.
3rd round(from Jets): OLB Lavonte David Nebraska
Again, we couldn't resist selecting this dynamic linebacker. He's a tackling machine who also plays excellent in pass coverage. We just had to pull the trigger on this dynamic athlete.
4th round: OT Andrew Datko Florida State
We really feel like we got an excellent value with Andrew in the fourth round. He's had some injury issues at times and may have fallen because of it. But, he brings so much to the table that we just couldn't pass on the opportunity to bring him into the fold.
5th round: DT Kendall Reyes Connecticut
Here's a guy who has continued to get better and better throughout his football career at Connecticut. He had a 79 yard interception return for a touchdown his Junior year, which shows what kind of athleticism he brings to table at the defensive tackle position.
5th round(from Jets): S Duke Ihenacho San Jose State
Duke is versatile player who we feel can have an early impact on special teams and eventually vie for a starting position in the secondary.
6th round: WR/PR Joe Adams Arkansas
We're ecstatic about Joe and what he brings to the table. He's a speedy receiver who flashes game-breaking speed, and he consistently showed that ability while returning punts at Arkansas. He returned one punt for a touchdown his Junior year and three his Senior year. In the short term, he'll bring some competition to our team in the return game and on special teams. We also think he can contribute at wide receiver in the long term.
7th round: ILB Cornelius Arnack Tulsa
We feel that Cornelius will provide excellent depth to our linebackers and will contribute on special teams as well.
So what do you think CSR nation? We went heavy on defense this offseason and we think you'll be happy with the results. As always, time will sort these things out in more ways than one. Let me know what you think of these decisions by giving me a grade in the following poll. Feel free to fire me for damaging the team or extend my contract for improving the roster.