C3 is taking a look at 10 WRs that the Panthers could and should be targeting in the upcoming Draft. We will Chronicle 10 guys (or Cats) and give you some little known information on them.
This is not a ranking based on talent nor production. This is who I see as the best fits for what the Panthers want and need to do to add juice to the Panthers Offense in 2015 and beyond. And we will get these in prior to the Combine that begins on Feb. 20.
There are four players that I did not include in my list as I just don’t see them either being there or I don’t see them as “Panther-type players. Those four are: Amari Cooper, Kevin White, DeVante Parker (who I don’t see as available at Pick 25) and I left out DGB as I don’t see anyway the Panthers take the risk with this young man.
I see the Panthers needing speed, good route running, ability make plays (whether that be YAC or elusiveness) and Special Teams ability. I also look for players that are willing and able blockers both in the run-game and down field. The more of these traits a player has, the higher on my list they will end up. And I have to admit that the Combine could reshuffle this order, so I will put out a revised ranking after the Combine. The next Cat that I look to Chronicle is out of Michigan State and happens to be my "Top Cat":
Tony Lippett WR Michigan State 6’2 /193 lbs.
Why he is a good fit:
Coming in at #1 is a highly productive and precision rout-runner. This guy has very good size and has good speed. He has quick feet and can manipulate a defender throughout a game. He flat knows how to get open. He ended 2014 with 65 receptions, 1,198 yards and 11 TDs. I see him as the precise rout-runner that this Offense needs. He can drop his hips and provide a big target for Cam. He’s not Benjamin big, but he would be the guy that would demand zone coverage and free up other rout options for other players. In this scenario, Philly Brown would remain as our speed guy and Lippett would be the unquestioned #2 receiver and could emerge as our #1 WR. And he would be the guy that Cam could count on to be where he is supposed to be and that he would catch the ball.
Things he needs to work on:
I see Lippett as a pretty complete WR with good size and quick feet. He can get off press-coverage well and finds ways to turn defenders around. If he could break the 4.5 barrier at the Combine, look out. As of now his only real weakness is he’s been clocked around 4.5 to 4.55. That is NFL quality, but ideally we want 4.4s to complement Benjamin.
Something you might not know:
Like Justin Hardy, Lippett played QB in High School. But Lippett also played both ways. So he was the QB and CB. As a Senior, Lippett was an All-State CB and nabbed nine INTs. He also ran track and competed in both the 100 and 200 meter-dashes. He has a long-stride type of speed.
Lippett reminds me of another Michigan State WR that went in the 2nd Round to the Panthers. Muhsin Muhammad 2.0. Lippett is an ideal Second Round Pick for the Panthers this year and would start Day 1. I think he could be a steal in this draft and could be just what the Panthers need. Sammie Coates from yesterday would be a solid Pick at #25, but to me, Lippett provides more value if we can get him in Round 2.
What are your thoughts Panther fans? Leave your comments below.