Now before you start blasting Fairburn just know that when we had him on our radio show he provided some fair and unbiased analysis (though he whiffed on his Jags picking Bortles). So I'm just going to say it will be fun when Benjamin proves him wrong:
Wide Receiver - Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina Panthers (Pick No. 28, Florida State) Much was made about how deep the 2014 NFL Draft was at wide receiver. That's what made it confusing to see the Carolina Panthers spend such a high draft pick on Kelvin Benjamin, who has some glaring issues with his route running, focus and hands. His upside is through the roof, but it's really hard to tell whether Benjamin will ever scratch the surface of his enormous potential.
Well I think the Panthers staff believes the kid has the right mental make up and attitude to tap the 'enormous potential' everyone agrees he has. I think that is what many will realize and they will realize it early in the season. We've already seen that the 'bad hands' and 'bad route running' were overblown. The rest will take care of itself.
If you ask me I would instead put the Saints trading up for Brandin Cooks as the biggest WR reach in the 1st round. They should have kept the 3rd round pick and selected Cooks at #27. Of course it's a big assumption he would have lasted but I think it was probable looking at the picks that unfolded. In that event they could have kept their #91 and selected a player like Dri Archer, Brandon Thomas or even Trai Turner.
The Panthers on the other hand simply grabbed the best player on their board knowing there was no way Benjamin would be there at #60. Would the pundits feel better if the Panthers had taken Ealy at #28 and Benjamin at #60? In theory I'm sure but again, there is no way Benjamin lasts to #60.