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CAROLINA PANTHERS

Pro Sports Daily     Official Site     USA Today     Pro Football Weekly     Panthers Stats     ESPN

2009 draft     2008 draft     2007 draft     2006 draft

2005 draft     2004 draft     2003 draft     2002 draft

 

2009 DRAFT PICKS
links go to NFL.com website

Rd Sel# Player Pos. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
2 43 Everette Brown DE Florida State #3 DE Round 1
2 59 Sherrod Martin CB/FS Troy #9 CB Round 3

Senior Bowl practice comment

Did not stand out in one on one cover drills but looked better in 11 on 11 drills.  His workout will be big for him.
3 93 Corvey Irvin DT Georgia #7 DT Round 3

Senior Bowl practice comment

Irvin had a sack in the 11 on 11's, and made a nice play on a screen pass in the 11 on 11's.  In the one-on-one's he did best when he could bull rush the blocker.

ONE ON ONE BLOCKING DRILLS SCORED BY JAY GOLDBERG

5 - 5 Caldwell 0-2   Parker 1-1   Luigs 2-0   Wood 1-1   Kropog 1-1
4 111 Mike Goodson RB Texas A&M #7 RB Round 3
4 128 Tony Fiammetta FB Syracuse #1 FB Round 4

Senior Bowl practice comment

Known as a very good blocker, Fiammetta had some very good run blocks in practice.  However, what impressed me the most was that he looked great in one-on-one pass catching drills beating defenders, making good catches and even showing YAC potential.

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

Fiametta is one of the best fullback prospects I've encountered in a long time.  He is very strong; is an excellent blocker; has good speed and quickness for a man his size; and has very good hands and run after the catch ability.  If your team selects him higher than you thought a fullback should be picked, know you drafted a very special player.
5 163 Duke Robinson OG Oklahoma #3 OG Round 2
7 216 Captain Munnerlyn CB South Carolina #14 CB Round 4

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

Munnerlyn is a very good prospect as a slot corner and return man.  He is both fast and quick; is very strong for a kid his size, and has no problem playing physically.  An ideal player to add to a team's roster, in addition to growing into a top nickel corner, Munnerlyn will be a core special teams player as well.
FA ---- Gerald Cadogan OT Penn State #13 OT Round 4
FA ---- Hunter Cantwell QB Louisville NR Late Round Value
FA ---- Jason Chery WR Louisiana-Lafayette NR Late Round Value

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

Chery is one of the better special team players available in the draft.  He has very good return skills and is strong for his size so will be good on coverage units as well.  However, Chery makes this list because reports from the Texas vs the Nation All Star Game indicated that he caught everything thrown his way in practice so he could surprise as a contributor in multiple receiver sets down the line as well as on special teams.
FA ---- D.J. Clark CB Idaho NR 7th/FA
FA ---- C.J. Davis OG/C Pittsburgh NR Late Round Value
FA ---- D. J. Johnson CB/FS Jackson State #22 CB Round 5

Senior Bowl practice comment

Showed some good things in coverage particularly press coverage in the one on one's.  However, was also beat often in the one-on-one drills.  He did flash a number of times, however, in the 11 on 11's.
FA ---- Marlon Favorite DT LSU NR 7th/FA
FA ---- Anthony Heygood OLB Purdue NR 7th/FA
FA ---- Mortty Ivy OLB WEst Virginia NR Late Round Value

 

A-

2009 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

Considering the Panthers had no first round pick, getting an A- is pretty impressive.  One reason is that I don't bail on my prospects like some draft-graders.  I had a solid first round grade on Brown.  I also liked some of the Panthers' college street free agent signings.

DRAFT PICKS

Brown started declining when NFL teams began questioning his ability to play OLB in a 3-4 defense.  Personally, I always liked him as a defensive end in spite of his lack of great size for the position.  Brown is a very good pass rusher who will start off as a nickel rusher, and grow into a starter down the line.

Last year the Panthers drafted a corner and successfully moved him to safety; this year safety Martin will move to corner.  Martin has good size, acceptable speed and tremendous quickness.  He is the rare taller corner who can line up in the slot against short, quick receivers and taller West Coast Offense receivers.  He will need some time to fully develop but will be a solid player for Carolina for years.

Some circles called Irvin a reach but not me.  He needs a bit more work in the weight room but has the skills to be a good NFL player.

While the Eagles got rave reviews for drafting McCoy in round two, I had Goodson with a slightly higher grade and they grabbed him in round four.  My only question is with Williams and Stewart, what is the Panthers' long term plan for their running backs.  Personally, I could see them showcasing the injury-prone Stewart and moving him for a high draft pick.  This would allow Goodson to settle in as the #2 back in tandem with Williams.  If that isn't the plan, as much as I like Goodson, tight end Shawn Nelson may have been a better selection here for the long term.  And if not Nelson, receivers Johnny Knox or Jarett Dillard could also have been better long term pieces for the Panther offense.

Fiammetta is the rare fullback deserving of being selected using a quality pick.  In fact the combination of Goodson and Fiammetta could make my conjecture of a Stewart trade more likely.  Fiammetta is very strong, an excellent blocker, has good hands, and has excellent speed for a fullback.  He could be used as a short-yardage back in addition to playing the traditional fullback role at a high level.  In that role, I like him more than McClain of the Ravens.

Robinson was great value in round five.  He has good size and is a natural talent.  In the NFL Robinson will not be able to play at a consistently high level on his natural abilities alone.  He will need to work harder to have become a dependable starter.

While Robinson was excellent value in round five, Munnerlyn was a steal in round seven.  He did not have a great workout at the Combine but rebounded with a very good Pro Day.  While short, Munnerlyn is strong, quick, athletic and confident.  This is one seventh round pick who will have a long successful NFL career.

COLLEGE STREET FREE AGENTS

Cadogan was one of the better college street free agent signings.  Look for him to make the Panthers' roster.  He has good size, quick feet and long arms.

Cantwell is an interesting case.  Before the season many thought he could be one of the top quarterbacks in the draft.  However, he played inconsistently after riding the bench behind Brian Brohm for three years.  He is for the developmental squad.

Chery has a legit shot to make the Panthers' regular season roster and be active on game day.  He is a top return man and showed good hands during Texas vs. the Nation practices.

Clark is a good athlete who will have a difficult time making the Panthers' roster since two corners were added in the draft.  He could land on the development squad.

Davis is a kid with quick feet and the versatility to play guard or center.  He has a chance to develop into a reliable backup.

Johnson saw his draft stock fall after he lifted the bar a paltry 7 times and was not as athletic as advertised.  Still, he has good on-field instincts.  Johnson is an ideal development squad candidate.

Favorite will have a tough time making the opening day roster, he has good size but limited athleticism.

If Heygood shows he can fill in at linebacker he could make a run at a roster spot since he will be a good special teams player. 

Ivy is a bit of a tweener.  He is an outside linebacker built more like an inside linebacker.  However, he lacks the change-of-direction skills to play inside in a 4-3 defense.  I thought his best chance to stick would be to move inside for a 3-4 defense.

For chart below: red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft
ARM-HAND relative to position, for ranges see ranking pages for 2009 draft

LAST NAME
at Combine
FIRST NAME SCHOOL HGT WGT ARM-
HAND
BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT LONG 3 CONE VERT BROAD
Brown Everette Florida State 6'1.4" 256 M-L 26 4.63 1.59 2.68 4.53 - 7.58 31.5" 9'9"
Martin Sherrod Troy 6'1" 198 M-S 12 4.46 1.51 2.57 3.98 11.17 6.60 36.5" 10'3"
Irvin Corvey Georgia 6'3" 301 L-M 24 4.96 1.71 2.81 4.66  - 7.44 25" 8'7"
Goodson Mike Texas A&M 5'11.7" 212 L-L 14 4.43 1.49 2.59 4.22 - 6.89 39.5" 9'10"
Fiametta Tony Syracuse 6'0.1" 245 XL-XL 30 4.63 1.57 2.62 4.33  - 7.03 34" 9'4"
Robinson Duke Oklahoma 6'4.6" 329 L-XL 20 5.27 1.76 3.03 4.90 - 8.09 31.5" 8'3"
Munnerlyn Captain South Carolina 5'8.4" 182 M-S 19 4.41 1.48 2.55 4.04 - 7.05 37.5" 10'1"
Cadogan Gerald Penn State 6'5.1" 309 XL-M 26 4.99 1.75 2.96 4.80 - 8.05 25" 8'3"
Cantwell Hunter Louisville 6'4.3" 235 XL-XL - 5.17 1.69 3.00 4.59 - 7.40 26" 8'3"
Chery Jason Louisiana-Laf 5'10.3" 189 - 19 4.45 1.49 2.59 - - - 39" -
Clark D.J. Idaho 6'1.1" 200 - 14 4.52 1.56 2.58 4.01 - 6.91 36" 10'7"
Davis C.J. Pittsburgh 6'2" 308 S-M 23 5.54 1.84 3.15 4.62 - 7.64 26.5" 7'4"
Johnson D.J. Jackson State 6'1.3" 197 L-XL 7 4.50 1.50 2.57 4.28 - 7.00 32" 9'8"
Favorite Marlon LSU 6'0.7" 314 M-XL 26 5.09 1.74 2.66 5.27 - 8.02 18.5" 7'0"
Heygood Anthony Purdue 6'0.3" 225 - 18 4.67 1.61 2.68 4.30 - 7.10 33.5" 10'10"
Ivy Mortty West Virginia 6'1.4" 248 S-M 18 4.78 1.61 2.77 4.44 - 7.15 28.5" 9'2"

2009 NEEDS PRIOR TO DRAFT AND FREE AGENCY
Major need
     Need     Upgrade possible     Depth/possible need     Not a need

QB Except for the Panthers' biggest game of the year, their playoff game, Delhomme's comeback from injury was a success.  At one time Moore showed promise but he hasn't maintained it.  McCown is an okay backup.  The Panthers may think about drafting a quarter they can groom as a future starter.
RB I had DeAngelo Williams graded much higher than other backs who were graded by other analysts higher than or as his equal.  That included Maroney, White and Addai.  So I was not surprised to see his success.  Look for Williams to continue to hold off Stewart as starter.  However, Stewart provides a great tandem with and excellent insurance for Williams.  Goings is a fine third back who has played well in his career when given opportunities.
WR Smith and Muhammad are a great starting combo.  Hackett was disappointing and I'm not sure Jarrett will ever grow into more than a #4.  Therefore, Carolina needs a wideout who can play in the slot for a couple of years, and take over for Muhammad in a couple of years.
TE Just think what a tight end that could stretch the field would mean to this team.  King is okay, Rosario flashed, and Barnidge has potential, but a big-time tight end could make this offense very very tough to stop.  Defenses have to stack the box against Williams/Stewart, have to double Smith, have to be cautious of Muhammad, and that would leave a tight end with speed one on one with a linebacker often.
OL Gross is an UFA and signing him is considered a higher priority than signing Peppers.  That should tell you how good he is.  If the Panthers resign Gross they will return a very good line with good depth.  If not they will need to address left tackle.
DL Peppers is an UFA and Brayton is okay but could be replaced by Johnson.  If Peppers is gone (like he wants) Carolina will need a dominate pass rusher.  At tackle, Lewis and Kemoeatu are solid but if a game-changer could be secured it would upgrade the unit.  Worst case they did a tackle for depth.
LB Davis and Beason are top starters.  Diggs is a reliable veteran, who could be pushed by Connor.  Landon Johnson is also on hand but he didn't play as well as he did for the Bengals.  The Panthers will add depth here this offseason.
DB This is a solid unit top to bottom.  Gamble, Lucas and Marshall are all starting-caliber NFL corners.  Wilson is a young corner with promise.  Strong safety Harris has played well since coming over from the Bears, and free safety Godfrey was a good looking rookie who will only get better.  In fact, I look for Godfrey to become a good playmaker.  Teal and Salley are okay backup safeties, but competition will brought in for them.
ST Long snapper Kyle is an UFA, but he will  most likely be brought back.  Returner Mark Jones is also an UFA.  Their kicking/punting game is in good hands.

 

2008 DRAFT PICKS
links go to NFL.com website

Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
1 13 Jonathan Stewart RB 5'10.2" 235 Oregon #3 RB Round 1
1 19 Jeff Otah OT 6'6" 332 Pittsburgh #4 OT Round 1
3 67 Charles Godfrey CB/FS 5'11.6" 207 Iowa #7 CB Round 2

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

Godfrey isn't the faster corner, isn't the quickest corner, isn't the most athletic corner, but he is a very good football player.  He played at a consistently high level during both Senior Bowl practices and in the game.  Godfrey can play in either a man or cover-two scheme.
3 74 Dan Connor OLB/ILB 6'2.3" 231 Penn St #2 ILB Round 2
5 141 Gary Barnidge TE 6'5.5" 243 Louisville #8 TE Round 4
6 181 Nick Hayden DT 6'3.6" 291 Wisconsin #16 DT Round 4/Round 5
7 221 Hilee Taylor OLB/DE 6'2.5" 242 N Carolina   Late Round Value
7 241 Geoff Schwartz OT/OG 6'6.1" 332 Oregon   Late Round Value/Free Agent
7 250 Mackenzy Bernadeau OG 6'3.5" 298 Bentley   Free Agent
FA   Darren Toney CB/RET 5'11" 184 Ark St   Free Agent

 

 

B

2008 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

If I didn't believe that DeAngelo Williams could be a top every down running back, this draft would have a grade of "A-".  However, I would have drafted OT Chris Williams in round one and targeted RB Tashard Choice to be the power back compliment to Williams.  If the Panthers drafted Chris Williams (or Otah if they thad him rated higher) they would still have their first round pick next year (no need to trade to get Otah) and could have added DE Campbell in round two (a need position not addressed in the draft) and RB Choice in round four.  Personally, I like my #1 next year, OT Williams (or Otah), DE Campbell and RB Choice, more than RB Stewart.  That said, the Panthers added good players and got excellent value with Godfrey, Connor, Barnidge and Hayden.  I especially like the potential of Godfrey.  So far, they have not done anything of major consequence as far as college street free agents go.

DRAFT PICKS

Stewart is very strong, powerful, fast for his size, and a good athlete.  That said, he has had some injury problems, and I'm not convinced he won't be more like T. J. Duckett than Marion Barber.  If Coach Fox isn't stubborn, DeAngelo Williams could be the main ball-carrier for Carolina this year.

Otah is a big strong offensive tackle who is better in the run game than the passing game which is why some thought right tackle might be a better fit for him in the NFL. 

Godfrey is a player with excellent potential.  He could be an excellent corner or a top free safety.  As a corner he is better outside than lining up against slot receivers.  As a safety. he'll make big plays and can fill against the run.  An excellent selection for Carolina.

Boy did Connor fall in this draft.  Still he is a football player.  While some may have downgraded him because he is not a top athlete, he locates and moves to the ball very quickly and will be an above average starter in the NFL.

Barnidge was another excellent get by Carolina.  At this point he is strictly a pass catching tight end, but he has the attitude and build to become a plus as a blocker as well.  Barnidge has good speed and quickness and should make some big plays as opposing teams concentrate on Steve Smith.

Strong, quick and athletic is how I would describe Nick Hayden.  He is not the run-stuffing defensive tackle but can make plays in pursuit and could be an inside rusher in the nickel.

Taylor is an outside linebacker, defensive end tweener, Taylor has some upside as a special teams player and situational pass rusher.

Schwartz is a big body guy who needs development and is a good candidate for the Panthers' practice squad.  If he shows enough in camp ands is a quick learner, he could stick on the main roster because he can play multip0le positions on the line.

Berenadeau had a nice workout which moved him onto NFL teams' radars.  He has a chance to develop into a good backup guard.  He has quick feet and good athleticsm and could become a plus in the running game. 

COLLEGE STREET FREE AGENTS

As of this write-up, the Ravens did not sign any college street free agents who I had rated Late Round Value or higher.  Toney is listed because of his kick return ability more than his talent at corner.  

red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft
(blue college name indicates workout #'s include Pro Day numbers)

COMBINE
YES
FIRST NAME SCHOOL HEIGHT WEIGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT LONG 3 CONE VERT BROAD
Stewart Jonathan OREGON 5'10.2" 235 28 4.48 1.54 2.56 NA NA NA 36.5" 10'8"
Otah Jeff PITTSBURGH 6'6" 332 27 5.28 1.92 3.10 NA NA NA 22.5" 8'6"
Godfrey Charles IOWA 5'11.6" 207 14 4.38 1.43 2.53 4.40 NA 7.28 37.5" 10'1"
Connor Dan PENN STATE 6'2.3" 231 21 4.67 1.58 2.70 4.25 NA 6.78 35" 9'7"
Barnidge Gary LOUISVILLE 6'5.5" 243 22 4.63 1.53 2.62 4.23 11.29 6.92 31" 9'9"
Hayden Nick WISCONSIN 6'3.6" 291 34 5.24 1.80 3.01 4.54 NA 7.25 32" 9'4"
Taylor Hilee N CAROLINA 6'2.5" 242 NA 4.58 1.59 2.64 NA NA NA NA NA
Schwartz Geoff OREGON 6'6.1" 332 NA 5.32 1.80 3.04 4.79 NA 7.90 20.5" 8'2"
Benadeau Mackenzy BENTLEY 6'3.5" 298 26 5.35 1.76 2.99 4.56 NA 7.47 28.5" 9'1"
Toney Darren ARKANSAS ST 5'11" 184 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA

2008 NEEDS PRIOR TO DRAFT AND FREE AGENCY

CAR          Major Need          Need          Upgrade         Depth Need         Not a Need

QB  After the "Carr-wreck", maybe the Panthers will appreciate Delhomme more.  Speaking of more, Moore showed some skills and should be Delhomme's backup next year.  The Panthers also like Basanez.  If a QB drops in the draft or if an intriguing veteran gets cut the Panthers will take a shot, otherwise they'll stick with what they have.
RB Hello ... is anybody there .... it's time to give the ball to DeAngelo Williams 20+ times a game.  I can see the Panthers cutting Foster and bringing in both a veteran looking for a home and a player in the draft.
WR  Carter and Colbert are both free agents.  That's okay because neither is the answer opposite Smith.  The Panthers need a starter and at least one backup who can compete for the third receiver role.  
TE KIng and Rosario are fine players.  There is no great urgency to upgrade.  However, if the Panthers can add a dominate tight end it would take some of the heat off Smith.  Just look at what Witten does in tandem with Owens.
OL Gross and Wharton are free agents.  The Panthers will have to re-sign them or bring on some players to compete for their jobs.  Even of they come back the Panthers will look to upgrade their line.
DL The Panthers need an end to play opposite Peppers.  Johnson could develop into a good #3.  With Lewis and Moorehead free agents, depth at tackle may also be needed.
LB Despite re-signing Diggs, the Panthers need a WILL linebacker.  Beason and Davis a re solid at the MIKE and SAM.  Depth is also needed.
DB Carolina has three good corners.  Harris played well at strong safety but drafting a young player to push him would be a good idea.  Cooper was fine at free safety, but an upgrade would help the defense.
ST Kasay is still effective but he no longer can boom kickoffs.  Competition will be brought in for Baker.  The Panthers need a better return man so they can forget about even being tempted to use Smith.

2007 DRAFT PICKS
links go to NFL.com website

Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
1 25 Beason, Jon OLB 6-0 236 Miami (Fla.) #2 OLB Round 1
2 45 Jarrett, Dwayne WR 6-5 213 Southern California # 9 WR Round 2
2 59 Kalil, Ryan C 6-3 291 Southern California # 1 C Round 1
3 83 Johnson, Charles DE 6-2 272 Georgia # 4 DE Round 2
4 118 Robinson, Ryne WR 5-8 178 Miami (Ohio) Late Round Value
5 155 Rosario, Dante TE 6-3 244 Oregon Late Round Value
5 164 Shaw, Tim ILB 6-1 237 Penn State # 5 OLB Round 2
7 226 Wilson, C.J. CB 6-1 195 Baylor Late Round Value
FA Bell, Dalton QB 6-2 206 West Texas A&M Late Round Value
FA Bennett, Nathan OG 6-4 316 Clemson Late Round Value
FA Biggs, Rondell DE 6-2 269 Michigan Off My Board
FA Daniels, Jesse SS 5-11 216 LSU Late Round Value
FA Gilmour, Jahnkeen WR 6-0 205 Indiana Late Round Value
FA Pimentel, Mickey OLB 6-2 228 California Late Round Value
FA Upshaw, Chad TE 6-4 252 Buffalo Late Round Value

 

B+

2007 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

The Panthers had a nice draft.  They got excellent value with Tim Shaw on day two and Charles Johnson in round three was a good get as well.  I didn't see any college street free agents that jumped out at me, although Jesse Daniels may have the best shot since Carolina was expected to draft a safety and did not.

Beason was a needed pick.  Between the loss of Meriweather last year, and Morgan's concussions, a tackle-hound-type of a linebacker was critical for the Panthers to add in the draft.   Assuming Morgan stays healthy, Beason will probably start  outside his rookie year (with Davis).  If (when?) Morgan goes down again, Beason can slide inside and man the position he will eventually fill long term for the team.  Jarrett went where I had him graded, in round two.  He will be a good possession receiver with reliable hands.  To become a Keyshawn Johnson he will have to become stronger.  He is more like a Reggie Williams or Joe Jurevicious.  However, Jarrett can become a solid #2.  Kalil was my top rated center.  He will be hard to keep on the bench.  The kid loves to play, is very strong and very tough, and has all the measurables.  Johnson was another player of need for the Panthers.  Witrh Rucker seemingly on the decline, and Wallace gone, a young defensive end was a major need for Carolina.  Johnson was good value in round three (I had a second round grade on him).  He fell a bit in the draft because he is not (and will probably never be) a stud sacker.  However, he is solid against the run and could get a team 6 to 8 sacks if playing opposite an end that teams have to constantly double-team (such as Peppers).  Robinson's value is as a return man.  With Steve Smith and DeAngelo Williams keys to the Panthers' offense, the team will be best served if they only use those two on special teams in special circumstances.  Robinson could allow for that.  Rosario is athletic and can catch, but may be a man without a true position.  He is small for a tight end, and is not good blocker.  He was tried at fullback in college and that wasn't a great fit.  Still, he can help on special teams and be used in obvious passing downs on offense.  However, a safety like Wendling or Stone would have been my pick.  Tim Shaw was a great pick in round five.  I had a second round grade on this terrific athlete.  Shaw had some of the best numbers amongst outside linebackers in the draft, and is a good football player.  Down the line I see the Panthers lining up Davis at the WILL, Beason at the MIKE, and Shaw at the SAM.  Wilson is type of player team's need for depth.  He has good size and above average corner skills.  He may only see the field if a starting corner goes down, but if that corner goes down he could help save a season.  Wilson does not, however, have the quickness needed to be a nickel who covers slot receivers.

As far as college street free agents go, Bell was a very productive small school quarterback who could find a home on the Panthers' development squad.  Bennett is a strong kid who needs work, but goes after his opponent.  He is another possible development squad candidate.  Biggs came on late in his career and has some potential as a pass rusher.  He will have to show further growth in camp to stick, even on the development squad.  Daniels may have the best chance of the college street free agents to stick because the team needs to look at young safeties.  Daniels is an in-the-box strong safety, who needs work on pass coverage and on wrapping up  better when he tackles.  Personally, if I were Panther management I would have made a run at Melvin Bullitt in free agency, he was my best undrafted strong safety.  Gilmore was not on anyone's radar until he ran 4.43 forty at his Pro Day while lifting the bar 20 times.  Both are very good numbers for wide receivers.  He is certainly worth a look in camp.  Pimentel is a good athlete who needs to learn more about playing linebacker.  If he shows something in camp he could stick on the development squad.  Upshaw was known for both his pass catching and blocking at Buffalo, and has the frame to add the weight he will need to be productive in the NFL.  If bloodlines mean anything, his father is former Toronto Blue Jay Willie Upshaw, and his uncle is Gene Upshaw.

red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
BEASON JON MIAMI-FL OLB/ILB 6'0.2" 237 19 4.64 1.60 2.74         9'3"
Beason can play the WILL or MIKE in a 4-3, and possibly inside in a 3-4.  Beason is a better football player than workout warrior.  On the field he plays with a take no prisoners attitude, and has good instincts and makes tackles all over the field.

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
JARRETT DWAYNE SOUTHERN CAL

WR

6'4" 219   4.62 1.58 2.64  4.20   7.28 36.5" 10'1"
Jarrett is a big target with good hands.  His speed and athleticism are just okay.  While some compare him to former USC player Mike Williams, I have him pegged more like Reggie Williams of Jacksonville.  Jarrett will have value to the NFL that drafts him, but he won't be a star.

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
KALIL RYAN SOUTHERN CAL OC 6'2.6" 299 34 4.96 1.71 2.87 4.34   7.50 26" 8'8"
Kalil is my top rated center in the draft.  He had an excellent week of practice at the Senior Bowl and is a master technician.  Kalili is an excellent athlete for the position with speed, quickness, strength, and athleticism.  He is a tough kid who loves to play football.

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
JOHNSON CHARLES GEORGIA DE 6'2.2" 270 33 4.75 1.58 2.74     7.50 34" 9'10"
Johnson is a strong kid who outplayed his more heralded teammate, Quentin Moses, last year.  Johnson can play the run and rush the passer, although he will never be a stud sacker.   Johnson is the type of steady player who teams can rely on when offenses move the action away from a star end playing on the other side.  

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
ROBINSON RYNE MIAMI-OH

WR/RET

5'9.1" 179   4.47     4.21 11.43 6.84 35" 9'4"
Robinson returned punts and kickoffs at the Intra Juice All Star game and he looked fast.  He was okay as a receiver, but appears to have potential as a return man who can also fill in at receiver if needed.

MBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
ROSARIO DANTE OREGON

TE

6'3.2" 244 20 4.76 1.65 2.81 4.21   6.91 36" 9'10"
Rosario is a good receiving tight end, but he lacks size and is not a good blocker.  As an athlete, he could help a club on special teams, and could be inserted into the offense on obvious passing downs.

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
SHAW TIM PENN ST OLB 6'1.4" 236 26 4.46 1.49 2.54 4.12   6.90 36.5" 10'6"

PLAYER WHO COULD HAVE A BETTER NFL CAREER THAN PLAYERS SELECTED AHEAD OF HIM in the DRAFT

Shaw, who played defensive end in college, is a bit short, but has the strength, speed and athleticism to play OLB or ILB in the NFL.  In fact, he should be able to transition to the SAM in a 4-3, as well as a pass rushing outside linebacker in a 3-4.  He is also the type of athlete that a team like the Patriots likes to move to inside linebacker in their 3-4. 

COMBINE
YES

 

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WILSON C J BAYLOR CB 6'1.2" 195 12 4.52 1.50 2.60 4.20 11.30 6.81 37.5" 10'7"
Wilson has good size for a corner and decent speed and quickness.  He could develop into a solid NFL corner, one who is best served as a backup for a team's starters than as a nickel covering the slot receiver.  However, he could help save a team's season if a starter goes down.

COMBINE
NO

 

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BELL DALTON WEST TEX A&M

QB

6'2.1" 206   4.75 1.63 2.74 4.43   7.42 34" 9'6"
Bell is an extremely productive small school quarterback.  In consecutive championships he threw for over 7,500 yards and 62 touchdowns.  

COMBINE
YES

 

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BENNETT NATHAN CLEMSON OG 6'4.3" 316 34 5.47 1.82 3.06 4.85   7.90 26.5" 7'9"
Bennett is a strong kid who will need to work on his technique to stick on the next level.

COMBINE
NO

 

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BIGGS DANIEL MICHIGAN

DE

6'1.5" 269   4.91 1.76 2.85 4.59   7.53 31.5" 9'3"
Biggs came on late in his college career and became a solid player opposite LaMarr Woodley.  He has a chance to get into a camp and stick as a backup defensive end.  He has some pass rush skills.

COMBINE
YES

 

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DANIELS JESSE LOUISIANA ST SS 5'10.7" 216 25 4.54 1.55 2.60 4.25   7.12 33.5" 10'0"
Daniels is an in-the-box safety who plays the run better than he plays the pass.  He has good strength, but needs to go for the sure tackle more often, rather than the big hit.

COMBINE
NO

 

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GILMORE JAHNKEEN INDIANA

WR

5'11.4" 205 20 4.43 1.48 2.53 4.28   6.99 33" 10'2"
Gilmore was not that productive at Indiana, but showed an excellent combination of strength and speed at his Pro Day.

COMBINE
NO

 

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PIMENTEL MICKEY CALIFORNIA OLB 6'2.2" 228                  
Pimentel is a raw kid who tackles well, but is still learning to play linebacker.  He is worth brining into a team's training camp.

COMBINE
YES

 

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UPSHAW CHAD BUFFALO

TE

6'4.3" 252 16 4.69 1.59 2.72 4.46   7.00 34.5" 9'10"
Upshaw caught over 70 balls his last two years at Buffalo.  Although he played at a lower level, he was known for both his blocking and pass catching.  Upshaw comes from excellent stock, his father is long-time major leaguer Willie Upshaw (first bas Toronto) and cousin is Oakland Raider great Gene Upshaw.

 

2007 TEAM NEEDS PRIOR TO THE DRAFT and FREE AGENCY
major need     need     depth/possible need     not a significant need

QB Time to bring in a young QB to backup Delhomme and be the QB of the future. 
RB Williams is going to be a star.  If Foster is cut in a cap move, a big back to compliment Williams could be added.
WR Panthers should grab a receiver in this receiver rich draft.  Even if KJ comes back a replacement should be groomed.
TE If Panthers want to throw more to their TE, they to get one who is a receiving threat.  Not a deep position in the draft.
OL Solid, but not a spectacular line.  Bodies who can compete now or in near future should be added.
DL Even if Rucker comes back, a young DE should be added.  This is a good draft for DE.
LB Draft is an UFA, Morgan is a concussion away from retirement.  A MLB is needed.
DB A safety to pair with Minter is needed.  The Panthers are fine at corner.
ST A dynamic returner to allow Williams and Smith to concentrate on offense would help.

2006 DRAFT PICKS
Links go to write-ups at NFL.com

Carolina
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
1 27 Williams, DeAngelo RB 5-9 213 Memphis # 2 RB Round 1
2 58 Marshall, Richard CB 5-11 188 Fresno State # 6 CB Round 2
3 88 Anderson, James OLB 6-3 230 Virginia Tech #11 OLB Round 4
3 89 Butler, Rashad OT 6-5 292 Miami (Fla.) Late Round Value > Round 4
4 121 Salley, Nate FS 6-1 219 Ohio State Late Round Value > Round 4
5 155 King, Jeff TE 6-5 256 Virginia Tech Late Round Value > Round 4
7 234 Montgomery, Will G 6-3 300 Virginia Tech # 4 C, #8 OG Round 4
7 237 McClover, Stanley DE 6-2 261 Auburn #10 DE Round 3
  FA Bouknight, Jevon WR 6-1 191 Wyoming #13 WR Round 4
  FA Stenavich, Adam OG 6-4 309 Michigan Late Round Value > Round 4
  FA Evwaraye, Seppo OT 6-5 319 Nebraska Late Round Value > Round 4
  FA Bush, Jarrett CB 6-0 193 Utah State #21 CB Round 4

 

B-

2006 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

The Panthers had a couple of reaches in Butler and Salley and a couple of excellent value picks in Montgomery and McClover.

DeAngelo Williams will be a star in the NFL.  In two years Foster will be off the Panthers' roster and Williams will be getting serious consideration for Pro Bowls.  Williams is lightning quick, is faster than he is given credit for, is a tough, strong kid, and can catch the ball.  What more would any team want.  Williams was a steal where the Panthers drafted him.  Marshall was another good selection.  He has decent size and has good athletic and cover skills.  He sometimes takes too many chances, but that is true of a lot of corners.  Expect Marshall to be solid, but not spectacular.  The Panthers drafted Anderson a little higher than I had him graded but I can't argue with the selection.  The Panthers' defense plays to Anderson's strengths, assuming they play him on the weak side.  In the Panthers' scheme he could be a sideline-to-sideline tackle hound at the WILL.  That would mean moving Davis to the SAM.   Butler was a major reach in round three.  He may never be more than a quality reserve, and day one you like to get starters.  At tackle, I liked Scott and Whimper better at this spot.  Salley was another reach, although not as much of a reach as Butler.  Salley has the physical tools and, at times, shows good football skills, but is often slow stepping up to play the run, and gives too much of a cushion playing the pass.  This doesn't mean that Salley won't develop into a good NFL player, just that I had a higher grade on players like Watkins (Dallas), Landry (Baltimore), and even street free agents Baker, Demps and Addai.  King was another player that the Panthers drafted a little earlier than I had him graded.  IN addition to football, King played power forward on Virginia Tech's basketball team.  He has good size and strength and will be an excellent short yardage and red zone target, but doesn't have the speed to get deep or the moves to get RAC.  Mongomery was a steal in round seven.  At times he looked great in college, at times he got beat.  The common thinking on Montgomery was that he got beat because he was limited athletically.  However, when analyzing his workout numbers it is obvious he is an excellent athlete for his position, showing speed, quickness, agility, and strength.  Therefore, good coaching could turn Montgomery into one of the better interior lineman that comes out of this draft.  A great get by the Panthers.  McClover fell because his skills were not good enough to overcome teams worry that he might be a character problem.  I don't believe McClover will cause any problems.  He is a "cut below" what a team looks for in a starting defensive end both as a pass rusher and as a run-stuffer.  However, he is good enough to be a teams' third end, and could handle himself if he had to start.  He will also be a good special teams player. 

The Panthers signed a player I like a lot in free agency in Bouknight.  Bouknight shows why both knowing a players skills and looking at workout numbers are important.  For example if a player runs a 4.4 forty but is a touch slower to react to plays on the field than a player that runs a 4.6 forty, which player is faster on the field?  Bouknight only runs a 4.5 to 4.6 forty, but is a smart player with quick reactions, terrific hands, and the ability to make difficult catches look easy.  I knew he would fall below my fourth round grade, but I didn't expect him to fall out of the draft entirely.  Look for Bouknight to become the Panthers new Ricky Proehl.  Stenavich can play tackle and guard and has a chance to stick as a versatile backup.  Evwaraye is a former defensive tackle who is an excellent practice squad candidate because he needs further development and has good tools with which to work.  Bush is a player who flew not just under the radar, but was flapping his arms on the ground.  He has good size, quickness, and athleticism.  He started only one year for Utah State but was a difference-maker on their defense.  He had a fourth round grade from me and has a chance to stick as the Panthers' fifth cornerback.

red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft

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Williams Memphis 5'9", 214 4.40     4.10 10.61 6.57 25 35.5" 10'9"  

PLAYER WHO WILL PERFORM BETTER IN NFL THAN MANY DRAFTED BEFORE HIM

The group of three running backs after Bush is not Williams, Maroney and White; it is Maroney, White, and Addai.  Williams is clearly the second best back in the draft after Reggie Bush.  Williams will be a star.  In fact, Williams is closer to Bush than to White and Maroney in talent.  And, by the way, it would not surprise me if Addai becomes the best of my grouping of three.

RB
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - At the Senior Bowl, Williams was quick, quick, quick.  Williams is the real deal, he has great acceleration, good hands, and is stronger than you think.  He was the best player in the game.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - The only question about Williams is his ability to block in pass protection, but he is a tough kid, so that will come.  Williams is a lightning quick back, who can catch the ball out of the backfield.  Of the three second tier backs (Williams, Maroney, White), Williams workout numbers will mean the least.  He is more quick than fast and it shows on the football field regardless of how he times.  In his last two seasons at Memphis, Williams ran for almost 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns, averaging over 6 yards a carry.
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Marshall Fresno State 5'11.1", 187 4.42 1.54 2.60 4.16 11.32 6.65 13 38.5" 10'9"  
CB
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Marshall is a nice athlete with good cover skills.  He is a quick corner who can play outside or match-up with slot receivers.  Marshall had 3 interceptions in each of his three college seasons.
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Anderson, J Virginia Tech 6'2.6", 229 4.58 1.57 2.68 4.07 11.32 6.67   41" 10'1"  
OLB
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Anderson made a couple of nice tackles on special teams at the East West Shrine Game.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Anderson is an athletic, quick WILL linebacker who has good cover skills, can blitz and is a sideline to sideline tackle-hound.  To flourish, Anderson needs to be in a defensive scheme like Tampa Bay's where he is allowed to roam free and make plays.  He can be negated if he has to constantly play off tackles.
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Butler, R Miami 6'4.3", 293 5.30     4.55   7.80 16 31.5" 8'10"  
OT
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Butler has quick feet and uses good technique.  He will need to get much stronger, however, if he is ever going to be anything more then a backup.
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Salley Ohio State 6'1.6", 216 4.50 1.59 2.69 4.17 11.28 6.79 14 40" 10'3"  
FS
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Salley has the physical tools but is a bit of an enigma on the field.  He is a good tackler and can hit hard, but doesn't always play the run aggressively.  That may be because he has good pass coverage instincts but gives too much of a cushion.  Salley could be a find if he is able to be "coached up", or he could be a marginal NFL player fighting for a roster space year after year.
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King Virginia Tech 6'5.4", 246 4.81 1.65 2.83 4.09 11.54 6.99 24 34" 9'2"  
TE
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - King played power forward for the VT basketball team and he uses those skills well on the football field.  King is a tough kid with good hands who is an excellent short area receiver.  He is not a down the field threat.
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Montgomery Virginia Tech 6'3", 312 4.98 1.71 2.94 4.43   7.30 35 29.5" 8'8"  

PLAYER WHO WILL PERFORM BETTER IN NFL THAN MANY DRAFTED BEFORE HIM

Scouting reports I have read blame Montgomery's bad moments on his lack of quickness and strength.  However, his workouts clearly show he has good quickness and tremendous strength for a center.  Therefore, Montgomery just needs more coaching on technique to become a solid starting NFL center.

C/OG
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Montgomery helped himself at the Combine.  In addition to good numbers, he looked good in drills
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McClover Auburn 6'2.1", 258 4.61 1.63 2.75 4.52   7.88 19 39" 9'6"  
DE
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - McClover has good speed and athleticism.  He is also a tough kid.  However, he is one of those prospects that is always just "a cut below."  In  other words, he is not a top pass rushing prospect, but has good skills in that area.  He also is a tough guy who gives his all against the run, but isn't quite big enough or strong enough to translate into a top run stuffing defensive end.  I guess where McClover goes in the draft depends upon whether a team thinks it can develop his base skills.  If the answer is yes, he will go late on day one.  If a team is looking at him as a backup end and special teams player, he will go on day two.
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Bouknight Wyoming 6'1.1", 191 4.53 1.72 2.80 4.03   6.94   34" 10'0"  

PLAYER WHO WILL PERFORM BETTER IN NFL THAN MANY DRAFTED BEFORE HIM

Bouknight will probably never be more than a two or three.  However, he will be at a minimum, a solid, reliable third wideout who will catch the ball and move the chains.  He does not have the speed to be drafted on day one, but will be productive in the league while many receivers drafted ahead of him are sitting on the bench.

WR
Mike Mayock, NFL Network - Bouknight plays faster on the field then he times in workouts.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Bouknoght was a very productive receiver in college.  His last two years he caught 140 passes for almpos 2200 yards and 19 TDs.  Bouknight has great hands and concentration and makes difficult catches look easy.
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Stenavich Michigan 6'4.1", 309 5.61     4.82   7.91 24 24.5" 7'9"  
OG/OT
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Stenavich played left tackle in college but will be a guard or right tackle in the NFL.  While he played well, he lacks the measurables so his skills may not translate well to the NFL.  However, he could be a valuable reserve with the flexibility to play many positions and enough skills to hold until an injured starter returns.
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Evwaraye Nebraska 6'4.6", 319 5.03     4.68   7.68 24 27.5"    
OT - NOT AT COMBINE
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Evwaraye is a converted defensive tackle who can continue to be developed on a team's practice squad.  He plays a physical brand of football.
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Bush Utah State 6'0.3", 194 4.46     4.11 11.08 6.67   39" 10'5"  
CB - NOT AT COMBINE
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Bush has a nice mix of size, speed and quickness.  He is also a good athlete and has above average cover skills.  Bush didn't get to start until his senior year.  He is a deep sleeper in the draft and has a fourth round grade by me even though he may not even get drafted.

 

2006 TEAM NEEDS
prior to free agency

LEGEND:  MAJOR NEED     NEED     DEPTH/POSSIBLE NEED     NOT A NEED 

CAR
QB Delhomme is a leader and a winner and a solid quarterback.  Weinke is an UFA.  If Weinke leaves, the Panthers will need a backup for Delhomme.
RB Foster is an UFA and is injury-prone so who knows if the Panthers will bring him back for the big bucks he is looking for.  Davis has too big a price tag, and Goings is better suited as a backup.  What the Panthers do here depends on what they think of Shelton.  However, look for the Panthers to bring in a runner to at least challenge Shelton if they don't resign Foster.
WR Receivers usually have a poor sophomore year.  Therefore, look for a rebound year from Colbert in 2006.  Smith is a star and Carter has upside.  With or without Proehl, the Panthers' will add a receiver to the mix.
TE Magnum can block, but is a suspect receiver.  It's time for the Panthers to get a tight end who can take advantage of the coverage shown to Smith.
OL There will be changes in the Panthers' line next year.  RG Reyes, and C Mitchell are UFAs who may be allowed to walk.  Gross and Wharton are solid, although, a top LT would be nice and allow Wharton to move inside to guard.  For now, Mathis could push for Reyes job.  Wahle is solid.
DL Talented and deep with the youngster Carstens filling in very well for the injured Jenkins.  Peppers, Rucker, Wallace, and the intriguing Haye form a nice defensive end grouping, and Buckner (who says he is coming back), Jenkins, Carstens, and the intriguing Ellison form a nice defensive tackle grouping.
LB Morgan is set with Draft behind him.  Draft is important because of Morgan's history of injuries.  However, Witherspoon is an UFA and the Panthers have no one who could replace him if he leaves.  Short is an okay, but replaceable starter.  Tufts and Seward are young players who can play roles on the bench.  However, if Witherspoon leaves, the Panthers could have two new starters.  Davis could be one of them if moved from safety.
DB If not for Wesley being an UFA and Manning Jr. being a RFA, the Panthers could have had no defensive back needs in the offseason.  McCree is an UFA, but the youngster Davis, and the returning from injury Branch are on hand should he bolt.  CBs, Lucas and Gamble are an excellent pair of starters, and FS Minter more than holds his own.  Manning Jr. and Wesley, if they return are solid extra corners.
ST If Smith and Gamble keep returning punts, then the Panthers' only need is for a kick returner.  Kasay and Baker are fine.

 

2005 COLLEGE DRAFT

Carolina  - links below go to NFL.com reports Jaybird Jaybird
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Ranking Value Board
1 14 Davis, Thomas FS 6-1 231 Georgia # 1 SS Round 1
2 54 Shelton, Eric RB 6-1 246 Louisville # 9 RB Round 3
3 79 Mathis, Evan G 6-5 304 Alabama # 4 OG Round 3
3 89 Ellison, Atiyyah DT 6-4 303 Missouri # 4 DT Round 2
4 121 Lefors, Stefan QB 6-0 201 Louisville # 10 QB Round 4
5 149 Seward, Adam ILB 6-3 253 Nevada-Las Vegas # 7 ILB Round 3
5 169 Hangartner, Geoff C 6-5 301 Texas A&M   > Round 4
5 171 Emanuel, Ben FS 6-3 213 UCLA   > Round 4
6 189 Haye, Jovan DE 6-2 284 Vanderbilt # 8 DE Round 2
6 207 Berger, Joe OT 6-5 303 Michigan Tech Late Round Value > Round 4
FA   Alexander, Lorenzo DT 6-2 289 California # 12 DT Round 4
FA   Lawrence, Marcus ILB 6-2 243 South Carolina # 9 ILB Round 4
FA   Hill, Efram WR 6-2 178 Samford Late Round Value > Round 4
FA   Stubblefield, Taylor WR 5-11 176 Purdue Late Round Value > Round 4

 

The Panthers had a solid day one in terms of value versus draft slot.  On day two, they stole two players (Seward, Haye), and reached for two players (Hangartner, Emanuel).

The Panthers had a very good draft.  Davis was a solid choice in round one.  He should start at safety.  With Fields out this year, he could also play linebacker, it would hurt the Panthers overall scheme since he does not have the size to play the strong side, so Witherspoon would have to be moved there with Davis taking over the weak side.  Shelton is a Panther-type of back.  He has good size, strength, and speed, and is a durable back who can move the chains.  With Davis and Foster coming off injuries, Shelton may see the field more this year than many think.  Mathis has great physical skills and will, eventually, beat out Reyes and become a long-term starter for the Panthers.  Ellison could be a starter in a year or two as well.  Buckner is getting older and I had Ellison as the fourth rated defensive tackle in the draft.  If Lefors were two inches bigger he would have been up there with Frye and Campbell as the top of the second tier of quarterbacks in the draft.  Lefors will never be a starter, but could be a very good NFL backup quarterback.  There are two types of backup quarterbacks.  The ones who can step in long term, and the ones who can fill in at the end of a game, or for a game or three and provide a spark and win.  Lefors is the type who could step in short term and win big, but would be exposed if he had to play for long stretches.  Seward was a steal in round five.  He is a player who many thought got it done on hard-work and desire, but then proved to be an excellent athlete.  He is also fast, quick, and very strong.  If Morgan gets hurt, the Panthers now have a player they can move into the middle so they can leave Witherspoon on the weak side (yes, I like him more than free agent Draft).  Also, if Short doesn't pan out as Fields replacement, Seward has the necessary skills and size (more so than Davis) to step in.  Hangartner and Emanuel are players the Panthers like more than I.  Both have physical skills, but both also have warts.  Hangartner had off-field issues, and Emanuel never lived up to expectations at UCLA.  Hangartner, could be a useful sub because he can play anywhere along the line.  Emanuel, however, is a free safety who does not have a nose for the ball, so his upside may be limited to special teams coverage.  Haye is one of the few defensive ends with size in the draft who also has pass-rushing skills.  Yes, he is inconsistent, but under the tutelage of the Panthers' great lineman, Haye should develop into a very effective 10 to 15 snaps a game player.  Berger is an intriguing prospect, but he will need time and could be a good practice squad candidate.

The Panthers signed some interesting college street free agents.  Lorenzo Alexander, is very different from the Panthers' usual defensive tackles.  He is lighter, and is not a run-stuffer.  He could find his way onto the team as a tackle who plays in the nickel.  Lawrence picked the wrong team to sign with.  He has good skills, but is best suited as an inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, and has Draft and Seward ahead of him as backup inside linebackers.  However, he is a tough kid who it is hard to bet against.  Hill and Stubblefield will be in the mix for the last wide receiver spot.  Hill has the better upside, but is father away from contributing than Stubblefield.  Hill could land on the Panthers' practice squad.  Stubblefield, who timed very slow in the forty, will have to show the same ability to get open in the NFL that he did in college to stick.  He will either translate that skill, or get cut.  He doesn't have the upside to find his way onto the Panthers' practice squad.

RED NUMBERS BELOW - among best at position   
Long shuttle numbers (where available) in blue, top performers to be determined later

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Davis SS/OLB 4.43 1.64 4.01   7.10   36.5" 9'10" 19
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports: Scouts worked Davis at safety and at linebacker, during his Pro Day, and the consensus is that he will remain at safety in the NFL.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports:
Just walking down the corridor that connects the Indiana Convention Center to the RCA Dome, former Georgia safety Thomas Davis made quite an impression on scouts Sunday. Davis is 6-feet-1 and a rock-solid 231 pounds, runs well, hits big, and fits the mold of the modern safety in the league. "I look at guys like Roy Williams [of Dallas] and that's my game," Davis said. "I'm kind of a combination linebacker and safety. I love to play close to the line of scrimmage, where I can lay people out. On third down, you can use me in coverage, bring me up inside on the blitz, whatever. I'm going to be a factor."
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
Has played a number of positions, but will be a safety in the NFL.  Is a big-time hitter with good instincts.
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Shelton RB 4.63 1.64 4.08   7.46 18 38.5" 10'4" 23
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Shelton held up well during workouts.  He has moved up my board because he has the numbers of a quick, power back, while many of the so-called speed backs did not show speed or quickness.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
Shelton is a big, strong, move-the-pile runner.  Speed is always a question with a back his size.
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Mathis OG 4.97 1.66 4.16   7.39 35 35.5" 9'9" 25
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Mathis is an underrated prospect.  He has skills, smarts, and is one of the better athletes at the guard position in the draft.
Colin Lindsay of GBNReport.com reports:
Mathis had one of the better combines among offensive linemen, as he posted 35 reps pressing 225 pounds, second most among the OL, to go along with the sub-5.00 40 time.
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Ellison DT 5.09 1.84 4.83   8.01 25 27.5" 8'7" 26
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Ellison has played all along the defensive line in college.  He has nice size and could develop into a good two-way player at defensive tackle with some added strength.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
Ellison played okay at the Senior Bowl, showing the ability to move the pocket.
Colin Lindsay of GBNReport.com reports:
Missouri DT Attiyaf Ellison was a disruptive force all week (at Senior Bowl practices), making repeated plays behind the line of scrimmage.
Colin Lindsay of GBNReport.com reports:
Missouri DT Attiyaf Ellison busted up the middle and destroyed a play during Senior Bowl practice on Tuesday.
InsideTheLeague.com reports:
Missouri DT Attivyah Ellison had some ups and downs, but on the whole looked very good, showing both strength and quickness during the second day of workouts in Mobile, Ala., impressing scouts at the Senior Bowl.
Zac Jackson, of ClevelandBrowns.com, reports:
Missouri DL Attiyah Ellison showed an impressive combination of size and speed during Monday's, Jan. 24, Senior Bowl practice in Mobile, Alabama.
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LeFlors QB 4.53   4.13   7.04   31" 9'3" 35
Allen Trieu of NFLDraftShowcase.com reports: There is a lot to like about Stefan LeFors, he has great QB skills and instincts for the game. If he were 6'3, he'd be a 1st Round prospect. But his lack of size and a huge arm will keep him from being much higher than a 4th or 5th Round pick, still, he should be a real present surprise for some team and at the least, will be a very solid backup.
NFLFans.com reports:
Accuracy is the first thing you see with him, over 74% this season with only 2 interceptions in 231 attempts. Led the team to a 10-1 record, the only loss coming to Miami by 3. Has decent arm strength, good leadership presence on the field.  Size is a big concern, only 6-0. Had a great system to play in at Louisville, that may have been more the driving factor in his performance than his own talent.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
LeFlores size (he's about 6'0") is what will hold him back at the next level.  He has good quarterback skills including quick feet and good decision-making under pressure. 
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Seward ILB 4.56 1.63 4.11   7.17 33 36.5" 10'0" 33

JAYBIRD PLAYER WHO WILL HAVE A BETTER NFL CAREER THAN MANY DRAFTED HIGHER THAN HIM

Seward is 6'2", 248 pounds and has the measurables of a power running back.  He has better than 4.6 speed (in the forty), a 4.11 short shuttle (quicker than Morency and Fason), lifted the bar 33 times, showed superb athleticism (e.g. 10'0" broad jump), and even scored a 33 on the Wonderlic.  This from a player that many said had good instincts but not great speed or athleticism.  Seward, in time, will be a good starting inside linebacker in the NFL.

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Hangartner C 5.25       8.08 25 28" 8'0"  
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Hangartner is a tough guy who was suspended for some off-field issues.  He has experience playing all over the offensive line which could make him a useful reserve.
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Emanuel FS 4.58   4.56 11.68 7.51   36" 10'0"  
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Emanuel looks the part, but never put it all together at UCLA.  He is a free safety who doesn't show big-play ability.
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Haye DE 4.82 1.69 4.38   7.40 33 34" 9'2" 14

JAYBIRD PLAYER WHO WILL HAVE A BETTER NFL CAREER THAN MANY DRAFTED HIGHER THAN HIM

At 6'2", 287 pounds, Haye has the size to play end in either a 3-4 or 4-3 defense.  He is also one of the stronger defensive ends in the draft.  He has shown the ability to play and the run and get after the quarterback, but will need to be more consistent in the NFL.  As an end with size and skills, worst case Haye will be a rotation player.  He will have a long term role in the league while players selected ahead of him have trouble getting onto the field.

Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Haye is moving up draft boards because he has added bulk and kept his speed.  Haye is a rare player that can rush the passer at over 280 pounds.  A good two-way player.
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Berger OT/OG 5.21 1.85 4.68   7.77 33 27" 8'0" 36
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Berger is an interesting prospect, but he may be a bit of a tackle-guard 'tweener.  He may lack the bulk for tackle, and the speed to play guard.  However, he is quick and strong.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports:
A player to watch from the little-known school is offensive lineman Joe Berger. A tackle at the college level, Berger almost certainly will move to guard in the NFL. He is a good-looking prospect and scouts really like his tenacity.
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Alexander DT 5.01 1.82 4.55   7.55 29 29.5" 8'10" 29
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Alexander has skills but will need to be in the right situation to stick in the NFL.  He is not the massive run-stuffing defensive tackle, but could make it on a team that plays a nose tackle and a quick tackle, or he could make it as an inside nickel rusher.
Colin Lindsay of GBNReport.com reports:
Cal DT Lorenzo Alexander messed up one play at Senior Bowl practice on Tuesday, when he got great penetration.
Zac Jackson, of ClevelandBrowns.com, reports:
California DL Lorenzo Alexander showed an impressive combination of size and speed during Monday's, Jan. 24, Senior Bowl practice in Mobile, Alabama.
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Lawrence ILB 4.72 1.63 4.35   7.18 19 34" 10'1" 21
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Lawrence is a run-stuffing inside linebacker.  He could find a home in the NFL as a backup linebacker and special teams player.
Colin Lindsay of GBNReport.com reports: 
South Carolina LB Marcus Lawrence showed some nice athleticism in space, although he didn't always find the ball or get through the traffic to make a play at Senior Bowl practice on Wednesday.
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Hill WR 4.51 1.62 4.07   6.97   37.5" 10'8" 12
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Hill is a player with good size and quickness, and decent speed from a small school.  He will need time to develop but could find a spot on some teams practice squad.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
Hill made a good adjustment on a poorly thrown ball and made a nice grab at the Gridiron Classic game.
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Stubblefield WR 4.73   4.18 11.47 6.97   32" 9'6"  
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Stubblefield is a productive college player who lacks measureables.  Particularly troubling is his 4.73 time in the forty.  If he plays faster than he times, and can continue to get open in the NFL as he did in college, he just may buck the odds.  I wouldn't bet on it, however.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
Stubblefield was virtually invisible during the Senior Bowl game.
Colin Lindsay of GBNReport.com reports:
Purdue WR Taylor Stubblefield was the North's most productive player this morning (Tuesday at Senior Bowl practice). Stubblefield is too small, too slow, but he consistently got open and caught everything in sight.

2005 TEAM NEEDS PRIOR TO FREE AGENCY AND THE DRAFT

Jay Goldberg of 90FootballLinks.NET reports: 
major need         need position         possible need, depth needed    no real need
Key UFA: Willig OT, Witherspoon LB, Fields LB, Allen LB,  Hankton WR, Tillman S
Key RFA: Wesley CB (4th)
NOTE - RFA COMPENSATION AT MINIMUM TENDER

QB: Delhomme has become one of the more reliable quarterbacks in the league.  Peete and Weinke offer good insurance.
RB:
Davis is coming back from a major injury, Foster is coming back from, yet again, another injury.  Goings proved he can carry the load.  Hoover is another solid backup.
WR: Muhammad has a big salary cap hit and may be released.  Smith is coming back from injury.  Colbert had a good rookie year and will be a fine NFL receiver for years to come.  This position needs to be addressed this offseason whether its re-working Muhammad's contract or bringing in a replacement.
TE: Magnum and Seidman are solid, but not spectacular.  If a big-time tight end can be secured it would add another dimension to the Panther offense.  However, the Panthers need a starting tight end who can block in the running game.
OL: Willig is an UFA, and injuries hurt them last year.  The Panthers need to bring in more talent and come out of the preseason with their best five.
DL: When healthy, the best in the biz, with Rucker, Peppers, Jenkins and Buckner.  A young run-stuffing defensive tackle could be added for depth and as a future starter for Buckner. 
LB: Witherspoon and Fields are UFAs.  Morgan is great, wwhen he is healthy and on the field.  If Witherspoon bolts it hurts two-ways.  He is a solid starter, and moves to the middle when Morgan misses time.  Even with Short on hand to push/replace Fields, the Panthers need depth and possible starters depending upon what happens in free agency.
DB: Manning Jr. and Gamble are a good young starting tandem.  Wesley is a RFA, and Hawkins is getting up in age so another corner should be added in the draft.  Minter is a top safety, but one of these days he is going to be a little too reckless with his smallish frame, so a good young hard hitting strong safety could be added for depth.  Branch did not progress as hoped for at free safety so competition could arrive for him this offseason.
ST: Kasay and Sauerbrun are solid.  Smith's return will, pun-intended, help the return game.  However, the Panthers' should add a full time returner in the draft.

 

2004 COLLEGE DRAFT

Carolina
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School
1 28 Gamble, Chris CB 6-1 181 Ohio State
2 62 Colbert, Keary WR 5-10 193 Southern California
3 94 Wharton, Travelle OT 6-3 312 South Carolina
5 163 Carter, Drew WR 6-3 200 Ohio State
6 196 Tufts, Sean ILB 6-3 236 Colorado
7 232 Gaines, Michael TE 6-2 275 Central Florida

 

The Panthers had a productive draft.  They added solid players, many in need positions, and never reached for a player.  Gamble was my third rated cornerback, and was the fourth corner off the board.  He has good size and strength for the position, and plays faster than he times.  He may start his career making more mistakes than others, but once he gains experience his ceiling is higher.  I love Colbert as a player.  He is polished, has good size, is a tough kid who can catch the ball over the middle, and has more speed than people think.  He reminds me of Keenan McCardell, a very underrated player, but one that teams can count one to deliver consistently.  I had a fourth round grade on Wharton but he was drafted in an acceptable spot by the Panthers.  He is a great player to have on your team.  He plays through pain and works hard all the time.  He will be a solid, albeit not spectacular pro.  Personally, I like the upside of Nat Dorsey a little more and he would have been my selection.  There is more long-term risk with Dorsey than with Wharton, however, and I'm not the GM so it's easier for me to take paper-risks..  Wharton will be a contributor as either a starter or quality reserve and have a long NFL career.  Drew Carter was worth a shot in round five.  He is coming off an injury (again) but has the base skills of a second-to-third round talent. He has the size and speed of Michael Jenkins, who went in round one of the draft.  Don't get too excited, he does not, catch the ball as consistently as Jenkins.  Tufts was the Panthers' steal of the draft.  I had a third round grade on Tufts.  Tufts has terrific athletic skills, but often employs poor technique.  Most labeled him "stiff", and dropped him to day two value.  I, however, believe he got by on his physical skills in college, and will be a coachable player in the NFL.  When Tufts gets it together he could be a dominate run-stuffing middle linebacker.  Gaines is another intriguing prospect.  He sat out last year because he was academically ineligible. So he lacks experience.  However, he is a good blocking tight end who has reliable hands and runs over defenders. He does lack the speed to be a consistent target down the field in the seams of zone defenses.  As far as college street free agents, some to watch in the Panthers' camp include: Darrell Campbell, who stick as a capable backup defensive tackle ; Patrick Strong, a defensive end with the body and skills to grow into a rotation player; and Virgil Williams, a had-hitting strong safety who could be a special teams demon.

PLAYER/ TEAM NEWS PRIOR TO DRAFT

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Gamble CB 6-1¼, 196 4.50 4.25 - 6.89 16 39½" -
Gamble
Ohio State

#3 ranked CB by Jaybird

Pete Fiutak / CollegeFootballNews.com posted at foxsports.com reports: Projected: 2nd round.  Good or bad move to come out early? If he had stayed one more year he'd be a top ten lock. He still needs a ton of work on his technique, but some team might fall in love with his athleticism and potential enough to take him in the top 20.
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports:  Gamble looked very good in his pro-day workouk.  He was smooth with his change of direction, and he closes fast.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: Coming out of the combine, scouts were talking up Ohio State's Chris Gamble as the No. 1 corner prospect, but his campus workout was fairly pedestrian and there's still the fact he has only played one full season at corner.
Dan Pompei of the Sporting News for msnbc.msn.com reports: Looking at the 2004 cornerbacks class, Chris Gamble of Ohio State probably has the highest ceiling. If he fulfills all his potential, he could be the most dazzling of a pretty bright group <of cornerbacks>.  At 6-1 1/4, Gamble has rare height for a cornerback. And he has excellent athleticism to go with his size. What's more, he has a knack for playing the ball in the air. Even though he ran a 4.50 40-yard dash at the Buckeyes' pro day, Gamble showed suddenness and smoothness in other drills.  Watch enough tape of Gamble, however, and you'll see him get beat just about every way possible. He bites on double moves, gets picked, gets turned around, guesses wrong and gets run by. What's more, he doesn't get his uniform dirty unless he has to. His stock might have fallen a bit because of the 40 time, but scouts still are enchanted with him because his ceiling is cathedral high.  "Gamble lives up to his last name," Ravens director of player personnel Phil Savage says. "He's a supreme athlete, very smooth. He's almost a developmental corner because he hasn't played the position that much.
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports:  On April 5, Gamble ran again. He put up times of 4.61, 4.57 and 4.53 in the 40-yard dash.
Brian DeLucia of foxsports.com reports: Scouts are beginning to realize they initially rated Ohio State cornerback Chris Gamble too high due to all the hype he received for playing both ways in college.
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Colbert 6-1, 207 4.43 1.58 4.13 11.95 6.94 18 36" 9-8
Colbert
USC

#10 ranked WR by Jaybird

Mel Kiper of ESPN.com reports: Teammate and fellow wideout Mike Williams got all the attention this year, but it was Colbert (6-2, 210) who kept the chains moving and made big catches for the Trojans all season long. He is a tremendous possession receiver who shields the ball from the defender and comes down with spectacular catches thanks to his Velcro hands. Could be a very good No. 2 receiver in the NFL in the mold of Keenan McCardell.  Kiper had him projected as a third round pick at the time of this write-up.
D. J. Boyer of Football.com reports:  Jenkins beat out Keary Colbert for the North (as most impressive receiver during Senior Bowl practices), and while both were impressive their speed numbers is what could be their downfall.  Colbert looks like he could be the ideal #3 receiver who could play the slot on a pass oriented team. I guess to gage a wide receiver you see how interested the Rams are and they like Colbert.
Jamie Moore of gbnreport.com (Great Blue North Report) reports: WR Keary Colbert, Southern Cal... Kind of got lost in the shuffle at USC where sophomore Mike Williams has been the go-to guy the past couple of years, but Colbert emerged as perhaps the most productive player in Mobile (at ths Senior Bowl)  this week. Colbert caught everything in sight, including several acrobatic catches; he also consistently got off the line of scrimmage and showed excellent body control, while getting great separation. And for good measure, Colbert came across as good guy.
Drew Boylhart of www.thehuddlereport.com reports: Keary Colbert - USC - Very good. Starting to show the attitude and the confidence of a #1 receiver to go along with his skills. Very complete player.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: Observations from two AFC personnel directors and an NFC college scout  "Keep an eye on these two (wide) receivers: Keary Colbert (Southern California) and (Michael) Jenkins from Ohio State. Neither of them will burn it up speed-wise, but they both have excellent size and they catch the ball. Colbert is probably the more polished guy right now but, man, Jenkins is really a big kid. With his size, you've got to look at him. I could see one or maybe even both of these guys being like the Drew Bennett kid who plays for the Titans. You give them a year or so to develop and you might have something there, you know?"
InsideTheLeague.com reports: USC WR Keary Colbert did not run the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine over the weekend. He had some drops that should have been routine catches during the workouts.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: The wide receiver position continues to flourish in campus workouts. One guy who really helped himself this week was Keary Colbert of Southern Cal. The knock on Colbert was that he lacked speed, but he posted excellent times in the 40, consistently in the 4.4 range. Colbert also did well in the other drills, showed good change of direction and overall athleticism, and there has never been any question of his receiving skills. So add another name to the burgeoning list of wideouts who figure to be chosen in the first three rounds on April 24.
Brian DeLucia of SportingNews.com reports: Colbert tested better than scouts expected last month, but doesn't project as a playmaker. He's a clutch guy who can makes tough plays in traffic. He runs good routes and also knows how to get open against zone coverage. Overall, Colbert will be a productive possession guy who does a lot of dirty work.
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Wharton T 6-3½, 312 5.10 1.75 4.58 8.31 - 31½" 8-9
Wharton
South Car

#10 ranked OT by Jaybird

NFLFans.com reports: Travelle is a team captain and a good leader on the field. A warrior who plays through injuries and pain, he will give you everything he has and is a tireless worker. Has good upside and is a solid citizen. He has all the intangibles.  His pass blocking has never been in question. He may not use power techniques as much in doing so as he is capable of, but uses solid technique, excellent lateral movement, strong arms and hands to stay in good position, and gets the job done.  It has been his inability to get down and dirty in the run blocking area that would limit his success until he can get together with a good coaching staff and begin to develop in this area. With his good work habits and devotion to the game I am confident, given time, he will become a more rounded player.
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Carter 6-3 7/8, 202 4.36 - - - - - - 10-0
Carter
Ohio State

#20 ranked WR by Jaybird

Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: Despite an injury stunted college career in which he caught just 41 passes and scored only one touchdown, wide receiver Drew Carter has lately become more than merely a blip on the draft radar screen. At least four franchises have requested individual auditions with him over the next couple of weeks.  The burgeoning interest was fueled by the fact that Carter, who measured 6-feet-4 and 206 pounds at the Indianapolis scouting combine in February, possesses the kind of size every team now covets at the position. It helped, too, when Carter posted a 4.36-second time in the 40-yard dash at his "pro day" workout.
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Tufts I 6-3¾, 235 4.58 - - - 21 35½" 10-2
Tufts
Colorado

#6 ranked ILB by Jaybird

NFLFans.com reports: Huge potential in this guy (MLB Tufts) makes him very attractive to scouts because of his aggressive powerful run stopping ability. If he can convince the scouts his injuries are not of major concern, he will shoot up the boards with good combine numbers. If the scouts come away from his exams with doubts about his durability, he will drop like a rock on the draft boards and may wind up an undrafted FA in someone’s camp come August. He has great athleticism and potential.
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Winslow II 6-2, 275 4.99 - - - - 18 - -
Gaines
Colorado

Jaybird: below 4th round

NFLFans.com reports: Basically, he is like an inexperienced junior declaring early for the draft. He has shown he can be a “complete” tight end, now he needs to be given time to refine his techniques. I am certain someone is going to get this bargain on day 2.
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Knight 5-8 5/8, 204 4.64 - - 4.21 7.20 18 33" 9-0
Knight
Boston College

Jaybird: below 4th round

NFLFans.com reports: If he can not add additional mass and upper body strength then he may be relegated to a 3rd down or change of pace running back, However, if he does succeed in a strengthening & nutrition program he could become a very effective starter in the NFL. He will definitely get a lot of looks at the combine to see his potential at the next level.
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Ricker C 6-3¼, 301 5.39 - 4.76 7.78 22 23" 8-3
Ricker
Missouri

Jaybird: below 4th round

NFLFans.com reports: Ricker, a center is an intriguing prospect because of his excellent leadership skills, nasty & fierce competitiveness, and durability. An interesting note is that in his freshman year when he started 11 games he did not have a single penalty called against him. Now that is quite unique.
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Campbell DT 6-3 7/8, 302 5.12 - 4.89 7.96 25 31½" 9-7
Campbell
Notre Dame

Jaybird: below 4th round

Nolan Nawrocki and Mike Wilkening of ProFootballWeekly.com report: Notre Dame DL Darrell Campbell continues to show his great motor in practice (at the Senior Bowl). He chased down and unintentionally dropped Oklahoma State RB Tatum Bell on impact in shorts. Campbell has caught the eye of several scouts.
Drew Boylhart of www.thehuddlereport.com reports: DT - Darrell Campbell - Notre Dame - I have always like Darrell. Very solid player that can play 1gap or 2gap defense. Has good quickness. Very underrated; should be a first day pick, but will fall to the 2nd day.
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Strong DE 6-3 7/8, 261 4.87 1.66 4.43 7.25 - 34" 9-4
Strong
Illinois

Jaybird: below 4th round

Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports: His arms measured 34 7/8 inches and his hands were 11 inches -- pretty big features.
NFLFans.com reports: DE Strong had an impressive workout (pro day). His arm length measured 35" and his hands 11", this is a very big man. Should have helped himself in the draft through this workout.
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Williams SS 6.00.9, 200 4.65 - - - 11 - -
V Williams
Wash State

Jaybird: below 4th round

NFLFans.com reports: Williams is an intimidating SS who excels in run support but struggles in pass coverage.

PLAYER/ TEAM NEWS PRIOR TO DRAFT

Jay Goldberg of 90FootballLinks.NET reports: 
major need         need position         possible need, depth needed    no real need
Key UFA: James G, Donnalley G, Favors LB, Howard CB, Grant S, Kasay K
Key RFA: Smith WR (3rd round), Goings RB (none), Smart RB-KR (none)
NOTE - RFA COMPENSATION AT MINIMUM TENDER
QB: Delhomme took charge as the season wore on and should continue his growth next year.  He's a solid starter.  Peete is a reliable backup.  Weinke could be the long term back-up, but he'll have to restructure his contract.
RB: Davis and Foster - there's no better one-two punch in the league. Hoover is also a solid FB, who could play running back in a pinch.  No worries here.
WR: The only minor concern is that Smith is a RFA, but the Panthers will match any contract offer.  An interesting scenario in case a team wants to stick it to the Panthers by offering Smith a cap-unfriendly contract that has to be matched.  Muhammad came back with a strong season.  Proehl is a cagey vet, Dyson an UFA with a history of injuries.  Young has some potential.  Look for the Panthers to take advantage of the deep pool of receivers in the draft as insurance against Smith leaving next year.
OL: Both starting guards are UFAs.  They have a replacement on the roster for Donnalley, but not for James.  The Panthers are strong at starting tackle and center.  If Donnalley leaves or retires, the Panthers will have a strong need for backup lineman.  Even if he stays they could use depth.
DL: The best in the league.  They have four excellent starters and good depth, even if UFA Wallace leaves.
LB: Witherspoon and Morgan are set.  Favors is an UFA who is replaceable.  While everyone, including me, hopes fields can come back next year, it is no sure thing.  The Panthers need to draft an outside linebacker - hopefully for depth, but maybe as a starter in Favors/Fields spot.
DB: Manning Jr. came on and pairs with Howard to form a good young corner combo.  However, Howard is an UFA.  Fortunately the Panthers have a potential replacement on hand in Wesley.  Cousins has settled into a good role for him, the nickel.  At safety Minter is an underrated force, and Grant made significant progress this year.  However, Grant is another UFA.   Look for the Panthers to draft a corner and a safety to compete with their returning players.
ST: Kasay is an UFA who should be resigned.  He is steady and has a long leg.  Sauerbrun is a top punter.  It may be time to find another punt returner to lessen the load on Smith.  Kick returner Smart is an UFA.
D. J. Boyer of Football.com reports:
 Keary Colbert of USC has been very solid for the North (at Senior Bowl practices) and looks like he could be the ideal #3 receiver who could play the slot on a pass oriented team. I guess to gage a wide receiver you see how interested the Rams are and they like Colbert  The Panthers are also interested in Colbert.

USAToday.com reports: The Panthers draft 31st this year so there's no telling what they'll do at this point. But as for positions of need, the team would like to upgrade at wide receiver, cornerback, outside linebacker and on the offensive line, possibly looking for an eventual replacement for Todd Steussie. All of that will largely depend on what the Panthers do in the free agent market.

 

2003 COLLEGE DRAFT

Carolina
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School
1 8 Gross, Jordan OT 6-5 300 Utah
2 50 Nelson, Bruce C 6-5 301 Iowa
3 76 Seidman, Mike TE 6-4 261 UCLA
3 82 Manning, Ricky CB 5-9 185 UCLA
4 119 Branch, Colin FS 6-0 203 Stanford
5 145 Moorehead, Kindal DE 6-3 285 Alabama
7 226 Young, Walter WR 6-6 214 Illinois
7 247 Moore, Casey FB 6-2 240 Stanford
B+

2003 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

Gross was the best tackle in the draft and fills a need for the Panthers.  This pick will make new running back Stephen Davis (and his fantasy football owners) very happy.  Nelson can play center or guard.  He should eventually develop into a competent NFL starter.  Seidman can block better than the current Panther tight ends.  He can also catch, so he could start at some point this year. Manning has the speed and agility to cover slot receivers but lacks the size to be a starting corner.  Still, he is a useful player.  Branch made a late run up the draft board.  He has the physical skills to be a dominate player.  He just needs experience.  Good pick.  Moorehead was also excellent value in round five.  He could fit in nicely as a backup to Rucker and Peppers.  The Panthers got great value again in round seven with Young and Moore.  Young has size, good hands and can be a good short-yardage and red-zone receiver.  Seventh round receivers rarely become contributors in a team's offense but Young has a real chance.  Moore has good skills across the board.  He was graded way higher than the seventh round.
Gross AllProScouting.com reports Jordan Gross-OT-Utah: ran a 5.05 forty.
The Great Blue North report (gbnreport.com) reports Utah OT Jordan Gross, who disappointed some scouts when he weighed in at barely 300 pounds, made up for it demonstrating outstanding athletic skills in on-field workouts; indeed, some teams are now looking at Gross as a bona fide top 5 prospect.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports,  Observations from one AFC college scouting director: "(Offensive tackle Jordan) Gross of Utah was really solid (Friday) in the drills he did. People are worried he lacks some weight but, man, he is really light on his feet. And he sets up (to pass block) with a real, nice base. You don't see him get off-balance very often at all. The other thing is, his first blow is pretty strong, and he locks out pretty well. OK, so maybe he is a bit too mechanical, but his techniques are good enough, and he's a smart kid. He won't knock many (defenders) off the line in the running game, but he should be a terrific blindside pass protector in a couple years."
The Times Picayune reports Utah OT Jordan Gross, the No. 1-rated tackle in the draft, bench-pressed 225 pounds 28 times, ran the 40-yard dash in 5.05 seconds and had a vertical jump of 31 feet, 5 inches at the NFL Combine.
Draft2003.com reports, Jordan Gross, Utah -- Ran 5.03 in the 40... at 6-foot-5, 300 pounds... did 28 reps of 225 pounds... had 31.5" vertical... and really helped himself by doing a full workout at the Combine... scouts/teams liked his willingness to do everything asked of him... also interviewed well...
Nelson WORKOUT NUMBERS   Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, Center Nelson (6-5 1/8, 295) was timed at 5.21 and 5.26 in the 40. He had a 28 1/2-inch vertical jump and an 8-foot-7 long jump. He had 20 benches as well.
Seidman WORKOUT NUMBERS  Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, Seidman was 6-4 3/8 and 271 pounds, but he ran the 40 as low as 4.74 and as high as 4.79 seconds. Those on hand felt he really looked good. He had previously done 20 reps at the Combine, so he didn't lift here. Seidman also had a vertical of 30 inches and a long jump of 9-foot-2. He did 4.32 in the short shuttle and 7.13 in the three-cone drill.
Manning Matt Gambill of AllProScouting.com reports CB Ricky Manning ran a 4.51 forty at the combine.
WORKOUT NUMBERS Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, CB Ricky Manning was 5-9 and weighed 180 pounds. He ran four times, as low as 4.42 and as high as 4.49. Manning didn't do anything else except positional drills.
Branch KFFL.com reports Stanford S Colin Branch measured in at 6'0" and 210 pounds at the NFL Combine. On the bench-press drills, he did 22 reps. In the 40-yard dash, he was clocked at 4.37 seconds.  He helped his draft stock with his effort.  Branch, by the way, is a cousin of former Raiders receiver Cliff Branch, who played for them from 1972-85.
WORKOUT NUMBERS
Draft2003.com reports, Colin Branch, Stanford -- Great workout... 4.39 in the 40... 23 reps of 225 pounds... also has good bloodlines... related to both Cliff and Calvin Branch, who have both played in the NFL...
KFFL.com reports, Stanford S Colin Branch is being looked at as both a first day cornerback and safety during the upcoming NFL Draft due to his previous times in the 40-yard dash and shuttle runs.
Moorehead WORKOUT NUMBERS Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, DE Moorehead is 6-foot-2¾, 283 pounds, ran 4.96 and 4.97, had a 34-inch vertical jump, 9-foot long jump, and benched 23 times
Moore Draft2003.com reports, FB Casey Moore, Stanford -- Ran 4.69 in the 40... at 6-foot-1, 250 pounds... caught the ball well... looked more athletic in drills than most thought...
WORKOUT NUMBERS  Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, Casey Moore ran his 40s in 4.69 and 4.73.

 

 2002 COLLEGE DRAFT

GRADE : B


Peppers was the right choice.  Forget about some of the negatives that came about as draft day approached.  Fox is a great coach for Peppers.  He will find many ways to get Peppers introduced to opposing QBs throughout the league on game day.  Likewise, Foster was an excellent pick.  By year's end he should be the Panthers' starting HB.  After these two picks there are some questions.  OLB Witherspoon moved up draft boards after he ran 4.5 in workouts.  He could start for the Panthers.   After Witherspoon, however, the Panthers have some boom or bust type players led by QB Fasani, FB Johnson and CB Wesley.  One potential sleeper is TE Heinrich who has the tools but lacks experience.


Links below take you to NFL.com's report on player, position or college team.

Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School
1 2 Peppers, Julius DE 6-6 283 North Carolina
2 34 Foster, De'Shaun RB 6-1 222 UCLA
3 73 Witherspoon, Will OLB 6-1 231 Georgia
4 100 Wesley, Dante CB 6-1 211 Arkansas-Pine Bluff
5 137 Fasani, Randy QB 6-3 234 Stanford
5 145 Johnson, Albert 'Kyle' FB 6-1 242 Syracuse
6 174 Heinrich, Keith TE 6-5 255 Sam Houston State
7 213 Campion, Pete G 6-4 307 North Dakota State
7 258 Franklin, Brad CB 6-1 190 Louisiana-Lafayette

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