The Panthers have done a solid job of adding experienced NFL receivers to their roster, but they still need a guy to become a number one option. Rookie receivers usually do not fit that bill in their first year. The only receiver in this draft who scouts believe have that ability from day one is Sammy Watkins. However, his partner in crime at Clemson, Martavis Bryant, has the potential to develop into an elite vertical threat.
Bryant reminds me of Mike Wallace in a lot of ways. He has tremendous length and elite top end speed. Bryant is 6’3″ with 9.5″ hands. He has long arms with giant mitts at the end that making snagging passes a breeze. His production wasn’t the greatest at Clemson (he only had 61 career catches for the Tigers) but his burst and playmaking ability have him poised to be a mid round steal. The Panthers cannot afford to make any errors in the draft this year. They received no compensatory picks in the draft this year, but with the departure of so many free agents this season, expect to see 2 or 3 for the Panthers in 2015’s draft.
Bryant has had several off field issues that hurt his draft stock. Scouts also wonder if he has the ability to learn a full NFL playbook. Evaluations like that bring back bad memories for Panthers fans, cough cough Dwayne Jarret. Bryant has the speed to burn defenders deep and you can hit him with a short pass in space and watch him make a play. I don’t know if Bryant could be a go-to-guy, but his physical ability certainly has GMs drooling. Look for him to be a 2nd to 4th round pick and somewhere in the area of the Panthers pick. He played close to Charlotte so the Panthers have had a close eye on him. If he can develop a great work ethic and not have issues off the field, he’s a no-brainer for the Panthers.
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