Here is the conclusion of my interview with ESPN.com NFC South blogger Pat Yasinskas. Please remember to head over to his NFC South blog to keep in touch with the news around the division.
Cat Scratch Reader: What was the Panthers' best move in the 2011 draft?
Pat Yasinskas: Drafting Newton. I don't know if he'll be a star or a bust. But the Panthers were in the rare position where they could take a guy who could end up being a franchise quarterback. It was a chance they had to take.
More after the jump
CSR: Is there any way for the organization to find a way to keep both DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart?
PY: I think so. I know DeAngelo likes Charlotte and I'm sure there were some contract talks before the lockout. I'd keep him around because Stewart is great, but his durability is a question.
CSR: Can you give me the name of one player in the NFC South who you think will break-out in 2011?
PY: I'll say Tampa Bay defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. He was just starting to come on when he got hurt as a rookie. He should be healthy and the addition of a couple of defensive ends in the draft should really help him emerge this year.
CSR: Will the Panthers look for a veteran WR in free agency this year?
PY: No, even if Steve Smith is gone, I think the Panthers are pretty high on Brandon LaFell and David Gettis. They also want to get Armanti Edwards on the field. If they sign a veteran it could keep those guys off the field and that's not what Marty Hurney wants.
CSR: I hate to do it, but can you give us a prediction? The Carolina Panthers will finish _____
PY: Tell you what, hit me back for a prediction at the end of August. There are so many unknowns with the labor situation and free agency, that I'm hesitant to make any prediction right now. But I promise I'll say something better than 2-14.
Thanks Pat, we'll take you up on that. Happy to hear you're not as doom and gloom as some analysts who are ready to say we'll be picking #1 overall in 2012.