Awaiting Avant

The Carolina Panthers made huge strides in 2013, finishing with 12 wins and a division championship. As 2014 approaches, the Panthers are looking for another solid season, but with a different cast around star quarterback Cam Newton. Newton has lost his top four wide outs from a year ago, so who is going to help fill the lost void? With rookie Kelvin Benjamin, GM Dave Gettleman has surrounded Newton with veteran, sure handed guys.

One of these receivers is Jason Avant, a 31 year old out of the University of Michigan. Avant spent his first seven years in the league with the Philadelphia Eagles, and is now looking for a bigger role. Avant has seen his targets go up in the last three seasons, and for good reason. As he looks to move into the second receiver slot, he has a better catch-target ratio than previous number two wide out Brandon Lafell. Avant caught 61% of his targets over the last three seasons, better than Lafell at 59%. During that time period Avant caught passes from three different quarterbacks, Nick Foles, Michael Vick, and Vince Young. Lafell, in that time period caught all his passes from Cam Newton. So, no matter who is throwing the pigskin, Avant is going to catch it. The video below is proof of that.

Panther fans should be excited about this receiving core and the new additions. Avant, along with his sure handedness, brings experience. That experience involves playoff experience, something to help young Cam Newton grow and become the elite quarterback he is destined to be.

Other teams shouldn’t sleep on Avant, this guy is a tough, hard-nosed leader, and oh, don’t forget with amazing hands. Opposing teams shouldn’t sleep on Avant, and neither should Panther fans.

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