One year ago everyone was head-over-heels for Lindon Gaydosh, the Canadian defensive tackle who was highly regarded up North and selected early in the CFL Draft. Now there's another import making waves in Charlotte and this time he could stick.
David Foucalt wasn't quite as dominant when he was taken with the No. 5 pick, but that doesn't matter. He's an offensive tackle, which immediately puts him in the discussion for the organization and now the team has done a fantastic write-up on him for Panthers.com.
It's easy to critique Foucalt's potential in the pros without having a good grasp on just how little quality coaching he's had. That's not a knock on Canadian coaches, but rather an understanding that advances training simply isn't available in Canada to a lot of players.
"I am very young at this position. I just have three years of experience, but Coach (John) Matsko and Coach (Ray) Brown put a lot of time in to get me better," Foucault said. "Matsko is the best coach I've had in my life.
Provided he can be a sponge there's a lot of potential. He has near-ideal size for offensive tackle in the NFL with a large 6'8 frame and good arms. That size can mask a lot of technical deficiencies early on, lessening the impact of things like footwork.
"I'm pushing myself harder to make my parents proud of me," he said. "My first week was very tough, but right now I know the plays and I just need to focus on the small details to get even better. I need to get my weight up a little bit - maybe 10 or 15 pounds on my body - and I need to focus on my feet and the playbook. I need to get better and be focused because the tempo is very hard and fast."
It's refreshing to hear a player openly discussing his weaknesses while acknowledging that being in the NFL is tough. Landing in Carolina is a fantastic opportunity to work against one of the league's best defensive lines in practice -- something that isn't afforded to most players.
There's still a long way to go before Foucalt is NFL-ready but making the roster was the first step. Now we wait for Spartanburg.