Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman spoke to reporters today, including Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer, about the team’s plans for the draft, and while he wasn’t overly revealing, he dropped a few interesting tidbits. Here are the highlights, with all links going to Person’s Twitter account:
- The Panthers’ signing of Michael Oher last month has changed the way Gettleman views the left tackle position in the draft. According to the GM, “you don’t want a revolving door” at that spot, which suggests the club may want to let Oher try to establish himself at the position.
- Of course, tackle is still an area the Panthers will likely focus on, and Gettleman said he thinks there are four or five prospects in this class that could play the position at the NFL level. The GM added that there are a couple left tackle prospects whom he considers probable right tackles instead, but said that there’s a player who could be a long-term solution at LT at the No. 25 pick.
- According to Gettleman, having two extra picks in the draft (nine in total) “gives you pause” about moving up in certain spots. However, don’t expect the team to trade up in the first round — Gettleman doesn’t “subscribe to the theory” that Carolina is just one player away.
- The Panthers aren’t walking into this draft with the same hole at wide receiver that they had a year ago, says Gettleman, implying that the club doesn’t necessarily have to pick a wideout early. The GM pointed out that – while last year’s crop of receivers was special – there’s more depth at the position this year, which also points to the team addressing it in the middle or late rounds.
- Gettleman said today that he feels like the club “checked boxes” in free agency by adding help at tackle, in addition to more speed and special teams players. That should give Carolina more flexibility to take the best players available in the draft.
- Gettleman indicated that it’s clear where the Panthers stand on domestic violence, alluding to the team’s non-interest in re-signing Greg Hardy and hinting that players with a history of domestic incidents probably won’t be considered this week. As for positive marijuana tests or possession citations, the GM said those don’t necessarily eliminate a player from the Panthers’ board, but more discussion is required in those instances.