Hello Panther fans, and welcome to "The Cat Box" your pre-draft round up of panther news, notes, and nonsense. We have a lot to cover this week, so grab your coffee, stretch your comment fingers, and prepare for another panther propaganda post predicting picks, players, postulation, and parody. As usual, all blue links are super duper important, and you should not miss clicking on ANY of them. But be warned, certain bosses may not approve if you work at lame companies.
First up, we have a mock draft from our local draft guru (pictured below), the guy who sits at the bar near me during my lunch break staring at Sportscenter and commenting aloud about everything the anchors say:
His first pick is a pure upside pick, not really Hurney's style, but it's nice to hear some fresh insight on what the Panthers should do with the 9th overall selection:
9) Carolina Panthers- Grayson Jerricho, QB, Southern Guilford HS
Ben's (I call him Ben) Analysis: You's guys need to get you a REAL quarterback. Scam Newton is gonna stab you in da back and leave after his rookie contract. I think you's guys should strike while the iron is hot on this kid, i seen him last friday night while I was hanging out under the bleachers at the southern high school football game. Got a rocket arm. Girlfriend is attractive too. Clearly a born leader. GO ahead and draft him now, so someone can't get him in 4 years!
After he finished explaining the pick, I asked him if you could actually DO that. He claims that his brother has a cousin with a best friend that works on the NFL rules committee, and he says it's totally cool with them. But since this guy clearly has his finger on the pulse of the team and the NFL in general, I had no choice but to take his word for it. He just sounded so confident.
See his 2nd round pick... After the jump...
Ben seemed to agree with me that since the Panthers were taking such a high upside risk in the first round, that we should probably go for more of a sure thing in the 2nd. With that in mind, this was his selection...
40) Carolina Panthers- Austin Rivers, G\K, Duke
Ben's Analysis- What you guys are lacking, is a solid guard along your front line. While this guy may have fallen in the draft due to character concerns, he has the confidence that he can do anything and make any play. He never passes (sic, I think he meant "he never let's anyone pass... what a great pass blocker!") and is more than willing to be "the guy." With his pedigree, the prestige of the program he is coming from, and his ability to hit the 3, you guys can't pass on this guy in the 2nd!
Wow, I really didn't know much about this kid before... but a guard with that kind of pass blocking ability seems like a steal. Not to mention, he is apparently REALLY good at field goals too! By letting him pull double duty at guard and kicker, we can cut O'Mare and save a roster spot for a guy who really deserves it, like Seji Alphabet Soup.
I wanted to hear more draft analysis from Ben, but he had to go, something about working the Holiday Inn. Guy really takes his job seriously, he was dressed up in full custodial clothing. I can only assume to innocuously gain information during important NFL meetings while pretending to sweep the floor.
Moving on to free agent news, this is an acquisition from a division rival that the Panthers should really look into. We need a veteran presence on the team at this position, and a stopgap like this could really put us over the top until we have more cap space for younger talent. Beleagured Saints GM Mickel Loomis had this to say about the release via conference call:
"Never relinquishes the football, no matter how many are thrown in there. We are really sad to part ways with this valuable member of our team, but in the wake of the bounty scandal we just couldn't come to terms on another season together."
We are speaking of course of...
Probably will play for the veteran minimum just to get out of New Orleans, surely a steal for us, here is the craigslist link with details:
I figure anyone who caught passes from Brees is probably a good play for the Panthers. His experience will prove invaluable for Cam Newton, especially in practice. Not to mention the reliable red zone target he will be. Look at the incredible size! You can't coach that.
Finally, some movement in the front office that is worth noting.
"We need some more help on the back end. We are a little softer than you would like to be at this point back there. Sometimes you need a bit more grit to get things done."
"Ron and I have had a conversation about it, and we think the old stuff just isn't getting it done. Should see a change next season."
I saw this quote on Twitter, no one else posted it so I figured it needed some attention. Hurney and Rivera appear to be hinting that we need to get a bit tougher in the secondary. I couldn't agree more. We really stunk back there last season, and any change would really help us wipe the floor with our opponents. They even went so far as to say who they want to replace, and who they are replacing it with:
Want to replace:
So there you have it Panther fans! This pretty much wraps up all the pre-draft news and notes. This is Tater596, signing off. GO PANTHERS!