Written by: Matthew Blunk
Change was the theme of the 2011 Carolina Panthers. John Fox and his lame-duck staff were replaced by Ron Rivera and his. The Jimmy Era ended pretty much even before it began, as the Panthers selected Auburn hero Cam Newton with their first overall pick in the draft. Newton came in with tempered expectations - a guy who won the BCS Championship, yes, but did so in a college offensive system with very little reads for a quarterback.
Newton shined, though, exceeded everyone's expectations (well, maybe just meeting Warren Moon's), and went on to be named the Offensive Rookie of the Year. Carolina tripled its win total from 2011 and now some are looking for the team to take the next step. In order to do that, they will have to get better. Better players, better depth. The 2012 NFL Draft is just days away. Here's where the Panthers can improve the most:
Steve Smith's still got it, but he's only one man. Carolina hasn't been able to find his complement since Muhsin Muhammad retired. There's going to be plenty of talented wideouts available in the draft, and you can expect one of them to land on the Panthers' roster when all is said and done. Newton needs better weapons at his disposal if he is to progress as a pro passer (say that five times fast).
Some might say defensive end is a greater need than tackle, but at least the Panthers have Charles Johnson on the edge. They have practically nobody on the interior. Sione Fua, Ron Edwards, and Terrell McClain are the cream of the crop at this position - on the Panthers' roster. Help is desperately needed here.
Chris Gamble is getting old (aren't we all?) and doesn't have a lot of skilled running mates. Captain Munnerlyn at best is a nickel corner. Brandon Hogan is a guy with some upside, but how quickly can he put it together? I'd wager Carolina will take a cornerback early in the draft, for they need one desperately.
This year’s National Football League draft gets underway on Thursday night (4/25) in New York’s iconic Radio City Music Hall. The ceremony will begin at 8ET and be televised on ESPN. One can only wonder what the wild and crazy Jets fans will have to cheer (or jeer) about now that the N.Y. …
The 78th edition of the National Football League draft will begin on Thursday night, April 25th at 8pm ET. The official description of this event is The NFL Player Selection Meeting. This gathering will take place at the famous Radio City Music Hall in New York City. …
By Melissa Harder
Next week will mark a big moment in the ongoing concussion class action lawsuit brought by over 4,000 former players against the National Football League (NFL). Lawyers for the former players will argue the matter belongs in federal court while the NFL will push for the claim to be heard in arbitration. …