Found August 01, 2014 on
The idea prepping for this article was to focus on one player heading into camp with the goal of highlighting said player’s progress throughout training camp and predicting what role he might play for the Carolina Panthers in the upcoming season. For this Panther’s team the task was too difficult.
After careful thought it seemed impossible to decide whether to highlight top pick wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, second pick defensive end Kony Ealy, or even the team’s third pick in guard Trai Turner. All three represent interesting stories with intriguing twists, for example Greg Hardy’s legal status, but all three also represent players that could make serious impacts in training camp and beyond.
Benjamin was drafted with the Carolina Panthers first selection, 28th overall, and will essentially be counted on as savior of the Panther’s wide receiving corps after the team unceremoniously parted ways with Steve Smith, the team’s all-time leading receiver, earlier in the off-season. Benjamin is the first wide receiver taken with the team’s first overall pick since Rae Carruth in 1997; it probably goes without saying the Panthers hope for better results this time.
Kelvin Benjamin impressed at rookie and mini camp earlier this year.
Ealy was drafted 60th overall and was widely considered a steal by most draft analysts due mostly to Ealy’s tangible assets. However, the pick turned out to be even more valuable after All-Pro defensive end Greg Hardy was arrested for domestic assault, putting Hardy’s status for the upcoming season in question. The addition of Ealy immediately calmed that anxiety and as Hardy’s legal case begins to clear, the added depth at defensive end only strengthens Carolina fan’s convictions of a dominant defense.
Defensive end Kony Ealy (94) looks to stand out at training camp.
Turner was selected 92nd overall and through rookie and mini camps Turner was looking like the best draft selection of any of them. Turner stepped right into rookie and mini camps with solid play and a grounded attitude, making him an instant favorite among line coaches, who almost immediately penciled Turner in as the starting right guard. Like Ealy, the Turner pick in the third round was highly praised by draft analysts as Turner was projected to be an early first round selection in 2015. The worry about Turner in 2014 was that he wasn’t NFL ready yet. Wrong.
Rookie guard Trai Turner, selected 92nd overall out of LSU, is already “turning” heads at the Panther’s camps.
As training camp gets underway these three players will be the focus of many team officials and coaches and even more fans. All three players were drafted to make immediate impacts, and it seems all three will deliver.
The receiving corps isn’t in nearly as bad a shape as people predicted during the off-season. Despite lacking “box office” names the additions of Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant and Tiquan Underwood have stabilized the receiving corps and allowed the rookies and other inexperienced receivers to get on board at a reasonable pace. That being said, Benjamin will be counted on for his size and athleticism, especially as a Red Zone threat, something the Panthers still lack at the wide receiver position. Benjamin may not head into training camp as the number one receiver, but such a role is inevitable for the number one pick.
Conversely, the defensive line, especially defensive end, isn’t in nearly as good a shape as predicted during the off-season. Perhaps the most feared defensive line in the NFL last season the Carolina Panthers suffered setbacks during the off-season. In addition to Hardy’s legal troubles the team will also be without defensive end Frank Alexander, suspended for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. The addition of Ealy couldn’t have come at a better time.
The offensive line troubles for the Carolina Panthers have been well documented since the retirement of stalwart tackle Jordan Gross at the end of the season; longtime guard Travelle Wharton also retired earlier this month sending the Panthers scrambling to find replacements to anchor the line for quarterback Cam Newton and his surgically repaired ankle. The Panthers have done a nice job patching the line together with reserves, but the situation was so concerning a few weeks ago that Gross lost 70 pounds fretting over it. Enter Turner. Calm restored.
Retired left tackle Jordan Gross left a lot behind when he retired – literally and figuratively. (Image source: SI)
So as training camp gets underway and players begin to stand out, pay attention to these three aforementioned players. Not only will these guys make immediate impacts in training camp, they’re all about to make serious impacts on the field on Sundays, too.
Click here for more Carolina Panthers news, rumors and opinion.
The post Carolina Panthers: Why to watch the first three draftees appeared first on isportsweb.
BEST OF MAXIM
Carolina Panthers training camp got underway Saturday and the injury bug wasted no time nipping at the Panthers. Within days of camp opening the Panthers had suffered injuries to running backs Jon Stewart and rookie Tyler Gaffney, wide receivers De’Andre Presley and rookie Kelvin Benjamin, guard Edward Kugbila, and rookie safety Tre Boston.
Stewart injured his hamstring before...
Carolina Panthers first-round draft pick Kelvin Benjamin returned to practice on Saturday showing no lingering effects of the bruised knee suffered six days ago.
And the 6-foot-5 wide receiver did it with flair, going up and over starting cornerback Melvin White for a catch on the first pass of team drills.
"He's a good target," Carolina coach Ron Rivera said of the...
It’s time for our Weekly Rewind! With Training Camps open everywhere, there was some great content this week on cover32, especially if you’re a fan of the Carolina Panthers. If you missed any of it, here’s your chance to catch up:
-There was quite the scare on Day 4 of camp when Kelvin Benjamin had a precautionary MRI, but promising news regarding the tight ends (READ)
Last week, I provided my annual list of the 10 most overrated players in the NFL. As expected, it caused an uproar, mostly from people who can’t take off their team-colored glasses and deal with the truth. For a good time, read the “Comments” section below the article; it’s pure gold and classic examples of denial.
In the spirit of showing that it’s not all negative on...
… In fantasy that is, but maybe in real life as well.
With training camps underway, the NFL season is right around the corner. And that can only mean one thing: Fantasy football drafts are about to start happening.
In order to get a jump on the competition, it’s never to early to start putting together a draft board. To help the cause, cover32 will be ranking each position, with...
The Carolina Panthers are pinning their hopes for a starting cornerback on a player that was listed by a national media outlet as the fourth biggest draft bust in San Diego Chargers history.
But head coach Ron Rivera and secondary and passing defensive coordinator Steve Wilks know all about Antoine Cason from having both coached him from 2008 through 2011, so there's a good chance...
The Carolina Panthers had an amazing season last year going 12-4 and allowed the second fewest points in the NFL, before being eliminated in the playoffs by the San Francisco 49ers. Quarterback Cam Newton took a huge step forward in his career as he showed great growth and maturity in his game. Carolina had the 11th best run attack in the NFL, led by DeAngelo Williams, Mike Tolbert...
One of the keys to any fantasy draft is finding the right player at the right price. More than just picking the a guy you want to own, you have to find value when you select him – and avoid over spending in other instances. We’d all love to own Brandon Marshall in 2014 – but not if you had to draft him first overall. With that in mind, we’re looking at some of the most over...
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Brenton Bersin can be easily found on most days by looking for the long, blond locks flowing from the back of his helmet.
He's even easier to find these days on the field.
With first-round draft pick Kelvin Benjamin rehabbing a bruised left knee suffered on Sunday, Bersin is lining up with starters Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant when the team...
When cover32 released its list of the top 10 running backs in the NFL today, there were plenty of people angry about their favorite team’s workhorse not making the list. It made for a spirited debate in the “Comments” section below the article. The second batch of RBs, Nos. 11-20, generated a similar response.
The next logical step in the ranking of the game’s running backs...
The Carolina Panthers were one of the NFC’s elite teams in 2013 due to an offense centered around ball control, time of possession, and controlling field position. That and an elite defense were the major components to a 12-4 record and first round playoff bye.
However, due to major losses on the offensive side of the ball, many critics have the Panthers pegged to take a big step...
When cover32 released its list of the top 10 wide receivers in the NFL today, there were plenty of people angry about their favorite team’s pass catcher not making the list. It made for a spirited debate in the “Comments” section below the article. The second batch of WRs, Nos. 11-20, generated a similar response.
The next logical step in the ranking of the game’s wide...
((ht: charlotte observer))It's all about being multi-talented....right?Check out Carolina Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart at the piano during the teams training camp in South Carolina.No, there's no crazy hook to this other than Stewart doing a pretty fair job at imitating a lounge musician...We just thought it was worth sharing.Enjoy and keep on playing Mr. Stewart...
The Houston Texans signed WR Joe Adams and OT Brice Schwab earlier this morning, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.
Adams, 24, was a fourth-round selection of the Panthers during the 2012 NFL draft. He spent his rookie season with Carolina and appearing in nine games and catching one pass for seven yards.
The Panthers later placed Adams on waivers before the...
FOX Sports Carolinas previews the upcoming NFL season with an in-depth look at the Carolina Pnathers, who are looking to repeat as NFC South champs:
2013: 12-4; NFC South Champs; Lost 23-10 at home to San Francisco in divisional round.
Head coach: Ron Rivera (25-23, 4th season).
Key departures: WR Steve Smith, WR Brandon LaFell, WR/KR Ted Ginn, OT Jordan Gross, G Geoff Hangartner...