As we take another look into the Carolina Panthers 2015 offseason, much speculation has raised that Dave Gettleman and company should look at Todd Gurley, running back out of Georgia. And, if you’re asking for my unprofessional opinion, I say we take him. Jonathan Stewart came on strong at the end of 2014, but has not played an entire season since 2011. With the release of longtime Panther DeAngelo Williams, it is certain we will need another back to help share the load.
I believe and hope that Offensive Coordinator Mike Shula runs more two-tight end sets. The receiving core is not deep or experienced, so using more Greg Olsen, Ed Dickson, and running game should help control the pace of the game and solidify winning the field position battle. So, adding another dynamic runner to the backfield would pay dividends to the Panthers style of football.
Another aspect this will open up is the vertical passing game. Sucking safeties into the box will allow Kelvin Benjamin to operate in single coverage. Philly Brown will also be given an opportunity to stretch the field. Brown is a fast receiver, who showed glimpses of being an effective receiver down the field last season.
Take Gurley. Before the injury last season, he was a man amongst boys, and was undoubtedly the best back in college football. I know, I know, you never take a running back in the first round, but, Gurley was easily a top pick before the injuries. I say, roll the dice. Worst case scenario, Gurley is injury plagued and we cut him mid-season. Best case scenario, Gurley returns to pre-injury form and there is a new and improved two headed monster in Carolina.
As I wrote in my previous post, Gettleman has always believed in taking the best available. And if Gurley is there at 25, I guarantee Gettleman snatches him up. Reverting back to a two tight end system, paired with a solid running game, and an elite defense, the Panthers will look to three-peat as NFC South divisional champions. And hopefully, a run at the Super Bowl.
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