Nov 18, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions cornerback Drayton Florence (31) celebrates against the Green Bay Packers during the fourth quarter at Ford Field. Packers beat the Lions 24-20. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Case for Drayton Florence

Over the offseason the Panthers made a few moves to improve the strength of the depth chart. One of the bigger moves, as well as one of the first moves the Panthers made was picking up Detroit Lions free agent Cornerback, Drayton Florence. Drayton Florence comes into a good situation, a team with an awful secondary, and coming into the current offseason, the secondary was one of the biggest problems the Panthers faced in the coming season.

Before Florence’s arrival in Carolina, Josh Norman was the best Cornerback on the Panthers roster and with Chris Gamble’s departure and his soon followed retirement. Now Florence and D.J. Moore have both come into a good situation; competing with Norman as well as themselves for the coveted starting spot on the Panthers depth chart.

Florence does have one thing to hang over both of their heads, his experience in the NFL. Florence is coming into his eleventh year in the NFL, while Norman is coming into his second and Moore coming into his fifth. With this much experience in the league, Florence assumes the role that Chris Gamble used to play when he was spending his time with the Panthers, the role of the leader in the secondary as well as a teacher to those who are below him, specifically Moore and Norman, as well as the other corners on the roster, Josh Thomas, James Dockery, and Captain Munnerlyn.

Dec. 2, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions cornerback Drayton Florence (31) intercepts a pass in the second quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Florence is a good player, though he isn’t a franchise corner. To the Panthers, he is probably just a filler player who will be on the roster for just a few more years until Norman, Moore, or Munnerlyn make some much needed progress to put them at the list, or if the Panthers end up drafting a franchise corner in the upcoming NFL drafts. I am not accounting for a standout year that Florence could quite possibly have. It is very likely that Florence will come in, make some outstanding plays and really set himself apart from the rest of the Panthers corners. His situation is very similar to Dwan Edwards’s situation last year. I feel like I use that as an excuse for a lot of the new Panthers free agency pickups, but it’s true.

Florence comes into a really good situation with the Panthers. He has the ability, he obviously has been a starter with other teams, and he has been in the NFL for over ten years so I’m sure that has to be some reason for his stay in the NFL. So like Dwan, Florence comes from being an inconsistent player with different teams, to being one of the better players at his position with the Panthers. Very recently Florence was buried under other players in Detroit, again, similar to Dwan’s most recent stay in Buffalo. But Dwan proved to be a very pivotal player for the Panthers defense, and hopefully Florence proves to be just as good.

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