FanPost

The Significance of This Draft


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I’m going to go ahead and say it, this is the biggest draft in the HISTORY of the Carolina Panthers. I have not heard anybody reference it as such but it is. The Panthers are on the verge of creating something special and how special it is will be dictated by the next two years. Last offseason was a big one for the franchise and for all intended purposes I have to give Gettleman an A for it. What he did as far as the cap, bringing in free agents, and the draft was a huge success. This offseason has been highly scrutinized but one thing that Gettleman has done is continuing the Panthers on the path to cap healthiness. It remains to be seen if the free agents this summer will be like the ones from last year, and if a long term deal with Hardy can get done. In my opinion it would be a huge mistake on Gettleman for paying $13 mil for a rental. Regardless, the Panther’s GM has to nail this draft. More than likely he will not get the gift that was Star, and one could also argue that was KK last year. The fans of Panther nation are beginning to get a whiff of a perennial playoff/super bowl contender with one of if not the most dynamic quarterbacks in the game and a young, nasty defense anchored by the reigning defensive player of the year who is entering his third season. Optimism is running high in these parts of the South, but the optimism does come with a little bit of soberness when one looks at the glaring needs of the Panthers, the tackle and wide receiver position. I think it was very telling when Gettleman said that there was 9-10 tackles and receivers worthy of a first round pick. We all have scoured through all the mock drafts over the past couple of months and almost all of them have at least 9-10 tackles and receivers going before the Panthers pick at 28. Now it is very possible and very likely that there is at least one or two players that Gettleman has rated higher than what most of the "experts" think. Nonetheless, there could be as many as 12 selected before 28 and so my bold prediction for the draft is that a defensive player will be taken with the first pick and a wide receiver will not be taken until the third round. Most fans would probably not be too thrilled with that but think back to last year with the San Diego Chargers. Everybody is talking about how bad our receiving corp is, and it is pretty bad, but before the draft the Chargers boasted Vincent Brown, Malcolm Floyd and Eddie Royal as their top three receivers before taking Keenan Allen in the third round. By the way this past season with that mediocre receiving corp, that will be very comparable to the one the Panthers will have this season, Philip Rivers had one of the best seasons of his career. So do not fret if the draft shapes up that way. Gettleman has a long term plan, and even though some do not want to accept it this is a transition year for the Panthers. The idea, like DG has stated, is to get three starters and some role players with the seven picks. If the Panthers can come away with that in the most impactful draft in franchise history, they will be sitting pretty this time next year and there will be nothing finer than being a fan of Carolina.

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