Big Cats Notes: Gettleman, Jags Draft Targets

Ben Volin of the Boston Globe writes that Panthers GM Dave Gettleman has taken a great deal of criticism for how he has handled this offseason (see here for a couple of illustrative links), but Volin believes that solid football and economic reasons motivated every move and non-move that Gettleman has made over the past few weeks.

For instance, former GM Marty Hurney made a mess of Carolina’s salary cap situation after he handed out lucrative and ill-advised contracts to running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, so Gettleman has been forced to deal with limited cap space in the present while also looking ahead to big-money deals for Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly in the future.

Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer writes that Gettleman has redeemed himself to some degree with his recent series of quality, low-cost signings, but Person does note that Gettleman has yet to sign a free agent tackle. Person suggests that right tackle Byron Bell might be on the move to the left side of the line, which is not ideal but would allow the Panthers to focus on right tackle in the draft, a position that is much easier to fill than left tackle (particularly for a team with a late pick).

Now onto some Jaguars notes:

  • Yesterday, our Peter Sowards took a look at what Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union had to say about potential landing spots for departing RB Maurice Jones-Drew, but O’Halloran also had some worthwhile tidbits about players who will be or may be on the Jags’ roster next season.
  • For example, O’Halloran noted that head coach Gus Bradley and GM Dave Caldwell will be in attendance at QB Johnny Manziel‘s Pro Day at College Station on Thursday. Offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch was at Fresno State last Thursday to watch QB Derek Carr.
  • Speaking of Fisch, O’Halloran writes that one player the Jags may target in the middle of the 2014 draft is Central Florida RB Storm Johnson, who met with the Jaguars at the Scouting Combine and who played for the University of Miami in 2010, when Fisch served as the offensive coordinator there.
  • Scout Tim Mingey was at Vanderbilt’s Pro Day on Friday, probably to get a better look at Commodores WR Jordan Matthews, who had an impressive showing at the Senior Bowl. Matthews has been projected to be drafted as high as the late first round, but more likely is a second-round target.
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