NFL Carolina Panthers

2013 NFL Draft: Should the Carolina Panthers Focus on Wide Receiver in First Round?

(Daniel Shirey/USA Today Sports)

There were high expectations for the Carolina Panthers in 2012 since Cam Newton was heading into his second season, but the team finished with a 7-9 record–putting the pressure on them even more heading into next season. With the 2013 NFL Draft right around the corner, there’s numerous areas the Panthers can focus on in the first round, but should a wide receiver be their top priority?

Obviously, the argument can be made that Carolina needs to focus on their defense in the first round, but there are plenty of talented wide receivers that would make a great addition for Newton in the passing game. Newton may have Steve Smith and a few up-and-coming wide receivers on the roster at the moment, but they could still use another big playmaker at wide receiver.

From Tavon Austin to Justin Hunter to Cordarrelle Patterson, the Panthers certainly could have a handful number of wide receivers to choose from in the first round and either one seems capable of making an impact as rookies in 2013. Newton seemed to take longer to get going in 2012 and the last thing he wants to see happen is the lack of weapons on offense force him to struggle once again in 2013.

Carolina will certainly have their hands full on draft day as they decide which direction to go in, but wide receiver may be their best option at this point. The last thing they want to see happen is passing up on a wide receiver that turns out to be the next big thing–so it will be interesting to see whether or not the Panthers go wide receiver in the first round in a few weeks.

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