Carolina Panthers: Matt Rhule, Marty Hurney prepare for Senior Bowl

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Matt Rhule
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Matt Rhule /

The Carolina Panthers staff is in Mobile this week for the Reese’s Senior Bowl.

Even before the Super Bowl kicks off, evaluations and preparations for the Carolina Panthers and most other teams begins for the 2020 NFL season. One of the first signs of which positions teams may target in the upcoming draft starts with prospect meetings at the annual Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.

Taking place this week, team representatives are on hand to evaluate individuals who accepted invitations to participate in one of the most prestigious opportunities for players to display their talents before the draft. In combination with NFL Combine performances, players can impact their current standings on draft boards across the league with how they represent themselves during this initial phase of the process.

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According to reports, new Panthers coach Matt Rhule, many members of his staff and general manager Marty Hurney will all be in attendance. These individuals are tasked with evaluating talent and ultimately determining precisely how the team should use its seven draft picks, one per round, this spring.

Multiple options are on the table. Barring a trade, Carolina has the ability to add seven players prior to any undrafted free agent signings in order to bolster the roster for next season. However, Hurney is known for executing draft day deals and with the future of quarterback Cam Newton in limbo, the team is seemingly at a crossroads.

Already, the Panthers have met with South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw and presumably Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert, although he would not confirm anything.  If the Panthers move on from Newton, expectations are a quarterback will be taken in the draft unless Rhule and Hurney make a separate move to acquire a veteran via another method.

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The Reese’s Senior Bowl kicks off at 2:30pm ET this Saturday, January 25 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.