Category : Not Humor (lol)
Rivera; "We're not taking a guy early to have him develop. We're taking a guy early to put him on the field and have him help us right away. That's what the expectation is."
According to Steve Reed with AP Sports, "there was an unknown number of offensive players who took pre-draft trips to Charlotte, and Hurney talked about making the team’s strength – the Newton-led offense – stronger. With Newton breaking Peyton Manning’s rookie passing record, the offense improved from last in the league in 2010 in John Fox’s final season to seventh last season."
When asked about the draft, Hurney said, "Now we've got to react to what's happening - who goes here, who goes there and then we'll decide who fits us best and who's going to help us immediately."
Hurney also stated, "We have some needs on offense too and it's a matter of keeping your strengths strong."
Clearly the Panthers are after a starter in the first. This shortens the list substantially as many who will be drafted will need practice and training to achieve their potential and become "start ready"
I found an article on the Bleacherreport.com about players ready to contribute right away. I thought this would be very revealing although it is their writer's subjective opinion and yours/mine may very. I have also added an asterisk to those players thought to have visited the Panthers. However, I do not think you can eliminate any player that does not have an asterisk as those visits are not announced by the Panthers and are based on hearsay. Not to mention, that the AP quote indicates there are unknown offensive players that have visited the Panthers.
Here are the players thought to contribute right away:
Andrew Luck (ify)
*Fletcher Cox (ify)
Now to make my case for going offense in the first or second, not that I think its 100% sure that we go that way. I do think that is the Panther's preference though and here's why.
"I think you do have needs on the defensive side of the ball, but we're hoping that some of players coming back from injuries will fill those needs," Hurney said. "That said, I think our mindset in this draft, and in every draft, is to take the best player."
Here is the short list of offensive players ready to start that have come in for a visit:
Blackmon will probably be gone, Zeitler is a late first or early second pick and Floyd may even be gone at #9. So here are the following scenarios that I see.
1. We missed DeCastro's visit and he is our pick
2. We will pick Floyd
3. Matt Kalil slides to our pick
4. The Panthers have another player rated as start ready and disagree with the Bleacherreport.com, which would not be the first time, like Kendall Wright.
5. They are going to trade down for extra picks and take Zeitler or Silatolu
6. Its all a smokescreen and they will go defense, defense, defense
Whats your guess?