Carolina Panthers 2015 Draft Player Preview: WR Rashad Greene


"The 2015 NFL Draft is not until April 30 of next year, but it’s never too early to glance ahead to see what’s on the horizon.   Every Friday, will toss a player out, give some analysis and see how he would fit on this roster.  I have no clue where in the draft Carolina will select, but I’m going under the guise that we will be selecting somewhere between 17-28.  As nice as Cedric Ogbuehi or Leonard Williams would be, they will come off the board very quickly.  So, these picks are me trying to be realistic of both our needs and where we will likely be drafting."

Thus far, it looks like the first-round selection of Florida State wide receiver, Kelvin Benjamin was a homerun.  I feel like the Panthers should dip back into the Seminoles’ receiving pool, and bring in an electric 6’0″ WR by the name of Rashad Greene.

Obviously, to pair KB13 alongside his running-mate in Tallahassee would be a brilliant move, as there is already a very strong chemistry between the two receivers.

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Though Benjamin put up some impressive numbers at FSU, it was Greene that was the more consistent receiver in 2013.  Benjamin caught 54 passes for 1,011-yards and 15-touchdowns.  Greene hauled in 76 passes, 1,128-yards and 9 touchdowns.  There’s no reason to believe that either receiver couldn’t duplicate those numbers in Carolina, with a quarterback like Cam Newton tossing the rock around.

Greene is a compact but deceptively-strong 180-pounds.  He has clocked sub-4.4 40-times coming out of high school, but is a solid 4.4 player now.

Greene has shown that he can run the entire route-tree and his hand-to-eye coordination is very smooth.  The Seminoles’ top wideout is also very agile in traffic.  He can catch the ball anywhere on the field and is great at making defenders miss.  From what I have seen of him, his work ethic is also strong.

Greene will need to bulk up a little bit and commit to honing his blocking skills.  He will also need to show that he can get off of jams and press coverage or else his skills are neutralized.

Greene is also a lethal weapon in the return game.  The Panthers are lacking a fast returner, so initially, Greene could elevate the special teams unit.  In 2012, he returned two punts for touchdowns.

Besides his 40-time (which is a metric that I’m not a fan of anyway), Greene is very shifty with the ball in his hands.  His game-speed and ability to carve up opposing defensive backs in space is what catches my eye.

This play against a good Clemson defense in 2013 demonstrates his footwork, speed and ability after the catch:

I know Panther Nation, we have our WR1 now, why waste a top-pick on that same spot with other glaring holes?

I believe firmly in the fact that this team needs a quick elite-level talent opposite Benjamin that offers Newton the opportunity to unload his cannon downfield.  Greene is also a great route runner and can replace the big-play receptions that Steve Smith once provided us with.

Again, this isn’t any 6-foot college receiver.  This is reuniting a formidable tandem that combined for over 2,000-yards and 24 touchdowns last year.

At some point the Panthers are going to have to land a speedy receiver opposite Kelvin Benjamin and I’d prefer to use a draft selection on one, rather than our limited cap space.  Besides, having two young receivers for Newton to grow with is exactly what this offense needs.  Additionally, Jerricho Cotchery is signed a five-year contract here this past offseason, so Greene would have time to develop.

The Panthers still have Philly Brown to evaluate too, since he does also possess the skillset to be Carolina’s speedy receiver.  Brown is far from a finished product and it is unclear whether he has the complete package to be an every-down starting receiver.

Rashad Greene is an exciting prospect that has been the leading receiver at FSU in his first three seasons.  By the time he graduates, Greene could be the best receiver to ever suit up in the garnet and gold.  The senior receiver is 600 receiving yards and six touchdowns away from being tops in both categories.

I was at the FSU vs. NC State game last weekend in Raleigh, and watched Greene torch the Wolfpack defense for 11 receptions, 125 yards and one touchdown.  The kid is lightning in a bottle and reminds me a bit of Torry Holt.

Currently, Greene is slated to go in the second or third round of the draft, but I believe he will work his way into the late first round by next April.  Depending on which players are on the board, I think GM Dave Gettleman will look hard at adding this prolific talent to Newton’s arsenal.