I've been a CSR reader for a couple of years, but this is my first post.
Coples, Cox, Keuchley... It appears the Panthers will go Defense with the first pick & with good reason (though meeting with all the top WRs might indicate otherwise). Drafting a 1st Round DT might not be as exciting as a WR, but most would agree it makes sense and is certainly a position of need. While there are things I like about all of the top WRs, I'm perhaps more intrigued by WRs projected to go in later rounds and CBs (also a major position of need) who have experience at PR/KR.
Let's look at some options after the jump.
I like Pilares and you can't argue with his 102 yd TD. I think he did a good job. Good, with one breakout score. He's not seeing the field as a WR though. Stats show that regardless of people's attachment to him, the guy who returned punts had far less success and also never sees the field as a WR. Pilares & Edwards had little to no experience returning in college. Is it possible to upgrade at WR or CB and get a better quality returner in the later rounds of the draft? Would a 4th-7th rounder be an upgrade over LaFell & Gettis or Munnerlyn & Hogan at their positions?
Some names have been tossed around here for such a player, but I don't know that you replace Pilares with a guy who won't contribute outside of returning, especially if you've already beefed up STs in other ways.
WRs I think could help in returns and receiving include: Joe Adams (Arkansas), TY Hilton (FIU), TJ Graham (NCSU), Chris Givens (Wake Forest), Marquis Maze (Alabama) & Rishard Mattews (Nevada). Of those, Hilton has the most impressive numbers by far, but played against lesser competition than the rest. TJ Graham has the best track speed and is actually the guy I'd most like to see with a 6th round pick, but I wonder about his durability, lateral movement and ability to break tackles. Chris Givens may be the best receiver out of the group but is probably the worst returner and is projected to go in the 3rd Round. I like Wylie as a returner but only so so as a WR.
Brandon Boykin (UGA), Coryell Judie (TX A&M) & Asa Jackson (Cal Poly) could help at Cornerback and all have experience returning. Boykin looks like an incredible athlete and is the best CB & KR of the bunch, but may be a stretch at the 40th pick.
If the Panthers don't pick up a KR/PR and look to someone other than Pilares for the job, another alternative would be to put Captain Munnerlyn back in to return, as they look for another #2 CB. Also Gettis did a decent job returning his rookie year. What do you think? It looks like the coaches are looking carefully at options in this draft. Which direction should they go?