The upcoming NFL Draft is ripe with wide receiver talent. So much so that the odds of a young, talented wideout falling into the second round are very high. And that is something the Carolina Panthers should consider.
After letting veteran star Steve Smith go during the offseason, the Panthers were struggling to find wide receivers. The draft offers many options, but one receiver is not enough to keep a struggling offense afloat. As such, management made some moves and brought in solid receivers Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant. While these moves are not the most exciting, it gives the Panthers a little extra wiggle room and should allow them to focus on patching their offensive line in the first round of the draft.
Throughout the entire offseason it seemed that the Panthers were set on using their first-round pick to take a fast, deep threat wide receiver to replace Smith. However, with the additions of both Avery and Cotchery, the Panthers have temporarily quelled the tide. Now, they have the option to use their first-round pick on a much needed offensive lineman to help fill the hole left by the departure of Jordan Gross.
If the Panthers take an offensive lineman with their first pick, they can then take a talented receiver in the second round. This would allow them to attack their problems on two fronts by giving Cam Newton protection and giving him players to throw to. The Panthers are in need of both a wide receiver and an offensive lineman, but as a result of the free agency signings, a lineman is the more pressing matter. By taking a lineman in the first round, the Panthers would help fill a need and then pick up the other pieces in the later rounds.