The Carolina Panthers have now signed all eight selections from the 2018 NFL Draft…
Carolina Panthers first-round pick, wide receiver D.J. Moore, recently signed his rookie contract meaning all eight picks from the NFL Draft are official. Operating under general manager Marty Hurney who returned to the role on an interim basis and was granted the full time position this offseason, the Panthers have worked to bolster their existing roster.
Especially on offense as Hurney added Moore and tight end Ian Thomas after trading for veteran wide receiver Torrey Smith earlier in the offseason. While no offensive linemen were added with an official pick, the team continues searching for options along that front and should be set with the current roster available.
Defensively, numerous selections were made to help increase the production from a depleted secondary and up front, where a team can never have too many pass rushers. In addition, Hurney and the Panthers signed linebackers Jermaine Carter Jr. and Andre Smith from Maryland and North Carolina, respectively.
The suspension of Thomas Davis for four games to begin the season and his intention to retire soon should provide an opportunity for one to make an impact. Behind Luke Kuechly and Shaq Thompson, who has continually improved, another linebacker must emerge for the future.
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Moore was the first wide receiver taken in the draft and the last of the Panthers draft haul to sign his contract. Expectations were that he would eventually sign and now that he becomes the final Carolina rookie putting pen to paper, everyone can begin to focus on the upcoming season.
In a suddenly crowded wide receiver room, Moore will battle with 11 other candidates for a position. Being a first-round selection obviously has its advantages but many of the Panthers current options are green and almost anyone could emerge as an option for playing time alongside Smith and returnee Devin Funchess.
In just three seasons, Moore finished in the top-10 for career receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns at Maryland. Now under contract, expect to see Moore focus on the field and his working relationship with quarterback Cam Newton.
Moore got a head start on making an impression with Newton during practices earlier this offseason and expectations are his number of impressive catches will continue to grow well into the future.