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March 25, 2008

Smith, Hackett ranked among top WR tandems

According to newly-released rankings by Scouts Inc., the Carolina Panthers have upgraded their receiving corps to one of the best in the NFL with their offseason work.

Scouts Inc. released a ranking of the league’s top 64 receivers on ESPN.com today. Carolina’s Steve Smith and D.J. Hackett ranked as one of the top six starting pairs in the league and the addition of Muhsin Muhammad gave the Panthers one of the three top trios.

The Panthers set out to upgrade their receivers after last season and signed Muhammad and Hackett as free agents. They allowed Keary Colbert and Drew Carter to leave via free agency for the Broncos and Raiders, respectively. Neither of those players made the top 64.

Smith ranked third overall behind New England’s Randy Moss and Dallas’ Terrell Owens. Hackett ranked 34th despite missing 10 games for Seattle last season with a high ankle sprain. Muhammad was rated No. 55.

Here’s a list of the top receiving duos and trios, based on Scouts Inc.’s rankings:


1. Arizona – Larry Fitzgerald (6), Anquan Boldin (11)

2. Indianapolis – Reggie Wayne (5), Marvin Harrison (13)

3 (tie) New England – Randy Moss (1), Wes Welker (23)

3 (tie) Cincinnati – Chad Johnson (8), T.J. Houshmandzadeh (16)

5 (tie) Carolina – Steve Smith (3), D.J. Hackett (34)

5 (tie) Pittsburgh – Hines Ward (18), Santonio Holmes (19)


1. Indianapolis – Wayne, Harrison, Anthony Gonzalez (47)

2. Cincinnati – C.Johnson, Houshmandzadeh, Chris Henry (44)

3. Carolina – Smith, Hackett, Muhsin Muhammad (55).

4. Dallas – Terrell Owens (2), Patrick Crayton (45), Terry Glenn (53).

5. Cleveland – Braylon Edwards (7), Donte Stallworth (37), Joe Jurevicious (60).


Posted by Observer Sports on March 25, 2008 at 04:24 PM | Permalink


Again, we look good on paper. We looked good on paper back in 2006 too and we all know how that turned out.

I'm crossing my fingers but not holding my breath. So much is dependant on Delhome recovering and being back to his full potential in order for us to succeed.

Posted by: Robert | Mar 25, 2008 4:49:07 PM

Ever since Eli Manning decided to put on the big boy pants in Jeremy Shockey's absence, there's been talk that the Giants would or could trade Shockey. More recently, that talk has focused on Shockey heading to the Saints, where his giant eagle/flag tattoo wouldn't match his uniform nearly as well.

Mike Garafolo of the Star-Ledger reported that the Saints offered safety Roman Harper and a 2nd-round pick for Shockey. Pro Football Talk says that wasn't the case, but it was the Giants who asked for Harper and the 2nd-rounder, and the Saints said, "thank you, but no."

I do think Shockey's a quality player, but if you're giving up a second rounder and a warm body, you better be getting back a young, proven player in return. Shockey's about to turn 28, and yes, he's proven that he can play, but he's also proven to be injured quite often, his attitude may be a problem, and it might not be a coincidence that Eli Manning and the Giants were far better when they were forced to play without Shockey.

So Shockey is available. But it looks like a team will have to be desperate and/or dumb to get him.

What's that? No, I don't have a phone number for Al Davis. Why do you ask?

Posted by: Cat's Fan | Mar 25, 2008 4:56:45 PM

What has Jeremy Shockey to do with this particular blog?

Posted by: DBIGCAT | Mar 25, 2008 5:00:46 PM

That was from an article at Yahoo.com/sports/nfl.
Do you guys think Panthers should trade for him?

Posted by: Cat's Fan | Mar 25, 2008 5:01:25 PM

If Delhomme, Hackett, and Smith all stay healthy they will be awesome.

Posted by: ZZ | Mar 25, 2008 5:03:41 PM

The panthers will be good this year we got to see wht happens @ RB. WR's are covered I got a feeling that its goin to be hard to have a defence that will be able to cover Steve Smith..DJ Hackett, Mushin Muhammad, Jeff King and Daunte Rosario @ TE, and maybe Dwayne Jarret lets see wht comes of him from his DUI. DeAgelo Williams is def ready listen ...He had less carries than deshaun foster and almost beat him in yards last season. And he had more TD's than Foster. They added the New LB LAndon Johnson beside Beason and Davis and i think the defence wont be as bad as peeople r fretting about Fox is a defencive coach He knows wht he needs to bring to the table before he looses his job. The PAnthers will have a GREAT season!!!! GO PANTHERS

Posted by: paul | Mar 25, 2008 5:56:58 PM

What's everyone's take on Chad Johnson.....I think we should make a push for him......I mean, he and Smitty were JuCo teammates in Cali before they both transfered. Johnson did well with Houshyourmama on the other side and has that "I just want to win" attitude like Smitty does.

I mean hell, I'd want to get out of Cinci if I were him as well. Besides the corny celebrations which never were as good as 89's, and should probably stop, he gave everything to that team only for it to spiral out of control. He can't babysit. He's never had any problems with the law and does exactly what's asked of him.

Also...I am sure Moose would be a great mentor for Jarrett, but I could only imagine if I was a young receiver and I was learning from both of these guys (Johnson and Smith).....Just a thought.....

Posted by: rhackney | Mar 25, 2008 6:01:08 PM

Chad Johnson is a great WR but there is just no way that he will become a Carolina Panther. He is not the type of player that Fox and Hurney like to have in a lockeroom and Jerry Richardson doesn't not want a guy that goes by "Ocho Cinco" playing for his franchise which is known for being very smart when it comes to talking to the media and Chad says whatever he wants to say. It is fun to think about a Smith-Johnson WR duo but we have Hackett now and we are really deep at WR so no I do not see us going after Ocho Cinco...

Posted by: BigE | Mar 25, 2008 6:15:32 PM

I have read many many comments this offseason about what the fans think of these Carolina Panthers. I have witnessed alot of inpatience, I have seen comments where Hurney/Fox need to get out the door and don't slam it on the way out. Patience is key. Where were the Panthers when Hurney/Fox took over? What kind of team did they inherit? Look at the team now. Mr. Richardson, if you grace us with your presence and read this trash, patience is best. If you want your organization to reflect the Steelers, stick with your Management team. They will take you to the golden brick road. They are making the right moves. Patience.

Posted by: Fred | Mar 25, 2008 6:22:09 PM

We have the offense almost set except for a OT (Draft should take care of this) and we need to re-establish our once legendary pass rushing line. All thats left on the line is the original DE Peppers whos been a vet for a few years now and we need to get some good DT's and a GIFTED DE opposite of Peppers to be able to bring back our amazing pass rush. Because we can't always rely on our LB core which by the way is good but if we can just put pressure with our line then we can leave our LB's to do better work. We also need a GOOD Safety. Not shooting down Terrence Holt, I know he adds Depth but we need somebody who can really play the pass well because thats our weak spot. But concluding this message I will say we just need to work on DT, DE, FS. DB isn't a bad option ether but then again if you cant get to the QB then theres time to get by the DB's.

Posted by: Jon BEASTIN!!! | Mar 25, 2008 6:29:23 PM

I think we are good at WR now. We have three guys who Jake should be able to get the ball to. As for our 4 wide sets - Robinson or Jarrett should be able to make the grade (hopefully, we are not asking for much). We just need to get Jake some protection.

Posted by: James327 | Mar 25, 2008 7:34:43 PM

Jake won't play in 2008 !!

Chances of a complete recovery after surgery are estimated today at 85 to 90 percent. Most panther fans want Jake Back.

But I want Matt Moore, He is young and Jake is aging, past his prime.

Go Panther 2008, Go Matt Moore !!!!

Posted by: Brad Brinkley | Mar 25, 2008 8:17:39 PM

hope i don't have as many dropsies this year. i'm tired of leading the stats.com stat of most drops.

Posted by: Steve Smith | Mar 25, 2008 9:29:55 PM

nice, insult one of the best receivers in the NFL, the heart and soul of this team. Steve Smith's "dropsies" are the least of our problems. Hopefully we have the receiving corps around Smitty now that will allow him to have another breakout season.

Posted by: Haywood Jablowmi | Mar 25, 2008 9:37:57 PM

Stop wanting trouble players! Stop being greedy! Stop dissing one of the class players of our team! Get real Panther fans!

Posted by: Godfather | Mar 25, 2008 9:58:15 PM

I agree 100% with Brad. Everyone is saying that if Jake is a no-go we are doomed. Remember, Moore played pretty darn well when he FINALLY got a shot late last year. Add in a healthy Basanez, and we are in good shape at QB. If Jake can't go during camp, bring in a vet for minimum as a third-stringer only.

Posted by: Phil | Mar 25, 2008 10:32:32 PM

Thanks, Phil, peace.

Posted by: Brad Brinkley | Mar 26, 2008 12:18:55 AM

Our entire season is depending on how Jake Delhomme plays and if he can come back at 100%. He started last season looking like one of the best QBs in the league with less talent than this year's offensive squad. Hopefully, Jake can come back healthy or else this may all be for nothing. Moore has a spark, but he is not at Delhomme abilities yet.

Posted by: Panthers2003 | Mar 26, 2008 9:05:55 AM

my comments are ususally commentary not scarcasm... but.

so the panthers will have one of the leagues top receiving corps... and we needed Sports Inc. to tell us this?

Posted by: Apollo | Mar 26, 2008 11:17:33 AM

Have faith in Jake. Let the man have time to recover.

As far as IF he's not able to go during training camp, there's only two veteran QBs left on the market that I'd even want the team to bring in and you can laugh all you want at this because I'm sure you will anyway ...

Trent Dilfer or Gus Frerotte ...

And yes I would take both of them anyday over Byron Leftwich ...

Posted by: Shane | Mar 26, 2008 11:34:49 AM

Ahhhhh.....don't you have to play a game before you can get ranked? NFL writers have too much time in the off season....they are just trying to get people to react.....I guess it worked.

Posted by: Colts | Mar 26, 2008 11:50:23 AM

If Jake is not ready by the beginning of the season, I have a lot of faith in Matt "Gimme Some" Moore. He is a good young QB and showed signs of potential and talent against Seattle, Dallas, and TB.

Posted by: james327 | Mar 26, 2008 2:08:30 PM

In response to the comments about Jake's recovery:
I too am concerned that he will not be able to recover in time. I feel that the Panthers will bring in a veteran QB later in the summer before training camp as cuts are made due to roster bonuses and such.

Posted by: jthomas | Mar 26, 2008 3:17:22 PM

Well quite frankly If JAke cant go I think working with Matt in the offseason will make Matt really good. HE threw really good in the games He playe din and almost beat the Cowboys! wow. Beastes seattle and tampabay. Threw well but didnt through alot of TD's i think he will now tho cuz he's getting alot of reps and attetion. HE WILL PLAY GOOD if Jake cant go but i think Jake will be able to go my opnion.

Posted by: paul | Mar 26, 2008 6:51:24 PM

I found the rankings interesting considering all the so called panthers fans that wanted Fox and Hurney to go get Berrian and then those same fans were against the Hackett signing. Sounds to me like we potentially have a better reciever at a bargain basement price. I say again Nice work Fox and Hurney!!

27. Bernard Berrian
Minnesota Vikings
Now in Minnesota, Berrian will be called on to be the No. 1 wideout. He had a very impressive 2007 season in Chicago, despite the Bears' questionable quarterback play. When he entered the league, Berrian was a one-trick pony who was only a vertical threat, but he has progressed nicely and now brings more to the table. However, he's really a better fit as a No. 2 option. It will be interesting to see how he responds to the new challenges with the Vikings.

28. Chris Chambers
San Diego Chargers
A change of scenery did Chambers a lot of good last season. He faced far too much attention from opposing defenses in Miami's lackluster passing attack and simply is not good enough to thrive in that tough environment. But San Diego is utopia. Chambers should continue to produce against all the single coverage he is attracting. He can go up and make the spectacular grab and has a lot of big-play ability.

29. Javon Walker
Oakland Raiders
When healthy, Walker has a great combination of size and deep speed, but counting on him has become a risky proposition as his 2004 season (89 catches, 1,382 yards) with Green Bay seems like a long time ago. He has also publicly battled with each of his previous two organizations -- although that may have endeared him to Al Davis even further. Walker did little in 2007 for the Broncos. He could go in either direction on this list in '08.

30. Calvin Johnson
Detroit Lions
The expectations for Johnson's rookie year were obviously too high. His back problems and learning curve limited his productivity, but we feel his ascension up this list is a matter of time. Johnson has all the tools and is the ideal physical specimen for the position. He will be a great one -- eventually.

31. Bobby Engram
Seattle Seahawks
Is there a more reliable player in the league than Engram? Matt Hasselbeck's safety blanket simply gets it done, moves the chains and keeps drives alive. He isn't the biggest, fastest or most explosive receiver, but he has a great head for the game, runs terrific routes and catches everything thrown his way. Last season was Engram's best season yet, as he set a Seahawks' team record with 94 receptions and topped 1,000 yards receiving for the first time in his career..

32. Laveranues Coles
New York Jets
Coles isn't big (5-11, 193), but he is as tough as they come and the Jets' quarterbacks rely on him to get open. Coles has elite deep speed, but with the Jets' difficulties in pass protection and Chad Pennington's suspect arm strength, he hasn't been able to use these talents as much as expected. That could change with Kellen Clemens behind center and a revamped offensive line.

33. Santana Moss
Washington Redskins
Moss is small (5-10, 200), but few players in the league can rival his deep speed. He gets pushed around too much, can wear down and has trouble staying healthy. Also, he was tied for third in the league with 10 drops last season, according to Stats LLC. However, with new coach Jim Zorn expected to throw more often than the Redskins did in the past, Moss could have a resurgence. It is clear he will never be a top red zone option or a No. 1 wideout who can consistently handle double-teams, but Moss can be a difference-maker as a complementary option. Zorn will get the ball in his hands.

34. D.J. Hackett
Carolina Panthers
When healthy, Hackett can make an awful lot happen on the field. He is big and a touchdown machine. However, he is simply not on the field nearly enough to rank higher on this list. It will be interesting to see how he performs in Carolina next to Steve Smith. They could be an extremely dangerous pair of wideouts -- if Hackett can stay healthy.

Posted by: crazycat08 | Mar 26, 2008 9:40:40 PM

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