Carolina Panthers 1st Round Options: 2013 NFL Draft

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March 18, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson speaks at a press conference during the annual NFL meetings at the Arizona Biltmore. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

 

Cam Newton is progressing in a better QB even though his completion % dropped off a little bit this year. He threw 5 less interceptions this past year while raising his average from 7.8 ypa to 8 ypa. His TDs dropped by 2 despite throwing 30 less balls. The Panthers also have a really good staple of running backs with Jonathan Stewart, DeAngelo Williams and  and Mike Tolbert. However, outside of Steve Smith, the Panthers don’t really have any other WR threats to speak of. Greg Olson is a good target from the TE position. On defense Luke Kuechly is an absolute beast in the middle of that defense. Charles Johnson is an elite pass rusher off of the edge as well. However, they cut Chris Gamble in the offseason and are in some serious need of a new CB. They also don’t have any real talent to speak of at the DT position.

 

Jan 2, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Florida Gators defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd (73) sacks Louisville Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) during the second half of the Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Sharrif Floyd – The Panthers have been painfully bad at the defensive tackle position for the last couple years. It hasn’t necessarily shown in the rush defense stats, they were 12th in the league last year, but that has more to do with their outstanding LB core than their DTs. Floyd is already an outstanding run defender which will boost this defense and not make the LBs have to play the run so much. He doesn’t really have any pass rushing moves if he is stopped on his initial burst, but that initial burst is great. He stands up too much at times off the snap which can cause him to be blocked right off the bat. If he can develop some sort of pass rush move he has a very high ceiling.

 

October 27, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Utes defensive tackle Star Lotulelei (92) during warm-ups prior to a game against the California Golden Bears at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Star Lotulelei – Is an absolutely great athlete for his size. He is explosive off of the snap and has great lateral agility and flexibility to get through holes on the line to disrupt plays before they even begin. He is extremely strong and heavy handed to control the offensive lineman when they are locked up. He has an extremely strong upper core and the ability to toss offensive lineman around. He can tend to try and use his athleticism too much which can cause him to be inconsistent at times. He has some health problems right now with a possible heart defect. If that checks out he would be a steal at 14.

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