The Panthers had a few issues on offense last year. Protecting Cam, RB injuries, and the ever so obvious need for a game breaking, blow the top off of the defense WR, who is what the fans would call a “home run threat” were the most significant. Let's say at the end of the first round there is no way to fill protection or RB without reaching. This is my pitch for Carolina to draft my favorite WR, someone who should be well within reach.
With the 25th pick in the 2015 NFL draft the Panthers select, Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State. Standing 6' and about 200 lbs, he really is no slouch when it comes to NFL size. His biggest knock has been that “he can’t run routes”, but rarely is it mentioned that he played the slot as well in college. He is game fast. And combine fast, a 4.42 forty time shows his speed. He is really the best deep guy in the draft! Maybe the country. He cuts in and out of breaks well, gets deep very well, one issue when going deep is physical play way down the field that will be a non factor in the NFL. There is no contact after 5 yards in the professional level, whereas in college there is no contact after the ball is in the air.
Let's look at his stats: 33 receptions 931 yards receiving 28.2 yards per catch. That would be a huge upgrade to the Panthers roster. No one on the team topped 14 yards per catch, Devin Smith is the answer to the game breaking outside speed the Panthers need. He got 12 TDs in 2014 this number may have been lessened by the fact that he did not have a QB who was able to take full advantage of his speed and quick downfield ability till the last 3 games of the season. Cam will love that he gets down fast. My idea for this offense is this. KB is the clear number 1 who will line up in all different ways on different plays routes and really just does what he did last year. Brown and Ginn take shifts in the slot to give inside speed and an attempt to reduce the wear and tear on the players. Smith will line up outside as the game breaker over the top, Olson will be the all around beast. The additions of Ginn and Smith will be essential to pulling coverage off of KB leaving him more open for catches and giving him more of a chance at YAC.
Smith has drawn comparisons DeSean Jackson, not a bad skill set to add to the Panthers. A game breaker who makes the contested catches and gets over the top better than anyone who claims to have the same skill set as him. He should be there at pick 25 and outside of grabbing more protection for Cam, he will be a great option to makes defenses think twice about blitzing and will bring down the amount of coverage sacks that Cam will take for seasons to come.