Carolina Panthers Draft Recap


Apr 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis announces the number twenty-five overall pick to the Panthers in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The 2015 NFL Draft is done and all the new players for each team, including the undrafted free agents, are getting settled in with their new teams. The Carolina Panthers have become one of the lowest graded teams according to the “experts” when they give out draft grades.

The thing about the Panthers that many should understand is they have been one of the lowest rated teams the last 3 years, including this year’s rating, when it comes to the draft. Now when looking at the previous two years as an indicator then you can see that more than likely we will be fine. I think the draft was solid overall and of course I disagreed with some of the picks but I am not the Panthers’ general manager.

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The Panthers went out and improved the best linebacker group in the NFL by adding Shaq Thompson and David Mayo which was a head scratcher to me. I understand the Panthers wanting to get faster on the field, but I saw the WR group as missing that not the linebackers. It hurt seeing us choose Shaq Thompson over Breshad Perriman who I thought was a perfect fit for what the Panthers needed. Either way we know one thing for sure and that is teams will fear our linebackers even more this season coming up.

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  • Thompson is a monster on the football field and he is everywhere so from a talent standpoint alone it was a great pick.Mayo reminds me of a poor man’s Luke Kuechly, because he is always there to tackle you and he seems to be a special teams player this coming season. Mayo does have issues with his tackling power at times against bigger competition, but he seems to tackle speedy players without a good amount of size very well. Mayo is a perfect fit for the special teams and he will probably move his way into the linebacker rotation eventually.

    One pick I didn’t like at first but I have become a fan of was the pick of Devin Funchess the WR out of the University of Michigan. Funchess is a very big WR in the mold of a Kelvin Benjamin and while he may lack elite speed he can challenge safeties deep down the field because he has sneaky speed. What I mean by sneaky speed is he can seem to be running slower than he really is in the games he played and I think that throws teams off sometimes.

    Funchess will be a very good option opposite of Benjamin, but only if he can stretch the field which looking at his highlights he seems to be able to do. I didn’t like the fact that they gave up a 3rd round pick and a 6th round pick as well to move up to get him, but if he works out like Dave Gettleman envisions then it will have been worth it.

    Another pick where we moved up in the draft to select a player was the pick of Daryl Williams who is an OT out of Oklahoma University. I loved this pick because many believed that Williams should have been a 3rd round pick including Dave Gettleman.

    Williams will probably start out at RT but eventually with some work he could shift over to LT. One thing that is clear about Williams when watching his videos is that he is a true run blocking OT who could fit in with the Panthers mentality of running the ball a lot. I see this pick as the best pick in terms of value and need together.

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  • The last pick I will discuss is the pick of RB Cameron Artis-Payne from Auburn University who led the SEC last season in rushing yards which is no easy feat to accomplish. Artis-Payne is a RB who seems very familiar when watching his highlights, because he seems to be Johnathan Stewart out on the field at times.

    He is a big bodied, hard nose runner with the ability to break tackles and can find the holes in the offensive line to break out for big yards. I can see Artis-Payne becoming the starter down the road if he learns the NFL game and how to utilize his strengths more. Leading the SEC in rushing yards is more difficult to do in the SEC than any other conference and I think this guy was a steal.

    If I had to give this draft a grade I would probably give it a B for the simple fact that I think they got a few steals in the draft and that they did try to address some needs. I was not a fan of the Thompson pick but it was because of needs not talent. I think that overall these guys will help us move forward and hopefully help us win a super bowl. Go Carolina!