Overall, as Day 3 ended and capped off another NFL Draft, Carolina decided to make up for what many fans may have thought was a waste of a second round selection on Day 2.
The Panthers had three selections in the first 50 to start rounds four and five.
With pick 103 overall, a pick acquired from Miami through San Francisco, the Panthers selected Frank Alexander. The interest in this 6’4″, 270 pound defensive end from Oklahoma, means Head Coach Ron Rivera must feel extremely strong about his potential and adding depth to a stagnant D line. Alexander is one of many college players, especially some defensive lineman coming out this year, who at times looked as though his motor wasn’t going 100 percent. But with the right motivation and the right surroundings, this 22 year old may end up being a long-term starter and well worth trading up for.
With pick 104 overall, the Panthers selected Joe Adams, a multifaceted speedster from Arkansas. The selection of this Wide Receiver in the fourth round was a steal. Adams received many late second to third round grades and throughout his Senior season in Fayetteville he showed first round talent. He has 4.5- forty speed in the slot, out wide, returning kicks, or really, wherever you can get him the ball. This pick is one that will force underachievers already at the position to step it up or step out because Joe Adams has all the talent to start and be an asset for Cam Newton game one of the Regular Season.
With pick 143 overall and number 8 of round five, the Panthers selected Josh Norman, a cover corner out of Coastal Carolina. Here is another guy who will not only add competition to the battle for a starting spot(CB), but he will also add depth to position that should now be looked at as a strength. Similar to their previous pick in Joe Adams, Norman was also a player who had several late second to third round grades coming into the Draft. Panthers Defensive Coordinator Sean McDermott had another tall, athletic cornerback who Norman has drawn comparisons to. That corner was Ike Taylor and if that is the type of production Carolina drafted with Josh Norman in the fifth round then I can’t wait to see the guys from rounds 1-4 on the field.
With pick 207 overall and number 37 of round six, the Panthers selected a Punter from the University of Wisconsin. Brad Nortman didn’t do too much punting his final collegiate season but seeing that he was drafted by Carolina to fill a need, I see Brad being a cash saver and punting his way into the NFL out of Training Camp. He does have a strong NFL leg and showed the consistent ability to pin opponents inside their own twenty over three years as the starting punter for the Badgers.
With pick 216 overall and number 9 of round seven, the Panthers selected D.J. Campbell, a Safety from California. He will add depth to a position that is already crowded in Carolina. Charles Godfrey, Sherrod Martin, Jordan Pugh, and the signing of unrestricted free-agents Haruki Nakamura and Reggie Smith makes them six deep with six average and below talents. Campbell will have to make his name on Special Teams to start and could find some time at safety if he makes the team out of camp. If he shows up outworking veterans on and off the field, combined with his athletic abilities already in place, Campbell could end up being the next “Seventh Round to Starter” story.
Carolina gets an A for their Day 3 grade overall. When you see 4 of the five drafted as potential starters and contributors on Day One of the NFL season you win in my book. The Panthers added depth to positions needing it. They added another weapon to an already explosive offense. With a miss in the eyes of many in Round 2, no picks in round 3, Carolina may have HIT big with their selections in rounds four through seven.