The Carolina Panthers received a lot of criticism after making the playoffs with a losing a record. The NFC South had a down year with a collective record of 22-41-1, but someone had to make it out the winner.
Despite their record, Carolina should come into the 2015 season as one of the more promising teams – provided they make a few smart moves during the offseason.
More from Carolina Panthers
- A silver lining to the Carolina Panthers rough preseason?
- 2023 NFL Season: NFC South shaping up to be an exciting division
- 5 NFL teams who missed playoffs in 2022 but will make it in 2023
- 2023 NFL Season: Way too early picks for division winners
- Fantasy Football: Undervalued, sleeper RBs to target in drafts in 2023
One of those moves will have to be adding a wide receiver to complement soon-to-be star, Kelvin Benjamin. The Panthers as a whole had the eleventh-fewest receiving yards with 3,913 – and 1,008 of those were provided by Pro Bowl tight end, Greg Olsen.
The Panthers will have more cap space to play with this offseason than they did a year ago, but there are a few other areas that need to be filled too, namely on the offensive line and in the secondary. This means that general manager, David Gettleman, will need to be smart with how the cap is managed.
In short, Carolina’s best chance at getting difference-making wide receiver will be through the draft.
This year’s draft class, like last year’s, is riddled with talented pass-catchers, so the Panther’s should be able to strike gold near the middle rounds.
One guy they would be wise to pull the trigger on is Rashad Greene out of Florida State.
Greene is currently expected to be a second to third rounder, which I personally think would be a great time for the Panthers to grab a receiver. Projections are sure to change as the offseason progresses, so his stock will be one to keep an eye on.
He’s an interesting prospect because what he does best isn’t going to provide a jaw-dropping highlight reel, and at six-feet and 180 pounds, he’s somewhat undersized for the position. That being said, he might be the most polished receiver in the draft.
Greene is an excellent route-runner and has a very high football IQ, making him a great asset to have when the pocket breaks down – something that happened frequently in Carolina this past season.
While he won’t be the fastest receiver in this year’s draft class, he has above average acceleration to go along with his quick feet, good hands, and mental toughness.
This means he’s good at getting off the line, is exceptional at running routes and getting open, and is smart when running after the catch. Having stayed for all four years in college, Greene has ample experience and will be ready to help whichever team drafts him from week one.
He finished his senior season with 99 catches for 1,365 yards and seven touchdowns. For his career, he caught 270 passes for 3,830 yards – both are the most in Florida State history.
If the Carolina Panthers were to draft Rashad Greene, it would reunite FSU’s top two receivers from their National Championship team during the 2013-2014 season. That year, Greene led the team in receptions and receiving yards while current Panther, Kelvin Benjamin, led the team in receiving touchdowns.
While the Panthers could use a speed receiver, they would be wise to select Rashad Green, should he be available when they’re up to make their third-round pick. Who knows, maybe reuniting Green and Benjamin will bring their championship ways from Tallahassee to Charlotte.
More from NFL Spin Zone
- Dallas Cowboys made the trade everyone else should have made
- Pittsburgh Steelers rookie sleeper everyone should be talking about
- Anthony Richardson putting jaw-dropping talent on display immediately
- Denver Broncos’ stud wide receiver might be out for a while
- Washington Commanders: Three takeaways from win over Ravens