Carolina Panthers Fall Short of Meeting Needs

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 20: Quarterback Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings is pressured by Everette Brown #91 of the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on December 20, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

What if the Carolina Panthers had met their needs? What if they had found a big, bruising defensive tackle; a freakish defensive end, and a Brian Dawkins-like safety? Would we still be having this conversation? Probably. Because it’s fun, right?

Let’s have a look at who is on the Carolina Panthers’ defense.

The latest rage it seems, is two months after the NFL Draft, we’re still finding post-draft and free agency analysis for teams. The Carolina Panthers being no exception — in fact, this is probably the most attention this team will receive for the year, especially when they start winning games. With Carolina, it seems the media’s mantra is, “if they’re doing well, they’re nonexistent.” Not that I care. Just a casual observation.

The latest analysis for the Panthers can be found at Fansided’s NFL Mocks site. Along with the Panthers’ analysis, the rest of the division can be viewed in the same submission.

So according to NFL Mocks, Carolina still has needs at defensive tackle, defensive end, and safety.

With the trading of S Chris Harris, the Panthers must be relying on Sherrod Martin to move into his spot.

There’s good news, however. Sherrod Martin is moving to the position in which he excelled while at Troy. Free Safety. Charles Godfrey will be moved to the strong safety position.

Carolina has suffered heavy losses on the defensive line this offseason with DE Julius Peppers, DT Damione Lewis, and DT Maake Kemoeatu leaving in free agency.

The Panthers did suffer heavy losses…in salary weight. Ma’ake Kemoeatu was on Injured Reserve for all of the 2009 season, and while his presence was grossly missed at first, the eventual signing of Hollis Thomas worked out well for the Panthers — Thomas’ best season of his career, no less.

Damione Lewis was, as some like to term, a “JAG” (Just-A-Guy).

Finally, the infatuation with Julius Peppers. I don’t understand it, really. I know, he registered 10 sacks in 2009. I’m still not impressed with his overall performance. It certainly wasn’t worth $1 million and change per game in 2009. If you think it was, then I invite you to tell me just what Peppers did — without mentioning sack totals — that made him worth the salary he was paid.

In place of the “fallen,” Carolina still has a group of “JAG’s,” according to some.

I see a group of young, unproven potential.

The good news for the defensive line, is there are a few big-bodied tackles in the group as well as some veteran experience. Of the seven tackles, three are over 300 lbs: Corvey Irvin, Louis Leonard, and Tank Tyler. All are over six feet tall. Irvin at 6-3, Leonard at 6-4, and Tyler at 6-2. Where’s the “undersized” everyone speaks so frequently of?

The veteran experience comes from Nick Hayden, Ed Johnson, and Derek Landri. All three of whom are pushing 300 lbs. They are also over six feet tall. The aforementioned could be considered undersized, solely in weight class.

Moving on to the safety position, again, I don’t see the problem with trading away Chris Harris. He was a solid hitter in run coverage, but was too slow in pass coverage. If there’s any problem at the safety position, it will stem from Charles Godfrey, as Sherrod Martin has been given the free safety label. It suits Martin’s strengths.

At defensive end, the Panthers lost an underachiever. They made him an offer to stay, and he turned it down. No, they didn’t offer him more, nor should they have. He didn’t show — no pun intended — why he was worth what he wanted. So again, why the fascination with what amounts to pink elephants?

To simplify, it’s like the one thing you buy at the store for the sole purpose of throwing away: trash bags. Almost everyone buys them knowing full and well it’s going to be thrown away — you’re literally throwing money away. You need them, but there are alternatives which work just as well.

At defensive end, the Panthers are looking for third-year draft pick Everette Brown to step in, along with 30-year old Tyler Brayton (a re-signed player whom I am less-than thrilled about), Charles Johnson, Eric Moore, and rookie draft picks Greg Hardy and Eric Norwood — if it’s decided Norwood will play DE.

Mostly young guys, yes. There is no freakish abilities which we are aware of from any of them, but they will give it their all on every down.

While my point seems futile, it really isn’t. Because you will never ask why any of these guys took that last play off.

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This posting is property of and Fansided.

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Tags: @THECatCrave Carolina Panthers Charles Godfrey Charles Johnson Chris Harris Corvey Irvin Damione Lewis Derek Landri Ed Johnson Eric Moore Eric Norwood Everette Brown Facebook FanSided Greg Hardy Hollis Thomas Julius Peppers Louis Leonard Maake Kemoeatu NFL NFL Mocks Nick Hayden Sherrod Martin Tank Tyler Twitter Tyler Brayton

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