NFC South Notes: Panthers WRs, Saints TEs

Chalk this up as one of the more amazing tidbits with respect to NFL team’s rosters, as written by The Charlotte Observer’s Joseph Person: none of the 11 wide receivers on the Panthers roster this spring caught a pass for the team last season.

The Panthers went wide receiver in the first round of the draft, selecting 6-foot-5, 240-pound Kelvin Benjamin from Florida State No. 28 overall. He’ll be looking to replace departed receiver Steve Smith, as will fellow young wideouts Tavarres King and Marvin McNutt, who have been rotating through the first-, second- and third-team offenses in organized team activities.

“One thing we’re trying to make sure is everybody’s getting a lot of reps right now,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. “Because when we get to training camp, we want to make sure everybody’s up to speed. We’ve made an emphasis that we’re rotating a lot of players, as much as possible. Wide receiver’s one of those positions.” 

As Person notes in his column, both King and McNutt have impressive collegiate résumés, starring at Georgia and Iowa, respectively. They’ll be competing for the starting receiver spots with Benjamin and three free-agent acquisitions: Jerricho Cotchery, Tiquan Underwood and Jason Avant.

Check out more from the NFC South in the links below…

  • De’Andre Presley was the answer from Rivera when asked if a player has distinguished himself after Wednesday’s OTA, writes The Observer’s Tom Sorensen. Presley, a quarterback in college at Appalachian State, switched to cornerback upon signing with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent, and is now trying to make the Panthers roster at wide receiver.
  • The Panthers went defensive tackle back-to-back in the 2013 NFL Draft with the selections of Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short in the first and second rounds, respectively, but Short is still in a fight for a starting position, writes Jonathan Jones of The Observer.
  • Six tight ends combine for 20 years of experience on the Panthers roster, and Rivera loves the versatility they bring,’s David Newton reports.
  • While there is no replacing the immense talent of Jimmy Graham, Saints tight ends Ben Watson and Josh Hill are doing what is asked of them at OTAs, including everything Graham would be doing, per The Times-Picayune’s Christopher Dabe.
  • First-round pick receiver Brandin Cooks will be back for the final week of Saints OTAs, believes’s Mike Triplett.
  • Despite suffering two concussions in his rookie season, Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro said he won’t slow down nor change his reckless ways, Triplett writes.
  • With a defensive-heavy draft, notes’s Vaughn McClure, the Falcons surely made defensive coordinator Mike Nolan a happy man. Nolan touched on each of the seven defensive players drafted, including a glowing review of Dez Southward, the former Wisconsin safety whom Atlanta selected in the third round: “He’s got really good size and is fast. He’s an intelligent guy. He doesn’t have as much football in his background as other guys because he played late in high school. But he’ll listen, as opposed to somebody that didn’t learn much and then they think that they have all the answers.”
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