The Carolina Panthers are not far away from being a perennial contender in the NFC. With ROY's on both offense and defense in the past two seasons, and a new sheriff in town (David Gettleman); the Panthers have already begun to turn things in the right direction.
The Panthers only got blown out in 2 games during the 2012-2013 season, and easily could have made the playoffs if some of the close games had gone in the other direction. Blowing leads and experiencing growing pains though is a fairly typical occurrence for up and coming teams in the NFL like the Panthers. With that being said, this is my guide for Gettleman and the rest of the Panthers' organization to get them in to the playoffs next season.
First things first, these are what I see as the best scenarios for the Panthers with their first two picks in the draft. I have only addressed these first two picks initially, as they are the most likely to produce immediate impact players (pertaining to next season) in my opinion.
1st round (#14): (not ranked in any particular order)
- Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
- Shariff Floyd, DT, Florida
- Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
- Keenan Allen, WR, California
- Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Two Things Here of Importance:
1) as you can see we are virtually a lock for a immediate big time player...if we take a DT or WR at #14, then at #44 we definately should go for the other position that we passed on at #14...both DT and WR are very deep in this draft so this would be a solid gameplan for sure.
2) if we go with Vaccaro at #14 (although it would be a fantastic pick), we will have to choose between a WR and DT at #44...even though we need a future #1 WR for cam, I think we would have to go DT here as its the more pressing need and we can still get a day 1 starter there.
2nd round (#44): (again not ranked in any particular order)
- Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
- Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
- Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor
- Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
- John Jenkins, DT Georgia
- John Hankins, DT, Ohio State
In my opinion Vaccaro is the pick at #14 if he is still there. He is a true athlete and playmaker in the back, and would immediately bolster our secondary in the pass and run game. As for our current cap situation, I would cut Gamble, Williams, Ron Edwards, and restructure Gross and Beason to more manageable contracts. If Gross will not massively restructure we should seriously consider cutting him as well. Let me know what you guys think!