This is my first post on this site but I am a lifetime Panther's fan and have always been extremely interested in the draft and offseason. Here are my offseason moves and draft picks if I were the GM. Hope you enjoy and please tell me what you think of my moves:
First Order of Business:
1. Cut Chris Gamble and Jon Beason: I know when looking at this it looks like were just letting go the two backbones of the defense but no longer is that the case and it's time to cut the cord. Hurney left us in Cap Room hell and releasing these two will bring us well below the cap and allow us to sign some key free agents. The truth of the matter is that these two are excessively expensive and lately have spent more time injured on the sideline then on the field. If Beason is open to a substantial restructuring then contemplate it but linebacker is not our main concern now.
2. Restructure Gross: Now I would just say cut Gross and then resign him for much much less but I didn't want to be lambasted for suggesting 3 fan favorites no matter how necessary it might be. Gross's contract is ridiculous and needs to be lowered no matter what.
1. Resign Dwan Edwards: Dwan Edwards was a force in the middle for us and it is vital that we bring him back. Edwards was a big surprise and was second among all NFC DTs in sacks with 6.
2. Resign Captain Munnerlyn: The Captain bounced back after a horrific 2011 season and is a much needed veteran among a very young and inexperienced, albeit talented, cornerback core.
3. Sign Chris Canty: Canty is a solid DT that would help solidify a dominant defensive line. Coming from Charlotte, Canty has already made his interest known and Gettleman is very familiar with the old Giant's tackle. He also stated that he would come at a "hometown discount".
4. Sign Chris Houston: Houston is a solid veteran who wont break the bank by bringing him in. Houston has stayed relatively healthy throughout his 6 year NFL career, playing in 87 games. He isn't a game changer or exactly a "playmaker" but will bring a very consistent quality game to the pass happy NFC South.
5. Sign Pat White: Derek Anderson is basically out the door to Cleveland. As a top backup the Panthers cant afford to pay him and he wants to follow Chud so the Panthers will need to find a replacement for him. No one wants to think about Cam going down but if he does I certainly don't want Clausen coming in. White is a running quarterback who will come cheap. He can run this type of offense and will also draw a crowd from the West Virginia faithful.
My Mock Draft:
First Round #14: Chance Warmack OG- I can almost hear the groans from people dying for a game changing DT or WR but I think the correct pick here is taking almost a sure thing in Warmack. Trust me, I would love to get a sexy pick like Star or a receiver but as of now I'm not seeing it. I love Tavon Austin and think he would be our third rookie of the year in a row but I just don't see it in the cards unless we trade back (possibly with the Rams?). Whether or not Star will be there is up in the air but either way with Edwards and Canty, DT is not a major concern. The fact of the matter is Cam was hit way too hard and way too often and protecting him should be a major concern. Getting Kalil back will definitely help, but drafting a stud guard will give us a great young line. Warmack is widely considered the second best overall player but because of his position "value" he should be available at 14. It's nice when BPA and need match up. An o-line consisting of Gross, Kalil, Bell, Silatolu, Hangartner, and Warmack, will be extremely solid with some good depth that will open up holes for our terrific backfield and protect our franchise QB.
Second Round #12: Keenan Allen WR/Justin Hunter WR- I put two players here because I'm not sure if Allen will be there with our second pick but if he is then the Panthers have no excuse in not scooping him up. Because he was not able to participate in the combine right now his draft spot is uncertain but because of the great showings by several receivers Allen may be left out of the first round even if he has a great pro day and the Greensboro native would look great in a Panthers uniform. I'm sure Cam wouldn't mind hearing his name called either. Justin Hunter is the security blanket pick as he should definitely be available. He has great size at 6-4, runs a 4.44 40-yard dash, and has almost a 40-inch vertical leap. He is a huge deep ball threat (a specialty of Cam's) and can go up and bring down the ball. He isn't an extremely polished receiver yet but has a huge ceiling and could be the physical number 2 option the Panther's have been looking for since Muhsin Muhammad.
Fourth Round #11: Tyrann Mathieu DB- Everyone knows the off the field issues but on the field the "Honey Badger" is a playmaker. With great speed and a knack for finding the ball Mathieu can be a quality FS and can cover a slot receiver. Mathieu would also provide the Panthers with a huge boost in the special teams. Anytime you can find a potential starter right off the bat with his kind of talent in the 4th round the rewards are worth the risk.
Fifth Round #15: John Lotulelei OLB- Well since I skipped on Star might as well take the other Lotulelei( surprisingly no relation). The Linebacker was a tackling machine out of UNLV. He is thick for an OLB but has good speed and athleticism to be a good project and should play well on special teams.
Sixth Round #14: Dustin Hopkins K- The Panther's place kickers have been awful since, for some unexplainable reason, cutting John Casey. Hopkins can change all that. He has the most points ever by an FBS kicker, has been extremely accurate for4 years at Florida State, and has very good power. With our last pick in the draft we need to take care of a major weakness for the Panthers.