The Carolina Panthers definitely need some major help on the offensive side of the ball in the 2014 NFL Draft, and they will likely take an impact wide receiver in the first round. While offensive tackle is the bigger need for the Panthers, this team simply needs to take superior football players to help avoid a letdown season after last year’s top finish in the NFC South, and the wide receivers available with the 27th pick in the draft are better than the OTs that will be there.
ESPN NFL Nation’s David Newton reports that the Panthers are working out LSU Tigers wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry today, and both are talented, sure-handed wideouts who won with consistency in college football’s most difficult conference. The best wide receiver duo in the nation, OBJ and Landry made Zach Mettenberger an awful lot better and either WR would be a big get for the Panthers.
I doubt Odell Beckham Jr. falls to the Panthers, but that would be an absolute dream come true for Cam Newton and the Panthers organization. Newton needs a No. 1 receiver after losing all of his top wideouts this offseason, and the Panthers haven’t done enough to replace those guys. Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant are decent veterans and maybe one of Tavarres King or Marvin McNutt breaks out, but the Panthers sorely lack a No. 1 receiver. Beckham Jr. would immediately be that player, because he wins anywhere on the field (slot, outside, deep, over the middle, on screens) with his speed, agility, excellent hands, and criminally underrated ability to win at the catch point. In some respects, he reminds me of Golden Tate, and he’s much more comparable to Steve Smith than Brandin Cooks.
Jarvis Landry is more likely to land with the Panthers, but he’s more of a second-round prospect than a first-round player due to his lack of speed. He measured poorly at workouts, but that could cause his high second-round talent to fall into the late second, where he would be a nice snag for the WR-needy Panthers. Landry has the best hands in the class, and he’s a strong wideout who reminds many people of Anquan Boldin.