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2018 NFL Draft: Wide receiver Daurice Fountain is a player to watch in the East-West Shrine Game

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With the Panthers needing help at wide receiver, the former Northern Iowa standout could be just the ticket for Carolina in the 2018 NFL draft.

Northern Iowa v Iowa State Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images

The conundrum with Kelvin Benjamin’s tenure in Carolina was he was a big wide receiver who didn’t always play like one. He would often times make an incredible catch over multiple defenders, but then fail to position his body correctly against a short corner.

When I evaluate bigger wide receivers, it’s important for them to show consistency at the catch point. I’m not expecting them to become elite route runners and display routine separation ability. For that reason, Northern Iowa wide receiver Daurice Fountain has been appealing early in the draft process.

Fountain was selected to compete at the East-West Shrine game this week. By all indications, he has displayed his dominance.

His catch technique on this fade route is perfect. Both arms reach out in sync and he’s able to control his momentum in bounds for the touchdown.

At the same time, it’s imperative for wide receivers to keep defense backs honest. This back shoulder reception is a perfect encapsulation. Fountain sells his route as if he’s going vertical, but he snaps his head around just in time for the quarterback to place it on his back shoulder.

Fountain has also showed his elusiveness and speed when he has space.

Projection and fit with Carolina

Fountain is the type of player Carolina should take chances on during the third day of the draft. These selections are typically for players who can carve out roles on special teams, but also have upside due to their athleticism and traits. He’s not the only answer at wide receiver for the Panthers, but he has enough raw traits to add to a wide receiver group that is sorely lacking in depth.

If Fountain replicates those jumps at the combine or his pro day, then he should be drafted. I haven’t dug enough into his tape yet, but from his highlight and practice clips he’s intriguing. I recommend keeping a close eye on him tomorrow during the Shrine Game to check out this game.