I know, this is supposed to be Brandon LaFell's big year, plus David Gettis is also supposed to take a big step forward. So what? The Panthers still need help at WR. Even if not this year - because of Gordon's being rusty after missing last college season - he can be a big time player for the Panthers down the line. Steve Smith can't play forever! So the Panthers should get Josh Gordon now.
What is the case for Josh Gordon? Well, before he got kicked out of Baylor for incidents that would have barely registered at most football factories, he was their best big play WR: 42 catches for 714 yards - 17 yards per catch! - and 9 touchdowns. Yes, in 2010 Kendall Wright, who went #22 in the draft, did have more catches (78) for more yards (952) so he was their better, more well-rounded and more consistent player. But Gordon definitely made plays downfield, and he stretched the field for Wright and the other guys to make plays underneath. If he can develop into that type of player for the Panthers, that would create wide open spaces not only for Smith, LaFell, Gettis, Olsen and company, but the running game as well.
Newton is the best deep ball passer in the AFC South (stronger arm than Brees, more accurate and consistent on deep routes than either Ryan or Freeman) so here is the chance to pair him with a size/speed ratio vertical threat. Gordon is 6'4" 220 lb. WR and has been clocked in the low 4.3 range ... one of the coveted Calvin Johnson "new prototype" guys. A lot of Panthers fans were disappointed when the team didn't get another Calvin Johnson type in Stephen Hill. Well, the Panthers can get a similar talent with a lower pick on Thursday, and one who was productive in a passing offense.
Yes, he played in a spread offense with a mobile QB, but lest we forget so did Cam Newton. What is the downside with surrounding Newton with the types of players that he had in college? Better a spread guy in the 3rd round in the supplemental draft now than using a 1st rounder on one of the USC pro-style offense guys in 2013. Take care of the WR need now with Gordon so the focus can be on DL and DB in 2013!