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Panthers SHOULD Target App State WR Dexter Jackson

Stan Olsen at doesn’t think Appalachian State WR Dexter Jackson will be a Panther next season:

Along the way Jackson, whose Pro Day is scheduled for March 24 at Appalachian, has gone from a projected undrafted free agent to a player who could climb as high as the second round. That would probably be out of the Panthers' range, given their needs at other positions. If he drops though, expect that to change, because talent trumps height at his position. Anyway, expect to see Jackson playing somewhere in the NFL next year.

I have no idea if the Panthers are interested in Jackson but they should be. I’m not focused on his receiving skills but instead on his kick-off returns. He has blazing speed and lots of experience returning kicks. Given the sad state of our kick return average (31st in NFL last season) I would like to see competition for the job. I realize we just signed Ricardo Colclough for that reason but I don’t get a warm and fuzzy about him.

I think Olsen is stretching things to say Jackson could go in the 2nd round – no way. He’s more like a 4th or 5th rounder. He did look good at the combine and that sub-4.3 unofficial 40 yd time (later revised to 4.37 officially) got him some looks. I also disagree that the Panthers will target a big receiver in the draft. What we need is a reliable receiver, someone we can rely on to get the tough 3rd and 4th down catches when the game is on the line. Maybe Dexter Jackson could be that guy.


DJ Hackett to Visit Panthers

Former Seahawks WR DJ Hackett is scheduled to visit the Panthers this week.

Hackett is 26 and could be the big receiver to complement Smith at 6-foot-2 and 208 pounds. With Seattle last season he was limited by injuries to six games, but still caught 32 passes for 384 yards and three touchdowns.

Those are pretty good number for six games. If he can stay healthy he would be a good addition to the WR corps.

Why does everyone assume we need a big receiver? We already have big guys in Moose and Dwayne Jarrett (if he can stay out of trouble). I think we need another deep threat to keep the free safety from cheating over to Steve Smith. I had hoped Drew Carter would be that guy but he rarely did in 2007.


Hartwig Wouldn’t Change Positions

So now we know why C Justin Hartwig was cut instead of being allowed to compete for one of the guard spots. He didn’t want to change positions.

General manager Marty Hurney said the Panthers tried to trade Justin Hartwig, but didn’t get an offer and released him rather than force him to play out of position.

"Didn’t get an offer". I think Justin’s stubbornness is going to cost him some money. If nobody would even throw a late round pick at him then you know he’s not going to get $2.3M a year from someone as a free agent. He probably would have gotten beat out anyway.