New general manager of the Carolina Panthers, Dave Gettleman‘s introductory press conference, he referenced the importance of “big men” to the building of a team, Colin Cole is certainly qualifies as a large man at 6′ 2″ 328 lbs. Cole, was a first-team All-Big Ten selection as a senior at the University of Iowa after recording 85 tackles and nine sacks but wasn’t selected in the 2003 NFL Draft who made his NFL debut in 2004 , he has played in 84 games with 34 starts, recording 182 tackles and 4.5 sacks for the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks.
It’s rare that a veteran player makes a successful return to the NFL after a significant time away, but it’s not unheard of in Carolina let alone in the rest of the league. Defensive end Al Wallace had essentially been out of the NFL for three seasons before returning to action with the Panthers in 2002 and posting five productive seasons, and Cole could have similar a success story.
If this is the beginning for a transition to the 3-4 defense for the Panthers, as mentioned in this article here, bringing in Cole could be a legit Nose Tackle with current under tackle Dwan Edwards would be kicking out to a 3-4 defensive end. Also with the idea of them transitioning to the 3-4 defense would potentially alter their draft boards as not all defensive players fit into every defensive scheme.