Greg Cosell Analyzes the Carolina Panthers 2013 Draft

Lance King

Doug Farrar from Shutdown Corner of Yahoo! Sports recently sat down with NFL analyst Greg Cosell to discuss every team’s 2013 Draft class. A few days ago, the NFC South Draft Review podcast was released, and it’s a must-listen if you’re an NFL Draft fan.

It’s always a pleasure to listen to Cosell talk – he’s widely considered to be one of the most knowledgeable people in football, and his opinions are highly respected in NFL circles.

I know we’ve already talked a lot about the Panthers 2013 Draft class, but it’s always nice to hear an outsider’s expert opinion on the subject.

Furthermore, they talked about all of the Saints, Falcons and Buccaneers draft picks as well, so if you’d like to know more about them you can do that as well by listening to the podcast.

Below you can find my own ‘Cliffs Notes’ on everything Cosell had to say about the Panthers new rookies. I tried to summarize all the important points Cosell made about the players, but obviously if you want all the information you’ll have to listen to the whole podcast.

Star Lotulelei
DT, Utah

  • Star has an excellent combination of size, strength and athleticism
  • Cosell said that he’s very nimble on his feet, and moves very well for a big man
  • A naturally athletic player – Cosell than went on to make a point about how you can build and improve strength, but not athleticism
  • He thinks that Lotulelei should be able to play either defensive tackle position in a 4-3 front
  • One area where he thought Lotulelei could improve was to use his hands better to be more effective with his pass rush

Thoughts:

No surprise here. I agree with everything Cosell said. Star is an elite prospect and he’s a steal for the Panthers at #14 overall.

Kawann Short
DT, Purdue

  • Cosell thought Short was a very frustrating player to watch and evaluate on tape.
  • At times, he looked like a top 10 pick. Other times, he looked like a seventh rounder or UDFA.
  • Visibly gave up on the play on several occasions.
  • It all comes down to the coaching staff to get consistent effort from him. If they can, he’ll be successful in the NFL.

Thoughts:

I somewhat agree with Cosell here – Short was a very on/off player at Purdue. He’s an effort pass rusher, who did not show enough effort at times. When he did, he dominated, but when he didn't, he was a non-factor on the play.

Of course, after the Draft, Short said that it was because he was playing more nose tackle at a higher weight, which caused him to wear down more often. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see with Short.

Edmund Kugbila
OG, Valdosta State

Did not evaluate.

Cosell said that he had Valdosta State tape, but never got to evaluating him. I don’t blame him – Kugbila was unheard of until his name was called in the fourth round.

A.J Klein
LB, Iowa State

  • Cosell thinks he was an excellent value pick in the fifth round.
  • Cosell loved Klein as a prospect – he talked about how the more he watched Klein play, the more he went ‘WOW’
  • He thinks that Klein has the skill-set and athleticism to be a starting middle linebacker in the NFL
  • Cosell personally graded Klein higher than Manti Te’o as a linebacker
  • Also thinks he’s a better prospect than Dan Connor, who was taken in the third round of the 2008 Draft by the Panthers

Thoughts:

I agree with a lot of what Cosell said about Klein. I did a bit of pre-draft scouting of Klein and watched him at the East-West Shrine game, and I have to say, the more I watched, the more I liked Klein. I’m a bit surprised that Cosell thinks he can be a starter in the NFL, but if that’s really Klein’s ceiling then I think we got ourselves a steal in the fifth round.

Kenjon Barner
RB, Oregon

  • Thinks Barner was a good value pick in the sixth round.
  • Talked about how the Panthers ran more option plays than any other team in the NFL last season. Since Barner comes from that option background at Oregon, it should be a smooth transition for him into the NFL.
  • Called Barner a ‘satellite’ back who can be lined up all over the field
  • Good future piece for the Panthers offense

Thoughts:

This is a pick for the future, and it makes a lot of sense even if Barner won’t see the field very often next season.

Extra: Cosell also mentioned 2012 Draft pick Frank Alexander when he was talking about the Panthers defensive line. He praised Alexander as an efficient and versatile (played DE and DT in 2012) player who made an impact whenever he was on the field. Once again, it’s something we’ve already talked about on CSR, but it’s nice to hear our players getting praise from bigger sources in the media.

So, what are your thoughts on Greg Cosell’s analysis of the Panthers 2013 Draft class? Do you agree or disagree with anything he said? Feel free to discuss in the comment section below.

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