Andy Benoit with CBS Sports had an interesting theme to the Panthers drafting of McClain and Fua that I thought I would apply to all 8 of the Panthers draft picks. Benoit's theme is 'NFL Draft Truths', essentially what each pick means between the lines, in a tongue-in-cheek fashion.
Here's what he said the picking of the two DTs in the 3rd round says:
3rd round, Sione Fua, DT, Stanford Again, more dynamite.
It's hard to argue with the need for some dynamite on the defensive line. I think he described Landri and Hayden accurately as well.
Speaking of dynamite, we could argue the selection of QB Cam Newton is certainly intended to be dynamite. But more specifically, I think his selection says this:
Though we haven't given up on Jimmy Clausen, we're not hopeful he is our guy. Therefore we are going to roll the dice with this raw plutonium prospect in hopes one of the two rises to the occasion before September.
More Panther Draft Truths...after the jump...
Moving on to Panthers 4th round selection CB Brandon Hogan, here's the underlying truth:
The Panthers will need a starter on the outside in the event Richard Marshall demands too much, which everyone expects. Captain Munnerlyn fits the slot position but makes the staff nervous lined up across from much taller receivers. Though the Panthers plan to address this position in free agency it would be nice to pick up a guy in this spot who could develop into a man-up starter in a season or two.
This is why the Panthers were willing to draft Hogan at this position in spite of coming off an ACL injury. Getting a potential edge corner at the top of the 4th would be another draft gem for Marty Hurney.
We have a very similar truth with the next pick, WR Kealoha Pilares.
The Panthers expect to need another option at the WR position with the probably departure of Steve Smith. Though Pilares looks to be more of slot receiver he is built uncannily like the Panthers Pro Bowl WR. Pilares is the Panthers next shot at drafting Smitty replacement.
or this could be the truth:
The Panthers are not confident WR Armanti Edwards can fill the slot position in the near future and think Pilares has more upside.
Next up LB Lawrence Wilson:
The Panthers love speedy linebackers that could be special team demons.
It's that simple I believe.
OL Zack Williams is a little more complex:
The Panthers see no upside in the Panthers back-ups at Center. They need a competent C/G combo that can spell Kalil if and when needed without fumbling the snap in critical situations.
Finally, T Lee Ziemba and the Panther Draft truth behind the pick:
The Panthers returned to their favored Best Player Available strategy with their last pick yet also gave the edge to the kid who is familiar with their raw plutonium draft pick at #1 overall. The Panthers placed a premium on players who play with attitude.
HC Ron Rivera mentioned on more than one occasion the 'nasty disposition' of the last two players drafted. I wonder if there was general believe about the Panthers they were a little soft on the line in certain places. Why else place a premium on a nasty disposition? Or is that simply something to say to avoid the standard fluff that is easy to call BS on? What truths do you see with this picks?