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January 14, 2008

Panthers interested in Slaton?

    Got an email asking me if the Panthers would have any interest in drafting West Virginia running back Steve Slaton, a tough and shifty runner who has just declared for the NFL draft, forgoing his senior year.
          I would think not; if the Panthers are to make changes at that position, expect them to look for a bigger back than Slaton, who is listed at 5-foot-10 and 195 pounds. In other words, similar to current
backup DeAngelo Williams. Carolina would want a back who can run inside and move the pile, someone who can alleviate the problems the team had in short-yardage situations last year. Someone like Stephen Davis, who set a team rushing record of 1,444 yards while leading the Panthers to the Super Bowl during the 2003 season.
    There aren't a lot of highly rated big backs in the draft so far, although Oregon's Jonathan Stewart, at 5-11 and 235 pounds, is intriguing.  Stewart is projected, though, as a high first-round pick, and Carolina doesn't select until No. 13. In addition, it's by no means certain that the Panthers would want to use their first pick on that position. Other spots, including defensive end and offensive tackle, are also likely under consideration.
    There are some interesting names further down that running back list, including Tulane's Matt Forte and Central Florida's Kevin Smith.
         For more on the running game, check out today's Charlotte
Observer.

--Stan Olson

Posted by Observer Sports on January 14, 2008 at 12:11 PM | Permalink

Comments

Thanks Stan,
Please Please Please keep some Panther news coming, we (Panther fans) have had a bad year but would like to read about our team during the off season too.
Thanks again,Roger

Posted by: Roger | Jan 14, 2008 1:15:34 PM

I would hope not. I go to school in West Virginia, thankfully not at WVU. Ive seen Slaton play a couple of times. He is a product of the system. He cant run between the tackles and he is extremely soft and injury prone.

Posted by: Brandon | Jan 14, 2008 1:36:58 PM

Thank you, Stan! And thank you, Roger. I agree that despite living in Charlotte, we are starved for non-fratboy sprinkled news coverage of our team on and offseason.

Posted by: Keith | Jan 14, 2008 1:38:09 PM

Their best option is to pick up someone in freeagency at the RB position or use a 6th or 7th round choice on one

Posted by: mattdaddy | Jan 14, 2008 1:39:15 PM

The Panthers need to draft a corner and move Chris Gamble to free safety. Richard Marshall would start on the opposite side of Lucas and the rookie can be the nickel corner.

Posted by: Token | Jan 14, 2008 2:08:22 PM

Come on son, if any CB needs to move to safety it is Marshall.

Posted by: Sharod | Jan 14, 2008 2:51:03 PM

The Panthers need to take a long hard look at Javorski Lane in the late rounds if they're looking for a big short yardage back from Texas A&M. He's got quick feet for a guy his size and reminds me of Jerome Bettis with a little more girth.

Posted by: JPT | Jan 14, 2008 3:01:24 PM

The Panthers need to take a long hard look at Javorski Lane in the late rounds if they're looking for a big short yardage back from Texas A&M. He's got quick feet for a guy his size and reminds me of Jerome Bettis with a little more girth.

Posted by: JPT | Jan 14, 2008 3:03:23 PM

The WVU back to select would be Owen Schmitt, not Slayton. As a Mountaineer fan I love Slayton but Schmitt is the big tough between the tackles runner that the Panthers need. Plus, he blocks and can catch passes out of the backfield. He can probably be obtained in the 3rd round or so and would be an absolute STEAL if he falls that fall. Plus, the Panthers need someone with his personality on the team...he is one tough guy!!!!!!

Posted by: Cool Cats | Jan 14, 2008 3:52:28 PM

Procton, no comment? To busy playing Wii? Or school has not let out yet

Posted by: Ben | Jan 14, 2008 4:15:51 PM

I thought this was interesting, it shows what each players base salary is for next season and how much the team would save in cap-space. However, it does not reflect any cap penalties due to bonuses.

Julius Peppers $6,500.000

DeShaun Foster $4,750,000

Jake Delhomme $3,690,000

Mike Wahle $3,000,000

Kris Jenkins $2,955,000

Dan Morgan $2,850,000

Justin Hartwig $2,150,000

Maake Kemoeatu $1,900,000

Steve Smith $1,750,000

John Kasay $1,500,000

Ken Lucas $1,300,000

Jeremy Bridges $1,200,000

Chris Gamble $1,060,000

David Carr $1,000,000

Jason Baker $1,000,000

Posted by: m | Jan 14, 2008 4:49:15 PM

If the Panthers keep their first round pick, I would be stunned if they passed on Kenny Phillips from Miami if he is still available. It would be great to have Chris Harris, Richard Marshall, and Phillips all getting playing time.

Posted by: Brian Corbin | Jan 14, 2008 5:39:20 PM

Token is right, Gamble is too questionable at times with his play. We need to draft another CB. We're not getting any better at the position outside of Marshall.

Also a quality RB in FA with some size would keep us from being too young at the position. How many RB's have we drafted that hit Pro Bowl or All Pro status?

Posted by: CEREBRUM | Jan 14, 2008 6:36:25 PM

The only problem with Gamble playing safety is he can't/won't tackle. Your safetys have to be able to come up and lower the boom on running backs when the linebackers have them wrapped up. I think he lacks the intensity(takes too many plays off) to be a top CB. I don't think he costs that much so he would be fine as a backup.

Posted by: rick | Jan 14, 2008 6:46:56 PM

Felix Jones would be the back to draft if he lasts to the second round. Added bonus, he returns kickoffs.

Nice to see Dwayne Jarretts USC counterpart Steve Smith being productive with the Giants last night. Hmmmmmmmm makes you think.

Posted by: rick | Jan 14, 2008 6:56:37 PM

I'll say again what I've said several times - Gamble was our best and most consistent cover corner last year. He's a terrible tackler, no one would deny that, but there's a lot more to the position than that. He gave up far fewer big plays than his CB counterparts. The guy who's in danger of losing his spot to Marshall is Lucas, not Gamble.

Posted by: J. | Jan 14, 2008 7:03:55 PM

Rick, S. Smith had a nice playoff game but their season stats were pretty similar. First year wideouts hardly ever have a big impact lets wait a little while before we call DJ a bust.

Posted by: Billy | Jan 14, 2008 7:53:20 PM

All three corners were inconsistent, but there was no pass rush either. Buckner gone, Rucker gone, it's time to lay down the law with the other two. Bill Billicheck is a cheat, but a great coach too. He knows how to bring in talent at a great deal, and how to keep them in line. Those two scallywags would have been long gone if they were on his team. We need players who want to play for the Panthers, not players who gripe because the last contract extension is outdated because other players in the league get paid more than them. Trade big kid(and his cell phone) and poopers already!!!

Posted by: SYRPIS | Jan 14, 2008 8:03:15 PM

I would be completely shocked if many of the guys on the list above were cut, but do I think that several of them should go? YES, YES, YES! I like Mike Wahle, but he is going into his 11th year and keeping Wharton and moving him to guard or using a younger guy would come cheaper. Kemo or Jenkins, one needs to be traded and if neither are traded, release Kemo. Carr is a no-brainer! You can say all you want about Ken Lucas, but he is aggressive and is a much better tandem with Marshall. Gamble is scared to play football. He needs to go! I love Morgan's potential, but he has been hurt every year, he either takes the minimum or let him walk. Lastly, I am hesitant on Foster. Should DeAngelo be our number 1, absolutely, unless we pick up a stud RB, but Foster could be a good backup. If he doesn't restructure, let him walk and pick up a big bruiser in free agency or the draft. Making these moves along with other smaller name players currently on the roster, would give us (approximately) 20-25 million in cap space and we would have flexibility to bring in some key players. Sorry for the length, but we need to be aggressive and not feel so much loyalty to our players.

Posted by: JML | Jan 14, 2008 8:24:18 PM

Jonathan Stewart is going to be something special...

Posted by: Tim | Jan 14, 2008 8:24:25 PM

Gamble is a joke. If he needs to be moved anywhere its back to WR where he played originally at OSU. If he can't contribute there, dump him.
Moving him to safety is not an option because he is easily one of the worst tackling d-backs in the league.

Posted by: K | Jan 14, 2008 8:26:19 PM

I was just thinking that what we need is an Andrew Pinnock who was drafted in the 7th...yes, I said, 7th round five years ago out of South Carolina. He's a Brad Hoover type of player....unselfish, great blocker and he was down the road in Columbia. How come we never seem to look at the Clemsons and South Carolina teams for players...we seem to want to draft USC players like Dwayne Jarrett.

Posted by: Randy Miterhouse | Jan 14, 2008 8:31:56 PM

Wow, so I just read m's list of the Panthers highest priced players. It is absurd that Dan Morgan is #6 on that list! The guy is good when he is healthy, but he has never finished an entire season with the team. Him being #6 on that list just shows how completely incompetent Fox and Hurney are. Really good players like Will Witherspoon and Marlin McRee were released and a waste of space and money like Morgan has been around for so long. Wow, Fox and Hurney suck!

And why the heck are we paying Foster so much cash, he's not worth it at all.

Posted by: Matt West | Jan 14, 2008 9:06:20 PM

Stewart had a tough time staying healthy in college. Given his small frame, what makes you think he'll be able to do so in the pros?
As for Dan Morgan, his cap number was about $850 K this year (or what Jason Kyle makes), and it will be again, if he wants to play. The current number was based upon the premise that he would have been healthy this past year and he would have been a bargain at that price. Being as the actual financial year doesn't start until June 1, I'd say it's a little early to be calling him a "waste of space and money."

Posted by: Michael Procton | Jan 14, 2008 10:28:41 PM

Why isnt Steve Smith the Highest paid? He's THE most productive on the team,Who else is?,Somebody tell me!

Posted by: #1 Fan | Jan 14, 2008 10:48:44 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

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