The NFL Draft is always a fun event to watch and see what all 32 teams do to improve their teams. Not to mention athletes lives changing forever wether they are a 1st round pick or Mr Irrelevant, fun to see! The Carolina Panthers had a very active draft trading up down and all around. Although I might be biased I think we had good draft addressing some needs and getting good quality players to help this team win football games in the near future.
Round 1 Shaq Thompson LB Washington 6-0 / 228 LBS.
Many felt this was a questionable choice given the glaring need to protect Cam Newton, but just a pick before the Arizona Cardinals selected the ideal selection of offensive lineman DJ Humpires out of Florida. Rather than going with someone they didn’t really like they stuck to their guns and drafted the highest rated player on the board. Thompson is very versatile player he played safety, linebacker, and even running back while at the University of Washington, many feel his primary position will be safety with the Panthers to help out the weakest part of the defense in 2014.
As a linebacker, he will be able to learn from two of the best in the business in Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis. A dream for a young player like him to learn from two guys that have been though it all in their careers, even with Kuechly being so young himself. They have been though a lot of adversity and success and they can teach him how to be a great professional on and off the field. The possibility of Kuechly, Davis, and Thompson is a nightmare for opposing offenses to deal every game. He will also help the special teams that were terrible in 2014. A pick not many liked but he is a great player that has a lot of tools that can boost an already stellar defense.
Round 2 Devin Funchess WR Michigan 6′ 5 236 LBS.
The Panthers knew who they wanted in the 2nd round,they made that very clear trading 3 picks to the Rams to move up to 41st and take the Michigan wideout. It is quite clear GM David Gettlemen wants a basketball team for a wide receiving core with Kelvin Benjamin 6’5 240, Greg Olsen 6’5 253 and Stephen Hill 6’4 215 and now Devin Funchess 6′ 5″ 236 can you say match up nightmare. Queen City sky scrapers are going to be fun to watch, don’t forget about Jarrett Boykin, Philly Brown, and Jerricho Cotchery the veteran of the group. A lot to be excited about the key will be for Cam to take a few miles an hour of his throws to make it an easier catch.
Funchess was a 2 time 2nd team All- American at Michigan he ran a 4.47 at his pro day pretty good speed. He must work on his hands because drops were an issue, bottom line he is a big mismatch in the Red Zone and teams are going to have so much fun covering them game after game. Cam Newton is getting a great weapon on the outside. Very excited to see the head ache we will create for teams.
Round 4 Daryl Williams OG Oklahoma 6’5 327 LBS.
The team desperately needed some more competition and depth to help protect Cam Newton he is a load very physical and should be a welcome addition to a weak part of the team in 2014. He is also a guy that can be moved around the line if needed a solid pick at that point in the draft.
Round 5 David Mayo LB Texas State 6’2 228 LBS
This kid is a great story wasn’t recruited out of high school with no division one offers, he found himself at Santa Monica College. California is not a cheap place to live, he was going to rent a guest house, but that fell though so he ended up staying in a shed with no plumbing or electricity. An awesome story that shows hard work pays off!! On the field you say why another linebacker I say you can’t have too much of a good thing. He has a high motor and will be a great special teams guy and can fill in when injuries happen.
Round 5 Cameron Artis-Payne Running Back Auburn Tigers 5’11 209 LBS
The team needed to replace Deangelo Williams and they did that with a north and south physical back to be paired with Jonathan Stewart who is a bruiser himself, our backfield will be very taxing to opposing defensive lines. He will be a new fresh addition to the team. He put up solid numbers in college in 2 years he had 2,218 yards and 20 touchdowns. I like this pick because it gives us great depth and a quality player to add to the backfield.
I think this draft was very productive getting quailty players and sticking to our game plan. I Belive all of this players will help the panthers win in the present and future. GO Panthers!!!