It is no secret that after posting the 29th best passing offense this year, the Carolina Panthers would love to get a new receiver this offseason. Steve Smith, while still elite and a great option, is getting older each year. If Carolina wants to try and make a Super Bowl push while Smith is still playing football, they are going to need a solid No. 2 receiver to back him up. There are many options in both the NFL Draft as well as the free agent market, but one name that should be on the Panthers’ radar is Florida State wideout Kelvin Benjamin. Not only does Benjamin have the ability to work well in an NFL passing scheme, but he also is a large target, which is precisely what the Panthers need.
It has been years since Smith has had a solid counterpart opposite him on the field. While tight end Greg Olson is solid, giving the Panthers another middle receiver would allow Smith to work the field and get open on deeper routes. Benjamin is perfect for this role, not only because he a solid ball catcher who has been steadily improving throughout his time in college, but his size allows him to work the middle of the field.
Benjamin stands at a monstrous 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, which would provide Cam Newton with a large target to work slots and fades. Adding this size to the field would improve the Panthers’ passing attack on two fronts. On one hand, it would allow them to convert more short yardage situations, and thus keep the offense on the field. Secondly, by creating a shot route threat, it would also force defenses to focus more on the flats and open up deep passing lanes.
Benjamin may not answer all of the problems, but he is a much needed piece in the Carolina passing puzzle, and one they should be glad to have.