The first player that comes to mind for me when thinking about the Panthers Ted Ginn Jr. is Baltimore’s very own Jacoby Jones. Both of these guys were members of the 2007 NFL draft. This is the same draft that saw WR Calvin Johnson go #2 overall to the Detroit Lions. Miami would decide to pull the trigger on the explosive Ginn with the ninth overall selection. Jacoby Jones would go on to be selected by the Texans in round three.
There was no denying Ginn’s amazing speed and potential upside. He had filled up several highlight reals while he was with “The Ohio State”. Of course this didn’t keep many Dolphins fans from blasting the Dolphins brass for using such a high pick on Ginn. To really try and put into perspective why so many Miami fans where upset, I have put together a small, yet notable list of players that were selected shortly after Ginn. Do the names Patrick Willis, Marshawn Lynch, Darelle Revis, Dwayne Bowe, or the Panthers own John Beason ring any bells? One interesting thing to note about this list in case you don’t remember is Darelle Revis. Darelle could have been wearing a Panthers jersey had the Panthers chose to not trade down for Beason. Enough with the past, as hindsight is always 20/20 and in some cases things just don’t go the way you had hoped.
When looking at both Ginn and Jones its easy to see that both bring similar things to the table. Both are incredibly fast. Both can be incredibly illusive with the ball in their hands. In all fairness both have been less than stellar so far in their careers. Ginn has seen his moments, especially on kick and punt returns. Jacoby was solid last season while doing his part to help the Ravens become Super Bowl Champs. Jacoby didn’t really pile up a great amount of receiving yards or touchdowns, however, he made big plays for them when was needed. Most importantly, Jacoby showed a knack for taking the top off of the opposing defenses, forcing the CB’s to follow him down field. This allowed the receivers underneath to make more catches. Just a reminder, Hurney kicked the tires on Jones before the Ravens reeled him in.
I do not think it is too far-fetched to think Ginn could provide this type of solid play for the Panthers in the upcoming season. The Panthers will have to install some type of package for Ginn to allow him to do what he does best, stretching the field. I think Ginn will make an immediate impact on special teams, I just hope he can give us the true deep ball threat we have been searching for as well. Having a guy named Steve Smith as his teammate certainly couldn’t hurt his progression.