(staff photo | Robert Sutton)
With the recent depletion of the wide receiver corps for the Carolina Panthers, the team will have to address the holes left behind either via free agency and in the upcoming NFL Draft. Let's take a look at one wide receiver candidate that has already known to have been worked out privately by the Panthers.
Carolina Panthers working out Kevin Norwood/WR/Aalbama tomorrow- graded as a low level FA entering season, Norwood could slip into 2nd day— Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline) March 12, 2014
Kevin Norwood comes by the way of college powerhouse Alabama. Alabama is known more for their powerful running game over their passing attack under Coach Saban, but since AJ McCarron has been playing the QB position the passing game has been used with a greater effectiveness also. Norwood was overshadowed by the teams number one standout WR in Amari Cooper but this does not mean Norwood is no slouch either when it comes to being a reliable pass catcher. If you have followed Alabama football during Norwood's four years there you can attest to the fact he made several clutch receptions and seemed to be the most reliable and consistent target for the Crimson Tide on game days.
Now speaking of measurables Norwood stands at 6' 2" weighing 198 lbs. That is a vary solid frame for a wide receiver prospect going into the NFL. Now I want to compare his combine results to his Alabama pro-day results to see if there are any discrepancies.
|40 Yd||20 Yd||10 Yd||225 Bench||Vertical jump||Broad||Shuttle||3-Cone Drill|
Kevin Norwood 2014 Alabama Pro-Day: Dane Brugler
Senior WR Kevin Norwood had a productive senior season and kept that momentum going at the NFL Combine, running a 4.48 in the 40-yard dash, and again on Wednesday. He rested on his numbers from last month, but looked excellent in positional drills, plucking the ball away from his frame and looking smooth in his cuts.
Now if you notice Norwood's forty time stayed identical at both events so this shows he has outstanding speed that is consistent for a WR prospect with his size and weight. Now Norwood did rest on his laurels from the combine in all the other measurables. Which in turn will not affect his draft stock either up or down from any standpoint. He did look the part in his position drills according to those in attendance, (that would be all 32 NFL teams.)
Now lets look at what is being said about Kevin Norwood at the moment.
Receiver Kevin Norwood, who was good at the Senior Bowl than better at the combine, turned in impressive performance. Norwood looked natural catching the ball and made a number of outstanding receptions. There's no doubt he's moved into the early part of the draft's final day.
Next: Rob Rang
STRENGTHS: Possesses a well-built frame with good overall musculature and good height for the position. Good initial quickness and shows some savvy as a route-runner, alternating his gait and gaining a clean release against press coverage.
May not possess elite top-end speed but accelerates smoothly, has some lateral agility to elude and fights for extra yardage, running through arm tackles and attempting to leap over efforts to grab him by the legs.
Good body control. Tracks the ball well and shows the ability to adjust to poorly thrown passes. Can extend and pluck the ball from outside of his frame and shows no fear when crossing the middle.
WEAKNESSES: Surrounded by an awful lot of talent at Alabama and never had to be "the man." Does the little things well, but may not possess the top-end speed to wow scouts and doesn't show an explosive burst to separate.
COMPARES TO: Earl Bennett, Chicago Bears - Given that he's two inches taller, comparing Norwood to Bennett may not be giving him enough credit. Like Bennett, however, Norwood leaves the SEC as a productive, polished player who for whatever reason hasn't generated the buzz of some of his peers.
--Rob Rang (2/5/14)
I really liked what Rang said about Norwood in that last sentence.
Norwood could very well come in and contribute to the Carolina passing attack in the early going based off playing in a run first oriented offense at Alabama. It would be very little coaching up to be done in order for him to excel in coach Shula's system. Exactly the kind of prospect's Dave Gettleman has eluded to drafting for Carolina and Norwood is exactly the kind of gem to be had in this years draft with such a deep WR pool to choose from. Carolina needs receiver help all across the board an taking a player like Norwood could help ease that burden for years to come.
Alabama vs Tennessee 2013
2013 Senior Bowl Practice