Panthers Might Already Have their Answer at CB

Streeter Lecka

We have already noted on this site that the signing of CB James Dockery in week 8 of the 2012 season happened with little notice. With little notice that is until Dockery got on the field towards the end of the season. As the linked piece below points out, Dockery played in the Panthers final 7 games, getting two starts and seeing big minutes in the final four games.

You might recall the Panthers won those last four games in which Dockery played on the outside. Coincidence? Maybe but this piece really made me think this kid might actually be an answer at CB for the Panthers:

James Dockery Is Happy To Be With the Carolina Panthers
In 2011, Dockery was the Browns’ star of training camp and his play was not going unnoticed. After a strong preseason, rookie head coach at the time Pat Shurmur and his staff felt Dockery earned a spot and signed him for the season. However, for whatever reason, the former Beaver only dressed and played in 12 games. The 25-year-old finished the season with five special teams tackles. Dockery played mostly special teams and was inactive for the final six games. Still, it seemed like the promising young corner was going to be given a shot in the 2012 campaign.

If the Browns have a team strength it's at CB so I can see how a guy like Dockery might not stick. Interesting that they didn't put him on the practice squad though I'm not sure he was eligible at that point.

It's obvious Dockery has done everything he can to play in the NFL, getting in the best shape he can, etc...He has nice size at 6'1" 185 lbs. and he didn't shy away from making a tackle. I think its safe to say he was our best cover CB down the stretch which means something given how well the Panthers defense played down the stretch. Given we all expect Chris Gamble to be cut the assumption has been we need to spend a high draft pick on a CB. I'm thinking not so fast, let's give this kid a chance.

What I also like about Dockery is how humble he comes across:

Speaking with the very humble Dockery about his release, he told me "Obviously hurt, it was my first chance. However, they just threw more logs in my fire so I appreciated it as well." The next opportunity was soon to come.

When I asked him the differences between the two franchises, he said "Their both good organizations in my eyes. One is very historic and one is youthful in history, but both chasing the same goal." Like I said, humble.

One thing is for certain though, the Panthers got a great steal by picking up Dockery. He finally received the chance he deserved. Now in 2013, Dockery hasn’t taken anything for granted and is ready to take his game to another level.

He had a prime opportunity to take a jab at the Browns for releasing him but he didn't take it. I like that and think we all need consider Dockery is in the mix to start at CB for the Panthers in 2013.

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