Yes folks, it's Tuesday night which means it is NFL draft Flavor Of The Week time. Now I must admit, I am still excited about the huge win in Tampa Bay. Two things happened Sunday that I was very pleased with (aside from Newton's record setting day ofcourse.) A. We beat the Bucaneers on the road in a very decisive victory and B. The Patriots beat the Colts by less points then we did, which tells me maybe I read a little too much into us not blowing out the Colts last Sunday. I dont know about you guys but this win on Sunday in Tampa Bay definitley had that 'we have turned a corner' type of feel to it.
Aside from the big pass play or two and that long punt return we allowed, Sunday's win really looked like we have matured and finally hit that next level overall as a team. I know many Panther fans right now are in panic mode that both Fua and Mcclain are out for the season. Not only am I not in panic mode but after how well Kearse and Neblett played last Sunday, I am thrilled they are starting the rest of the season. With Kearse and Neblett at the helm on Sunday we managed to hold Blount to just 19 rushing yards. Thats right, only 19 rushing yards! Blount is a very solid back and holding him to 19 yards would be a very difficult task even for the stout defense of the Baltimore Ravens, let alone for the Panthers. If you watched the game on Sunday, you could definitley see the huge positive difference on the D line with Kearse and Neblett. Don't get me wrong, I am in no way happy Fua and Mcclain are hurt and I wish them a speedy recovery, but I am very excited Neblett and Kearse are now starting aslong as they repeat the same performance they had Sunday.
Now despite all the positive developments there is one cause for concern.. Our O line. Byron Bell has improved on the false starts but overall I feel he has regressed as a pass protector. This is now the 2nd week in a row where Cam was rushed multiple times and sacked on more than one occasion. When some people on here said our O line is overrated I must admit, I really just shrugged it off as just the O line having a bad day but unfortunatley it seems to be turning into a growing concern.
With how well our defense performed Sunday for just this week anyway, I feel tonight we should focus on the offensive line and that brings us to the NFL Draft Flavor of The Week.. :::Que Drum roll::: OT Jonathan Martin.
Currently, with tiebreakers factored in. We are currently picking number 6 overall in the upcoming draft. Matt Kalil will definitley be off the board by then which brings us to the number 2 best OT on the board, Jonathan Martin. Now since I don't watch much college football, and I am a big stat guy, I really dont have any in depth analysis. Jonathan Martin should be considered strongly by Hurney and Rivera.
From what I have gathered. Jonathan Martin is the 2nd best OT in the draft, he did a fantastic job at protecting Andrew Luck's blind side. Martin stands at 6'6, 305 lbs and a 40 time of 5.29. I have did extensive film study on Jonathan Martin (lol yes BW, AKA watched youtube videos.) From what I can see, he seems to be very solid at opening lanes for the run game and also great at pass protection which is one of the reasons Andrew Luck has had a very successful college career.
This is per NFLdraftscout on Jonathan Martin; First team All-pac 10 selection.. protected Andrew Luck's blindside as the starting left tackle, as the sophmore quarterback led the pac-10 in passing efficiency... Line allowed just six sacks on the season, the 2nd fewest in the nation... Martin helped pave the way for a young Stanford rushing attack to rack up the second-highest rushing total in school history (2,779) and average 213.8 yards per game.
So the bottom line is, if our O line continues it's downward spiral, then frankly Hurney and Rivera will have no choice but to draft a offensive lineman and while Kalil would be a no brainer pick, he will be coming off the board at pick number 2 or 3 and we will atleast have the 6th overall pick in the draft. When you watch the elite teams play like the Saints and Giants for instance, one thing that jumps out is how long Brees and Manning have in the pocket and how little they are sacked. During every pass play Brees and Manning practically have enough time in that pocket to update their Facebook status and they are hardly ever sacked. I would like the same to be said about our franchise QB.