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 Arizona State:
Jaelen Strong WR Arizona State 6’4 /206 lbs.
Why he is a good fit:
Coming in at #3 is a big dude that makes big plays. He had great production with 83 catches for 1,165 yards and 10 TDs this past season. And at 6’3/ 215lbs and running close to a 4.5, there is a lot to love. And from what I’ve seen from scouts, he will be off the board in the top 35 picks. He is going to win contested catches and has very good hands. That is why I like him for our Offense.
He also has good “nuances” to his route-running. He changes his speeds up and knows how to get open. He also can beat man coverage with ease and he would excel in going over the middle. He has quick feet and can manipulate a defender throughout a game. He flat knows how to get open. I bet he’d catch 75 balls for 1,000 yards as a Rookie in our Offense. The only reason he isn't higher on my list is because he will require a 1st Round Pick and there is one guy that I think we can get in Round 2 that brings a little more value. But I'd love Strong in Carolina regardless of where he's picked.
Things he needs to work on:
Ideally we’d like to have a 4.4 guy and Strong is not that. However, he is incredibly strong (as his name suggests) and he is going to beat DBs when fighting for the ball. Also, he isn’t a complete route-runner, at least not yet. He doesn't seem to easily drop his hips and make precision cuts. But again, he knows how to get open.
Something you might not know:
Father passed away of Cancer when Jaelen was just 9 years old. Went to a Catholic Prep High School in Pennsylvania. Went on to Junior College and made his way to Arizona State for his last two seasons. He is said to have a great work ethic and gets better every year. This young man has a high ceiling and could be a very good pick at #25.
Strong reminds me of what Dwayne Bowe should be. He would not be the sexy pick, but I’m telling you, if he is on the Panthers, you’ll forget where we picked him.
What are your thoughts Panther fans? Leave your comments below.