Carolina Panthers: Still looking for wide receivers


All the focus is currently on free agency, but let’s not forget that there’s still a draft to come. This is when general managers will make their final significant push for a playoff-bound roster.

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One of the Carolina Panthers‘ biggest needs has been at the wide receiver position. Thus far, they haven’t done much to remedy that, only bringing back former Panther Ted Ginn. He figures to be more influential on the special teams, so there’s still work to be done.

Personally, I’m still keeping an eye on the former Georgia Tech star, Stephen Hill. I think an offseason with Panthers’ receivers coach, Ricky Proehl, could go a long way.

That being said, Carolina will almost certainly take a wide receiver in the upcoming draft. Many even believe a receiver will be taken by them within the first two rounds. If that proves to be true, former USC Trojan, Nelson Agholor, could be in the mix.

If the Panthers take an offensive lineman in the first round, Agholor could still be there by the time they’re only the clock in the second. If so, they’d be wise to take him, as he’d be a good complement to Kelvin Benjamin.

Mostly because of his size (6’0″, 198 pounds), Agholor doesn’t have the highest ceiling, but he’s an all-around solid receiver that could come in and contribute from day one.

Nov 1, 2014; Pullman, WA, USA; Southern California Trojans receiver Nelson Agholor (15) carries the ball on a 65-yard punt return in the first quarter against the Washington State Cougars at Martin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Similar to the recent Trojan receivers that have entered the NFL (Robert Woods and Marqise Lee), Agholor has decent speed, decent hands, and runs solid routes.

Unfortunately, the Panthers haven’t had very good luck with Southern Cal receivers in the past. The team once drafted two former Trojan receivers – Keary Colbert and Dwayne Jarrett – both of which proved to be disappointments.

Colbert’s best year was his rookie season in 2004 when he had 47 receptions for 754 yards and four touchdowns. After that, it was all downhill. He only caught two more touchdowns in three more seasons as a Panther and never recorded more than 350 receiving yards in those seasons.

Dwayne Jarrett, drafted in the second round in 2007, was an even larger disappointment. In four seasons in Carolina, he was only able to muster up 428 yards and one measly touchdown. To make matters worse, the Panthers felt so good about him after drafting him, that they cut their only former Trojan receiver that wasn’t a disappointment – Keyshawn Johnson.

So does all of this really mean that Carolina shouldn’t draft Nelson Agholor simply because of the school he went to? Is there really some sort of a curse? The answer is simple – no.

A lot has changed since those draft picks. Carolina’s coaches and systems are different, USC’s coaches and systems are different, scouting teams are different – essentially, everything is different. To discount a player simply because of previous players from many years ago would be a huge mistake.

Luckily, no professional would take this mentality, so shouldn’t us fans as a whole do the same? If Agholor is available and taken by Carolina, he would have the opportunity to make amends in the eyes of many people.

Next: Carolina Panthers: Seven-round mock draft

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