The Panthers have already addressed WR/ST issues this offseason with the signings of Domenick Hixon and Ted Ginn Jr., but taking a look at Marquise Goodwin is something that the Panthers need to do before April 25. Projected as the 99th best prospect overall, and the 13th best wide receiver, Goodwin can seriously impact whichever team picks him up in the third or fourth round.
Vertical Jump: 42"
- 25 Catches/299 yards/3 TDs
- 14 Rush Attempts/181 yards/ 3 TDs
- 13 Kickoff Returns/ 25.15 yard return average
Upside: When you ask Texas fans what they think of Marquise Goodwin, they will all tell you the same thing: He was the fastest, most talented Longhorn that was never utilized. Goodwin only touched the ball 39 times during the 2012 season and he scored on 6 of those chances. He has world class speed, literally. Goodwin missed a majority of his summer workouts this past season as he trained and competed in the London Olympics, finishing ninth in the long jump. He nearly set the combine 40 yard dash record in March when he ran a blazing 4.27.
Goodwin has great hands too, and will rarely turn the ball over. His one fumble this season came against West Virginia, in October, when he was knocked unconscious by a Mountaineer. Goodwin’s great hands are combined with the fact that he rarely drops the ball. He excels in the open field and can make defenders miss rather easily. He doesn’t normally have to make defenders miss though, he usually blows right by them. Goodwin was considered one of the stars of the 2013 Senior Bowl, impressing scouts enough to mock him up one round. Speed isn’t everything (see Darius Heyward-Bey) but Goodwin’s athleticism is quite a spectacle.
Here are two games where Goodwin was a serious contributor. The first game was against Ole Miss in September, just a month after finishing the Olympics, and the second was in the 2012 Alamo Bowl, where he was named the MVP.
vs. Oregon State: 4 receptions, 68 yards 1 TD, 1 rushing attempt, 64 yards 1 TD.
Vs. Ole Miss: 2 receptions, 102 yards, 1 TD, 2 rushing attempts, 80 yards, 1 TD
Downside: The downside with Goodwin is his size. Only 5’9 and 183 lbs, Goodwin has his struggles getting off the line and blocking down field. When you watch the Ole Miss film you can see how on some blocks he throw his body and completely misses his target, but on others he lines up directly and drives his man back. There is no questioning his strength and athleticism, but how it will translate to NFL caliber athletes is a completely different story. Analysts also say that his route running is raw, but this is easily fixable with a coach like Ricky Proehl and a work ethic like Marquise Goodwin’s. Prepare for upcoming cliché : It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog. Goodwin has a lot of fight, hopefully it will work in his favor.
What He Means For Carolina: Goodwin would become a Steve Smith in waiting. Signing Ted Ginn Jr. alleviates the problem with the return game, but Marquise Goodwin could shine in that role. Goodwin has reliable hands and could become a third/fourth target for Cam Newton. It all depends on who the Panthers take in the first two rounds and how effective Hixon becomes.
If they go with two defensive players, (and history shows that Gettleman doesn’t draft offensive lineman before the fifth round) I like the idea of the Panthers gambling on a guy like Marquise Goodwin in the fourth round. Is it because I am a Longhorn homer? Maybe. But the guy has unlimited potential that the Panthers can tap into. Too much speed is never a bad thing. (unless you’re the Raiders, then everything is a bad thing.)