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January 20, 2012

Panthers not locked on defensive player with 1st pick

Panthers coach Ron Rivera will take his entire staff to Mobile, Ala., next week to scout the Senior Bowl practices.

And contrary to popular belief, the Panthers will not be limiting their focus to the defensive fields while evaluating possible prospects for their first-round pick.

The Panthers, who will pick 8th or 9th based on the outcome of a coin flip with Miami, have needs on both sides of the ball, according to general manager Marty Hurney.

"I don't think you lock yourself in to offense or defense as far as that first pick goes, and really any pick," Hurney said this week. "You have to go by your board. And we've done that and I think we've done well by doing that."

The Panthers' most pressing needs are on the defensive side. They could use another pass-rushing end, a cornerback and even a linebacker with starters Jon Beason and Thomas Davis both coming off surgeries.

But rather than address a need with the first pick, it's not inconceivable the Panthers could look to further fortify a strength by taking a wideout or an offensive tackle a year after landing a franchise quarterback in Cam Newton with the first overall pick.

"The first pick is the same year to year," Hurney added. "I think you have to pick an impact player there and you have to hit on the first-round pick."

(Look for more from Hurney and possible targets for the Panthers in Sunday's editions of the Observer.)

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on January 20, 2012 at 05:12 PM | Permalink


Draft defense for the first four rounds. Foolish if they do not.

Posted by: par404 | Jan 20, 2012 6:58:48 PM

hurney is so stupid

Posted by: Allen | Jan 20, 2012 7:16:46 PM

yes pass rusher, like peppers,allen or matthews or suh but without the attitude we need a big strong guy to get threw the o line

Posted by: tony p | Jan 20, 2012 7:24:22 PM

Oh, Allen, and you're smart! LOL!!

Posted by: dbigcat | Jan 20, 2012 7:25:36 PM

I would have to agree with Allen actually. Hurney is pretty dumb, and he sucks at trying to cover up the Panthers' intentions... like how last year he kept saying they're fielding all options as far as trading the number 1 pick... when we all knew they were gonna pull the trigger on Newton. And I still believe they'll pull the trigger on Dre Kirkpatrick, or a defensive lineman. Not wide receiver, not an offensive lineman, and not a linebacker, which would be our only other areas of need. I think they go with an offensive lineman in the second round... then try to trade up to get into the 3rd round and snag a wide receiver or linebacker. And then they'll load up on training camp bodies with the later picks, which is what they did with those later picks last season.

Posted by: el | Jan 20, 2012 7:57:55 PM

Well, the last thing the Panthers need to do is reach for talent at the 8/9 spot. The Defensive Tackles will be there in the teens, and the Panthers already have two young guys to groom. The Panthers need some experience at DT, and they're getting it with the return of DT Ron Edwards. Therefore, DT is NOT a pressing need in the first round. The Panthers really need another veteran up front, not more rookies.

As for CB, it's all going to be touch and go on whether the Jags take Kirkpatrick before the Panthers. Linebacker is also a bit of a reach and the Panthers do have good depth there.

The Panthers will NOT take a Wide Receiver in the first few rounds of the draft, as the Coaching Staff is sold on LaFell, and the team has Gettis returning.

The one other area of need is the Right Tackle position, where the Panthers can no longer take a chance on Otah remaining healthy. In addition, this is the last year of Otah's contract.

Iowa OT Reilly is ranked higher than DE Coples, who will be drafted somewhere in the teens.

The Panthers need to look at Chase Minnifield for a 2nd round pick, as he can return punts and play D Back.

Posted by: Bill Polian | Jan 20, 2012 8:20:34 PM

01' dan morgan (pro bowler)
02' julius peppers (pro bowler)
03' Jordan Gross(pro bowler)
04' chris gamble(pro bowl caliber)
05' Thomas davis(pro bowl cal before 09')
06' deangelo williams(pro bowler)
07' Jon Beason(pro bowler)
08' stewart + otah( stewart=beast/ otah ?)
09' otah pretty much(draft trade 08')
10' everett brown :) LOL(09' draft trade)
11' Cam newton (broke almost every record for a rookie QB, pro bowler 1st alternet, a franchise QB, Guarantees carolina will have at least 1 primetime game per season etc...)
I say our GM has done a good job with 1st
round picks. It's the 2nd and 3rd round picks that scare me and that have hurt our teams talent along with how the front office approach free agencey. 2nd round picks below

04 eric shelton LMAO!!!
05 kerry colbert LMAO!!!
06' richard marshall (he was ok)
07' dwayne jarrett LMAO!! True waste
08' ryan kaili
09' sherrod martin
10' jimmy caulsen LMAO(lead worst offense NFL history)

Posted by: pantherman | Jan 20, 2012 8:34:15 PM

If Hurnia takes the best person available will we get another Jimmy Clausen?? bbahahahahaha

Posted by: Pantherman | Jan 20, 2012 8:36:32 PM

I have to agree with some of the posts so far...
1: Hurney IS dumb
2: We seriously need to pick new talent on defense
3: We'd be wise to pick a veteran first round choice to pick up where we're missin'Peppers now
4: Get a couple strong intelligent rookies to be mentored by said veteran pick on defense

Regardless, I really look forward to the next season. This year was like a teaser to what the Panthers can do now with talented coaches and a talented QB(finally). For the first time in years, I'm totally amped about the Panthers!

Posted by: arejaye | Jan 20, 2012 8:43:20 PM

Who cares? There LOSERS anyway!

Posted by: LolaM9259 | Jan 20, 2012 8:57:12 PM

They are Losers! Who cares?

Posted by: LolaM9259 | Jan 20, 2012 8:57:52 PM

If they Did not go by the BOARD we wouldnt have drafted 3 Quarterbacks the Year before last and then a QB last year. Jimmy Clausen QB Armanti Edwards QB (even though was drafted to play reciever) AND TONY PIKE QB. Luckily we finally got it right with Newton QB :)

Posted by: Wade Berryhill | Jan 20, 2012 8:58:27 PM

Actually, for this year, I like the BPA tactic, because whatever we do not get in the draft, will be addressed with 2nd tier young promising players in FA. THanks for some great years Hurney!

Posted by: Gret | Jan 20, 2012 9:00:21 PM

Actually, for this year, I like the BPA tactic, because whatever we do not get in the draft, will be addressed with 2nd tier young promising players in FA. THanks for some great years Hurney!

Posted by: Gret | Jan 20, 2012 9:01:45 PM

Lola, you should probably focus on your English before talking on here. If for some unforeseen reason Blackmon falls to the Panthers they would take him. Outside of that, yea they go DL or CB.

Posted by: PantherDave | Jan 20, 2012 9:07:15 PM

Dad - I agree with everything you posted, but you are wrong with regards to one eventuality. If Justin Blackmon falls to the Panthers at 8/9, they'll take him, regardless of how the coaching staff feels about LaFell or Gettis. On this team, Blackmon would be an immediate WR2 and a terrific possession receiver reminiscent of Muhammad.

Just sayin'. See you in the unemployment line.

Posted by: Chris Polian | Jan 20, 2012 9:07:44 PM

If you have a top 10 pick, you pick the best player available. There are not legit top 10 DTs are LBs. Brockers has massive upside, but a project.

Posted by: J | Jan 20, 2012 9:34:32 PM

We need a "shut down corner". Kirkpatrick can't smoke THAT much weed ! Nuff said......

Posted by: nasty704 | Jan 20, 2012 9:36:20 PM

@nasty: Kirkpatrick is NOT a shutdown corner; Claiborne and Matthieu are.

Posted by: PantherD | Jan 20, 2012 9:53:57 PM

I would not be upset with an o-line first pick. Otah is in a contract year and Hangman and Schwartz are free agents. We must keep Cam upright. Use the rest of the draft on defense.

Posted by: MIKE | Jan 20, 2012 10:04:04 PM

I think an impact player is just what we need. cant go wrong even if it's not on defense.

Posted by: brad hunter | Jan 20, 2012 10:20:17 PM

With the Kilpatrick arrest, the Panthers will trade down with a team desperate for a QB and get another 1st round pick along with either another 2nd rounder or a 3rd, whuch they do not have.

Posted by: globlwrmr | Jan 20, 2012 10:52:19 PM

Yo! What's up with all this RT talk? Did you people not see how well Byron Bell did coming in on the fly with pretty much no experience! Come on, we gotta have an impact player and I see Kirkpatrick as a bust. I'm not saying who we should take until the combine, but if Blackmon or Kalil is there, you gotta take em. Kalil is the only exception to that RT talk.

Posted by: DieHardCat | Jan 20, 2012 11:14:05 PM

"Who cares? There LOSERS anyway!" by Lola

Lola, a loser uses their, they're, and there wrong. You are a loser. See the connection?

PS - Using they are is correct, but not to cover up your obvious lack of using the right word.

Posted by: Jeff Brown | Jan 20, 2012 11:35:52 PM

Davis and Otah need to go. Can't stay healthy. Time to cut em and clear space to get veterans during free agency.

Posted by: Jeff Brown | Jan 20, 2012 11:37:13 PM

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