You're probably thinking that this is way too early to even have this pop into your head. But I think this could be an interesting discussion that could be refreshing while also still talking about the subject at hand. What I have here is five guys that I'm going to be watching closely this 2014 college football season, because from what I've seen so far, I think they'd make great additions to our team. And in the comment section, I want you guys to tell me what you think of them, as well as post any other prospects I didn't list that you would want in a Panther uniform.
1. Rashad Greene, WR Florida State
He is a very polished receiver, I'm hesitant to say complete because of what the word entails, but he would be in the argument for most polished receiver in this current draft if he had decided to enter it. He brings legitimate potential to be a #1 receiver at the next level.
2. Cameron Erving, OT Florida State
Doubling down on the 'Noles here. This is a big man standing at 6'6, 320 pounds. He's gone through a case similar to Anthony Barr in that he's switched which side of the game he plays, as he was a former DT. He was thrown into the LT position and immediately tasked to start, born under fire if you will. But not only did he play well, he excelled right off the bat. The next year he was even better, showing remarkable improvement. With only two years at the position, he still has a lot to learn, but the fact that he has excelled as much as he has with so little experience has me feeling good things about him.
3. Todd Gurley II, RB Georgia.
I know what you're thinking, we've got enough baggage with two of our RBs already, we don't need another. I disagree. We're going to get rid of both Stewart and Williams as soon as possible, but drafting someone like Gurley to train up for a year or two would be a really wise move. I don't see too many running backs anymore that can be used in every facet of the game, but he certainly fits the bill. At 6'1, 231 pounds, he's a pretty big back, but he also brings a great amount of speed. Even better, he can use both adeptly when he runs, combining power and speed to form a lethal tailback. He is also an asset in the passing game, as he averaged over 40 yards receiving per game in Georgia's offense, as well as 6 receiving touchdowns. There are some durability concerns with his hamstring, but if he can prove that he's healthy this season, I'd give him a pass. He is someone you can rely on every play for every situation, instead of a stable of different backs, and I would love to see him in our colors.
4. Cedric Ogbuehi, OT Texas A&M
The successor to Jake Matthews, Cedric almost entered the 2014 NFL draft, with good reason. Coming in at 6'5, 300 pounds, he is on the lighter side, but that's something that can change if needed. He slid over to the RT spot last year once Jake Matthews moved to the left to replace Luke Joeckel, and now he's getting his shot on the left side too. He has a lot of room to improve, mostly in his strength and power, but his technique is sound. His biggest plus is his movement skills and lateral agility, which are truly something to behold. He'd be an excellent pass blocker while he worked on his run blocking, but speed rushers are nothing to him.
5. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB Oregon
I was honestly disappointed when I heard that he had decided to stay his senior year, as he was one of my favorite corners to watch. He has fluid movements and sticks to receivers very well. His best attributes though have to be his superior body control and excellent hand eye coordination. Much like a big receiver has a wide catch radius, Ifo had a knack for being able to defend the ball no matter how far away he was from his receiver or what kind of position he was in. He timed his deflections extremely well and stuck his hands out with pinpoint accuracy to keep the catch from being made. I kind of liken him to Chris Gamble. With his playstyle, I don't see him getting very many interceptions. What you do get however is many pass deflections and a very low success rate against him, just like Gamble.
6. Vic Beasley, DE/OLB Clemson
I'm a HUGE Clemson fan, so I have plenty of experience watching this guy play. He has an unusual size for someone who plays as a 4-3 DE, being 6'2 and 235 pounds, he's lighter than many running backs. His small size doesn't stop him from being an extremely dangerous pass rusher, however. At first glance at his weight, one would probably right him off as just some speed rusher. While that is something he is quite good at, he also brings a surprisingly effective bull rush to his repertoire. It would certainly throw an offensive lineman off guard to see that for the first time coming from someone as small as him. He would most likely become an OLB at the next level, but he would bring a dangerous pass rushing presence to our defense that we don't really have at the moment.
So, what do you guys think of these six? Let me know in the comments section, and post any others you think will look good for us in the 2015 draft.