When Gettleman said he wanted hog-mollies, he wasn't kidding around.
The Carolina Panthers have selected an offensive guard after double-dipping at defensive tackle in the first two rounds of the draft.
Edmund Kugbila, a 6'4" 317 lbs. road grader from Ghana, has been selected 108th overall by the Panthers in hopes that he can help keep Cam Newton off his back and create running lanes for our stable of running backs.
While this pick may come as a surprise to most fans, coaches were impressed by his ability to move in space at the Senior Bowl, and given the Panthers' desperate need to fill a gaping hole at right guard the pick does make sense.
The one knock that can be made on this pick is it was a bit early, but there's no guarantee he would have been on the board in the later rounds, and you can't fault the Panthers for trusting their position coaches to work with guys who may not make sense at first because of a few flaws but have the measurables necessary to compete.
Kugbila was heavily recruited by Alabama, Georgia, and Florida; but he didn't qualify for any Division 1 schools due to his low SAT scores. So while he may not be a rocket scientist, he apparently has football value.
Here's a quote from Kugbila explaining his ineligibility, and his decision to to go Valdosta State:
"I was highly recruited and was a Gwinnett County All-Star, but I was just 10 points short on my SATs," Kugbila said. "Valdosta State came in and it was between going to a JUCO and Valdosta. I visited Valdosta and loved it."
Kugbila didn't go unnoticed in NFL circles, either. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Kugbila worked out for the Atlanta Falcons in the pre-draft process. So while the Panthers may not have broadcasted their interest in Kugbila, it's not as if they just randomly picked some guy off the street.
Our friends over at Draft Panthers had this to say about the pick:
Kugbila posted a 4.65 shuttle time which was one of the best times of all OG at the combine, appears to be a good developmental RG— DraftPanthers (@DraftPanthers) April 27, 2013
It looks like he has good lateral movement, so hopefully he will pan out for the Panthers. Keep in mind that just because none of us have ever heard of him it doesn't mean he can't play football. If you look at his size, speed, and agility - he should be a nice fit for the offensive line. And hey, look on the bright side, at least now we don't have to slide Byron Bell over to RG or watch Geoff Hangartner escort DT's in to the backfield all season. So, at least there's that.
For the CSR Editorial Staff's official opinion on the pick, I'll turn it over to James Dator:
As I said, I have no opinion on this pick. I know the #Panthers need a guard... that's about it— James Dator (@James_Dator) April 27, 2013
Yep, that pretty much sums it up. All we can do is trust the Panthers' staff to know what they're doing, and if he comes in and keeps Cam protected, then we can all look back on this as a good move. If he doesn't, then we can say it was a bad move. As it stands right now, however, we just don't know how it's going to work out, so all we can do is trust the guys who made the decision and hope for the best.