Pat Yasinkas with ESPN has been counting down the Top 25 players in the NFC South and that gave me the inspiration to do the same with just the Panthers. I cut it down to the Top 20 though and I polled the CSR Editorial Staff to rank their top 20 players with the average ranking being used for the final results. Ten members provided rankings and I broke any ties myself by adjusting my own ranking up or down.
So we start with #20, a guy who we have not seen on the field since 2010 due to an early ACL tear. Some did not include Gettis in their rankings at all, I imagine because of the injury and the fact he has only played one season. But that season gives us hope given he was shining star in what was mostly a forgotten season.
In 2010 Gettis caught 37 balls for just over 500 yards and 3 TD's from a smorgasbord of average QBs. That was good for 4th in catches and 5th in yardage among rookies. Considering he was a 6th round pick nobody had ever heard of before we drafted him, he was a pleasant surprise.
Gettis is a bit of 'long strider' with great speed who can not only play on the outside but showed good promise with his route running crossing over the field. If Gettis' knee is well healed he should provide another deep threat for Cam Newton. But don't take it just from me, BW says so too:
BW Smith: Gettis impressed in his rookie season with a limp-wristed Jimmy Clausen at QB - a feat that most rookie WR's wouldn't have been able to accomplish. He was able to grab 37 dead ducks for 508 yards and 3 touchdowns, which was very good considering the cluster fizzuk the offense was in during the 2010 season.
So does having a good rookie campaign on a losing team mean anything for 2012? James Dator wonders whether Gettis pick up where he left off:
James Dator: Who is David Gettis? Is he the next Braylon Edwards, or Drew Carter? The truth is, none of us know. Between an inconsistent rookie season, and an ACL injury there's no real knowing what we're going to get out of him. However, that's half the fun. A stong-striding, deep threat receivers like Gettis may always be destined to be a 3rd, or 4th option-- but for a prolific pass offense those guys can be vital for an offense to take the next step. The intrigue that David Gettis brings to the table is enough to put him in the top 20 list, and we wait to see what he'll do with Cam Newton under center.
Gettis isn't without his skeptics though, which we have... after the jump...
Rick Bates explains why he didn't include Gettis in his top 20:
Rick Bates: I didn't include Gettis or TD because I didn't want to jinx their comebacks from injury. And, while Gettis showed some explosiveness in 2010, he's been out for a year and isn't likely to return to top shape and production during the first half of the season. I think it's critical that we start strong given the early schedule.
Okay trying to avoid an injury jinx is a good reason for leaving him off! I think we will need to keep an eye on Gettis but as Rick says and don't expect a lot too early. The Panthers may limit his TC and preseason work just as a precaution. But he has big play ability and the speed to get behind defenses. Remember the 88 yard score against the Ravens with Brian St. Pierre chucking the ball? That was a season highlight if not the #1 offensive play of the Panthers 2010.
In the end we are weighing Gettis' 2010 rookie performance heavily, mainly because we expected so little out of him and he did it without a starting caliber QB with an inept OC. Maybe that doesn't mean much in 2012. When combined with the ACL injury Gettis could be boom or bust for 2012. We have no idea at this point. Hence he is the #20 Panther player to keep an eye on in 2012.