Rewind to the 2007 NFL Draft. If we could travel back to that time, most likely you would see Greg Olsen listed as the Carolina Panthers’ first round pick in many mock drafts. Olsen was also a popular candidate for the Cats’ first selection on Carolina Panther message boards.
It was not hard to see why Olsen was such a popular pick among Panther fans and the media alike. Olsen had a stellar career at the University of Miami and established himself as the premier tight end in the 2007 draft. He impressed scouts at the combine with his 35+ in. vertical jump and his 4.5 forty yard dash.
To some Panther fans, Olsen seemed somewhat of a prodigal son, a long-awaited second coming of one of the franchise’s greatest players. Long time Panther fans remember the contribution of fan-favorite tight end, Wesley Walls. Walls caught 324 passes, amassed over 3,900 receiving yards, and hauled in an amazing 44 touchdowns during his seven year Carolina Panther career. He made the Pro-Bowl four straight years between 1996 and 1999 and made it to his fifth in 2001. It seemed as though, however, the Panthers were constantly searching for Walls’ heir but were only met with stop-gaps. Between Walls’ last year in Carolina in 2002 and the 2010 season, the Carolina Panthers have had around fifteen different tight-ends on their roster, none of which came close to being the commanding presence or threat that Wesley Walls was.