Carolina Panthers: Could D. J. Moore be the team’s top wideout?
The Carolina Panthers may have a new number one wide receiver following the departure of Devin Funchess. The good news is that he is already on the roster.
Ever since the Carolina Panthers and Steve Smith Sr. parted ways, the team has struggled to find a number one receiver. It is something that quarterback Cam Newton has played without for the majority of his career. Now, thanks in large part to last April’s draft, they appear to have their man. At the very least, Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera thinks so. He believes he has a player with number one wideout potential.
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Who is the potential No. 1 wideout Rivera is referring to? Look no further than second-year player D.J. Moore. After what was a tremendous 2018 campaign, he looks to build off that. He caught 55 passes for 788 yards and two touchdowns. Perhaps most impressive was his playmaking ability given his height. Measuring in at five-foot-11, that is not a height that you normally associate with a play-making wide receiver. Nevertheless, Moore made it work and he made it work well.
Rivera spoke at the NFL Combine on Friday. In one of his answers, he noted that Moore has the traits to be the top receiver for the Panthers. The traits are undoubtedly part of the reason the Panthers drafted Moore with the 22nd pick. As it seemed at times last season, all you had to do was throw the ball to him and he would make an exciting play. Panthers fans should look for more of those next season.
"“That’s the biggest thing we’ll work with DJ on: finding ways to get the ball in his hands. After the catch, I think he was number two (in the league) in total yards after the catch,” said Rivera. “So he’s a guy you want to put the ball in his hands. You’ve just got to find ways to do it.”"
When you take a look at his skill set, it is hard not to envisioned him as the top receiver for a team. He has a tremendous vertical, and perhaps his biggest positive is his speed. Once you get the ball in his hands, he is very difficult to bring down. Combine that with his quick feet and shiftiness, and he truly has the tools to be one of the most dangerous wide receivers in the National Football League. Now more than ever is his time to shine.
Devin Funchess is no longer a Carolina Panther. As a result, someone will have to step up and fill the void. Moore is the perfect candidate. He has the playmaking ability that Funchess once had, and he has already shown he has a great connection with Newton. The departure of Funchess will undoubtedly be felt. However, Moore should be able to get the job done. Judging by Rivera’s comments, the Carolina Panthers will use him a lot in the upcoming season. That only sets to stage for big numbers and fun Sunday’s in Charlotte.