Jan 12, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) runs against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of the 2013 NFC divisional playoff football game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers Need Wide Receivers in the 2014 NFL Draft

They’ve put it off long enough.  After a frustrating playoff exit, the time has come for the Carolina Panthers to address their wide receiver problems.

Cam Newton unable to solve San Francisco 49ers pass defense

He got away with it the first time, but unfortunately the lack of an explosive pass offense was bound to catch up to Cam Newton eventually.  The San Francisco 49ers proved that as they were able to shut down the Panthers offense for most of the game.  Though Newton had 267 yards through the air, he threw two costly interceptions.  Steve Smith had a game typical of his long, successful career but aside from the occasional plays by Greg Olsen and a few others the Panthers could never truly find a rhythm against the 49ers.  There comes a time when talent is needed more than scheming, and it showed up for Carolina.  Newton has made great strides for the Panthers in 2013.  His defense should remain a powerhouse moving forward with Luke Kuechly and company.  The offensive line is stable and the running game steady.  It’s all about improving the weaponry in the 2014 NFL draft.

Kelvin Benjamin and Paul Richardson among several options

Lucky for him, the upcoming class could turn out to be one of the strongest in recent memory at the receiver position.  As many as seven players have high enough grades to go in the first round.  Sammy Watkins and Marqise Lee lead the pack but the Carolina Panthers know the chances of landing one of those two is negligible at best.  Based on their recent loss they won’t pick until 28th in the first round, so they must do their homework on the prospects who could fall in that area.  One that Cam Newton could learn to love is Kelvin Benjamin.  The FloridaState standout is widely known that the man who caught the game-winning touchdown pass to given the Seminoles the national championship.  At 6’5″ he is an impressive target with a wide catch radius and deceptive acceleration that allows him to gain separation from press coverage.  His leaping ability makes him a terror in the red zone, as Auburn found out in the Rose Bowl.  Then there is overlooked Colorado star Paul Richardson.  Though a more modest 6’1″, he has more of a game breaking ability.  He possesses sub-4.5 speed and used it extremely well, catching seven touchdown passes of 53 yards or more during the 2013 season.  Many see him as a taller version of DeSean Jackson.

The Carolina Panthers know they have other positions to think about, but when it comes to the 2014 NFL Draft, wide receiver must come first.

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Tags: 2014 Nfl Draft Cam Newton Carolina Panthers Kelvin Benjamin San Francisco 49ers

  • MaDD MaXx

    Cam needs weapons

  • Cpantherz

    The question is what will be available by the 28th pick? I would think that the good WRs would be gone by then.

    • Erik Lambert

      I trust you mean Watkins, Lee and Evans. They are the best, sure. But I would say Allen Robinson, Jordan Matthews, Paul Richardson, DeVante Parker and Odell Beckham Jr. would all be nice gets for the 28th pick.

    • Nick Walters

      There will be plenty of NFL ready receivers in the first few rounds of this year’s draft. I wouldn’t be disappointed if we grabbed receivers in the first 2 rounds. My number 1 is mentioned in this article. Kelvin Benjamin. If he’s there, and they don’t grab him…. shame on them. We absolutely need that size, speed, and insane leaping ability. Makes grabs with his hands too, that’s a huge plus.

      Like I said, I’d like to see them take WR’s in the first 2 rounds, but we don’t have to lean solely on the draft. Grabbing a solid FA to add to the mix wouldn’t be a bad idea at all. Hakeem Nicks is an UFA. He clearly needs a change of scenery, and we could possibly get a hometown discount. Everyone knows he’s not happy in NY, and you will most likely see something good happen when he moves.

      As for defense, how awesome would it be to land Brent Grimes? That dude is a monster CB, and he pretty much shut down everyone. Just throwing that out there as a bonus!

  • Jessica

    Cam needs weapons. I think a big tall tight end like Jake Amaro from Texas would be a good fit. Too bad we cannot get Watkis!!! I also like Marquise Lee.

  • Finane

    I have put lot of work into this. We Should Be able to Draft Kelvin Benjamin at 28th. WR’s Like Evans, Lee, Beckham, Watkins, TE’ Ebron and Amaro are more than likely gone. A premium this year is Defense and QB’s for most teams in the first round. There is 8 new Head Coaches this year. It goes back to Bear Bryant’s school 101 a strong defense has more opportunities to score than the offense. Offense can’t go 10 plays with out making a mistake or turn over. So Stop the run defends the pass and create turn overs on a short field. So NFL ready WR’s should be available. So Draft should go like this 1. WR 2. WR 3. CB 4. CB 5. WR. 6. QB 7. CB
    Derek Anderson is a FA. plus he will be 31 next season. We need someone to be able to step in behind Cam. Cam keeps running he is going to get hurt. So Drafting a QB isn’t to replace Cam it’s to back him up.
    The O-line will be fine. There are 16 o-lineman on the roster and a whole o-line C, 2 OG’s 2 OT’s on injured reserve. Most of the Time Cam had time to throw but no one open. So teams loaded the box to stop our run game. Really was Lafell or Ginn ever a threat to other teams. With teams coming after Cam TE Olsen had to stay in to block.
    Plus adding the Fact that Stewart being hurt so often, Then the other 3 RB’ are 5’9 trying to stop a Speed rushing DE that is 6’4 6’5 290 lbs yep we know who wins that battle. I just believe we have 27 million in guaranteed money invested in three RB’s. Little Cap room so we have to draft WR’s and DB’s O-line will have to do.
    Maybe next year we can draft a RB that is like Jeremy Hill 6’2 235 lbs. or James Wilder 6’1 230lbs.
    How do you get a good WR well what do we have to Trade or what money do we have to offer in FA. Hands are tied so you draft enough hoping you hit the mark.
    All year people has screamed weapons for Cam and we need DB’s.
    One more thing how much can we afford to keep most of the 21 free agents we have. What do you offer Greg Hardy? Can Frank Alexander fill his shoes.
    Can you get Mike Shula to call more plays to play to Cam strengths.
    GM Dave Gettleman has his hands full thanks to Marty Hurney signing RB’s to huge contracts. 2 RB’s maybe 3 is enough. 4 is to many.
    So my hope is to trade Stewart next year but his stock will be low do to his injury record. Well that’s just a sample of what we have to look forward to.
    BUT, Tampa Bay is coming on strong and then there is the Saints. Falcons will bounce back. The NFC South will be the hardest division in the league.

    • Jameson

      I think that 3 wide receivers 3 cornerbacks in the quarterback is a terrible draft for this team. Not “trolling” I just really disagree with you.

      • Jameson

        our offense of line is not fine, we cannot sustain another year like we had this year. had our GM not have been at savvy as he is we could have been in real trouble because of injuries. Amini, williams, and chris scott went down early. As did the rookie kugbila (or whatever) that being said I trust at least 2 of the 5 and possibly three to come back and produce next season. so that eliminates the need for a guard in the draft.. but it doesn’t address to tackle position. Bruce cambell got hurt but lucky for us Gross and bell stayed injury free. but they certainly need fresh young backup players behind them. If its a 2nd rd tackle then he may compete with Bell for a starting spot which would be even better. I wrote a comment on how I think the draft for the panthers should go maybe you should check it out.

        the only thing I did agree with you on is the running backs. Williams and Tolbert should be more than sufficient for next year, with barner getting more burn as well. But in Next years draft definitely draft an impact Rb.

  • Jameson

    Jordan Matthews or Allen Robinson. Then a tackle 2nd rd, safety 3rd rd, either a Cb or a Wr 4th. Lb or De 5th. 6th Center/tackle. 7rd maybe another lb, we are top heavy at LB.

    Matthews and Cam would click asap and and he would bring a new dimension to our offense. as far as the rest is concerned, we need another tackle because Jordan Gross is probably going to play another 2 years. might as well draft the new guy now so that the transition is seamless.

    even though it’s difficult to predict past the second round, I’m going to say they take a safety third. too many deep passes completed since Godrey got hurt. it is imperative that we get new fresh blood in the secondary.

    I could definitely see the Panthers taking two wide receivers in the draft. definitely one in the first two rounds and possibly second in the fourth round.

    our defense maybe stout as it is currently constructed, but it is imperative that we keep a fresh stock of linebackers, klein was a good pick up and probable future starter, but Blackburn was only a stopgap, they need to draft a replacement. similar logic with the defensive end position, although there is no glaring hole, you never know what opportunities may present themselves such as injuries. I held my breath every time I saw Charles Johnson get hurt. we need some insurance.

    overall the Panthers are in a great spot. this draft should solidify the foundation they have already put down. especially if they can get two or three impact players in the early rounds. oh well, there is my rant.

    • Finane

      OK so I just got his in my box so I need to reply Gettleman resigned practice Squad 13 2014. Gettleman also picked up players for future signings. OLB, CB, WR, 2 OG’s 2OT’s Hog Maulers. Before the Season was Over Gettleman signed TE D C Jefferson from AZ Cards. 6’6 255. Ironic because they picked him with our Traded 7th round pick last year.
      I’m glad you disagree, But I see things different because we never had a problem getting to the Red Zone but punching it in either by Ground or air didn’t seem to work most of the time. The closer we got to the goal line the harder it got. As of Today we have 20 O-lineman heading into next year before the draft. cuts FA and UNFA we also have 10 WR’s 6’2 and under but only 4 was ever used. Why is a good question. So that’s why for Big WR Targets for Cam because if he throws an air ball to these guys it goes in the stands.
      Snap Shot Red Zone WR Benjamin 6’5, WR Coleman 6’6, TE Olsen 6’5, TE Jefferson 6’6 RB Tolbert or FB Zordich 6’1 240. I’m going to punch it in with this. Think Jimmy Graham, Gronk, Gonzalez, Chris Chandler etc. See we use to use 2 TE sets and it worked great with Cam when Jeremy Shockey was here with Olsen.

      • Jameson

        how ever you slice it 3 Wrs, 3 Cbs and a qb is a bad draft for ANY team.

  • Jessica 981

    Jace Amaro!!!