I keep reading scouting reports on possible draft choices, and I am often left wondering who do we cut for these people, or who do we get rid of. We have tons of talent on our roster, and our losing season was not simply due to a lack of talent. I understand the need for depth and drafting the best player available, but obviously you have to look at who's on the roster. I don't just want to hear about someone's attributes, but I also want to know how they compare to current Panthers.
The first position I want to talk about is the receiver position because I believe Gettis is destined to be a #1 receiver in this league. To me, he is a faster Marques Colston. Look at Colston's rookie year and then replace Brees with Clausen. Yeah, you understand it better now. So when you say Floyd's speed is impressive, I say he's smaller than Gettis. You say he played well in college, but Gettis had an impressive professional rookie season. What makes Floyd a better option than Gettis or LaFell, who has great body control and showed the ability to make big plays in the clutch? The same goes for Blackmon who is smaller than both LaFell and Gettis, and I think he's also slower than both of them. I don't see the need for drafting a receiver at all with Smitty, LaFell, Gettis, Pilares, AE, and Nanee on the roster. Not all those guys are top tier guys, so in the later rounds, if someone is available as a BPA pick, I wouldn't mind, but few rookies could come in and beat out either of our top 3 right away.
DL is another position I question because we have a lot of talent on the roster, but none of those guys were really all that dominant. Some games, they just flat out sucked. Then they got hurt. Really makes you wanna draft a DL 1st. However, how was the production of these college guys, and their combine performances, in comparison to who we already have? I think it's safe to say that if we take a DL in the 1st, he's a starter day one. But as we move down the draft board, at what point are the guys no better than who we already have?
The last position(s) I want to talk about are DB. Of all the safeties at the combine, which safeties actually looked better than Martin at the combine? When looking at speed and size of the corners, how many of them are really a step up over Captain? Some have similar size and speed, but aren't as skilled at tackling. I admit we could definitely use another CB, but I don't want to draft a guy who can't beat out Hogan, Munnerlyn, or Butler for the #2 spot.
The bottom line, to me, is that we have never seen anyone in Carolina play with a full offseason in Rivera's system. I believe that a majority of the guys who sucked last year will come in with a better understanding of the system, and in better shape. Not only that, but having Beason back helps in run support and against short routes over the middle. So if Hogan is 100% healthy and has a full offseason, he may be better than any talent we can get in the 4th round or later. Maybe the second, depending on who's picked before 40. I'm really confident in our coaching staff developing players, and I think we don't need anybody new to win it all. With that said, though, I certainly wouldn't turn down upgrades to the DL and DBs. Either way, I expect us to win it all in 2012. And those are the rules and regulations.