Outside Raleigh

Panthers Offseason Recap & Draft Preview

With the eighth pick, in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers select…

Offseason Review

It’s been 115 days since we last saw the Carolina Panthers take the field and there has been a lot of changes within the organization.  Sean McDermott left the defensive coordinator position to become the head coach of the Buffalo Bills.  McDermott’s position was filled by Charlotte native and fifth year secondary coach, Steve Wilks.  Wilks is a smooth transition, as he was assistant head coach/secondary coach and helped head coach Ron Rivera with the day-to-day operations since 2015-2016.  As the secondary coach, Wilks was instrumental in helping the Panthers advance to Super Bowl 50 with a defense that lead the NFL in interceptions (24), total takeaways (39), points off turnovers (148) and turnover differential (+20).

The 2016 Carolina Panthers struggled to a 6-10 finish due in part to the departure of veteran leadership on the defensive side of the ball.  This off-season David Gettleman has put an emphasis on retaining the remaining leadership that was instrumental in bringing the Carolina three straight NFC South championships.

Offseason Transactions:

Re-signings: Defensive linemen Wes Horton, Mario Addison, Charles Johnson, and Kawann Short. Also, special teams/fill-in safety Colin Jones, third down running back Fozzy Whittaker, and back up offensive linemen Amini Silatolu/Chris Scott will return to the squad.

Free Agent Signings: Panther favorites: defensive end Julius Peppers and cornerback Captain Munnerlyn.  Panther Bro Matt Khalil (Bro of Ryan Khalil). Safety Mike Adams. Wide Receivers Russell Shepard and Charles Johnson.   

Although it was quite unusual for David Gettleman to bring in so many free agents this offseason, he is expected to stick to his guns when it comes to his draft strategy.  BEST. AVAILABLE. PLAYER. Gettleman does not reach on players. While there may be holes in the offensive line, defensive backfield, and a lack of a big play offensive weapons (with the departure of Ted Ginn), don’t be surprised if Gettleman uses his pick Thursday on any of ofthe first rounders listed below.

Possible Draft Picks:

The Carolina Panthers have eight picks in the 2017 draft with four being in the top 100. While we don’t know who they’ll take, we do know it’s time to turn it up.

1st Round No 8:

  • Christian McCaffery RB (Stanfard)
  • O.J. Howard TE (Alabama)
  • Derek Barnett DE (Tennessee)
  • Jamal Adams FS (LSU)
  • David Njoku TE (Miami)

Round 2 No. 40:

  • Cam Robinson OT (Alabama)
  • Alvin Kamara RB (Tennessee)
  • T.J. Watt LB (Wisconsin)
  • Zay Jones WR (East Carolina)
  • Josh Jones FS (N.C. State)

Round 2 No. 64:

  • Derek Rivers DE (Youngstown St)
  • Ryan Anderson LB (Alabama)
  • Dion Dawkins G/OT (Temple)
  • Jalen Tabor CB (Florida)
  • Jordan Willis DE (Kansas St)

Round 3 No. 98:

  • Tarell Basham DE (Ohio)
  • Obi Melifonwu FS (Connecticut)
  • Tanoh Kpassagnon DE (Villanova)
  • Julie’n Davenport OT (Bucknell)
  • Chris Godwin WR (Penn St)

It’s been 80 days since the losers from Atlanta choked away the big game. Since then there’s been endless mock drafts, pro days etc.  Now the draft is finally here and this Thursday at 8:00pm eastern time we’ll find out who to welcome to the Ole North State.