I was on Twitter the other day talking with other Panthers fans about the upcoming NFL Draft. We were specifically talking about how players with injuries, and character issues might drop in the draft. In the past those players may not have been be picked in the first few rounds, but teams ended up taking a risk by drafting those “troubled” players later on. We all know how the relationship ended with Greg Hardy, and we do not want history to repeat itself. The front offices of NFL franchises need to be careful and be on the lookout for ticking time bombs. But what if that rumor about the prospect’s character and health is just a smokescreen?
An example of a great smokescreen was when the Carolina Panthers selected Star Lotulelei with their 14th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. This was a different kind of smokescreen because Star really did a have a heart condition. His left ventricle was only pumping at 44 percent efficiency compared to the normal average range of 55 to 70 percent. He was not allowed to workout at the NFL Combine, and this scared a lot of NFL teams. Well come to found out he actually only had a viral infection, and that was eventually cured. I consider this a smokescreen play because even with the heart condition the Panthers still drafted him with the 14th selection. He is currently the Panthers starting defensive tackle and was named to the All-Rookie Team.
The Carolina Panthers have the 25th selection in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. The Panthers priorities in this upcoming NFL Draft are an offensive lineman, corner back, wide receiver, linebacker and running back. There are many NFL prospects out there that would be a great fit for the Carolina Panthers. But unfortunately you can’t have them all, because here are only so many players, and drafts picks that can be moved to get the guy that you want. In order for your wish list to come true Gettleman will need to work his magic.
Below are some actions that Dave Gettleman and the Panthers have either done or said. Do you think that any of these are smokescreens for the upcoming NFL Draft?
The signing of “blind side” offensive tackle Michael Oher.
The signing of Pro Bowl cornerback Charles Tillman.
Amari Cooper has not visited with the Carolina Panthers.
“Who wants a ticking time bomb?”
“Draft the best player available.”
Panthers worked out Melvin Gordon, and only visited Gurley.
- Ereck Flowers is only offensive lineman with first round grade to visit.
Can you think of any other smokescreens by Dave Gettleman?
By, Justin Raymond
Follow Me On Twitter @JayRay19