If the Panthers don’t earn a postseason berth in 2017, head coach Ron Rivera and general manager Dave Gettleman could be on the hot seat, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link). Carolina, of course, finished the 2016 campaign with a 6-10 record after losing only regular season game and securing a Super Bowl appearance the year prior. Both Rivera and Gettleman are now facing extra pressure, says Cole, which would be one reason the Panthers handed defensive tackle Kawann Short an extension earlier this week, as the club may have wanted to ensure Short was present for offseason activities.
Here’s more from around the league, all courtesy of Cole:
- Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson displayed a “CEO presence” in predraft meetings with NFL team, and his intangibles are highly impressive to personnel executives, reports Cole (video link), who adds Watson is considered the best leader among the top QB prospects. Listed at 6’2″, 220 pounds, Watson’s size does have some scouts concerned, as they aren’t sure he’ll be able to withstand the pounding of an NFL campaign. For what it’s worth, I sent Watson to Kansas City in PFR’s first 2017 mock draft.
- Some NFL decision-makers believe Washington cornerback Kevin King is the most overrated player in the 2017 draft, per Cole (video link). King is an impressive physical specimen, especially for a defensive back, as he stands at 6’3″ and 200 pounds. But evaluators don’t believe King’s performance on the field matches his stature. While King has been creeping into the first round of mock drafts — specifically as a possible Seahawks target — one scout said he grades King as no better than a seventh-round choice.
- As Peter King of TheMMQB.com reported earlier this week, the 49ers and Jets are among the clubs most eager to trade down at the top of the draft, but any such deals could come with a relatively cheap price attached, according to Cole (video link). Outside of Texas A&M edge defender Myles Garrett, the draft doesn’t contain multiple “overwhelming” players, per Cole, while the supply of clubs looking to trade down doesn’t equal the demand of teams hoping to move up.
- One prospect that could lead to draft-day discussions is Stanford pass rusher Solomon Thomas, whom most NFL clubs consider the “clear” No. 2 player in this year’s class, reports Cole (video link). If the cost of trading up does remain low, several teams might consider moving up the board in order to land Thomas, as such a maneuver would be viewed as an “extraordinary bargain.”
6 comments on “Cole’s Latest: Panthers, Rivera, Watson, King”
I agree with everyone on king. I don’t see it. The size is nice but I just don’t see him transitioning well. Just not as fluid in the hips. A move to safety might be in the future but I don’t know if he has the smarts to play safety.
Watson is similar in size to Andy Dalton, Dak Prescott, Kirk Cousins, and Alex Smith. I’ve always felt like the “concerns about size” are usually pretty exaggerated by journalists
Right on. It seems that evaluators love Trusbisky’s measurables and his arm, yet all Watson did in college was only time in and time out prove to be the best player on the field in the biggest of situations.
Let all the talent scouts overlook Watson; he will just take a mental of the teams that pass up on him, and quickly show them why he was able to dominate and outshine all the other top college prospects on a consistent basis.
Thank u …he’s by far the best QB availabil this draft imo
Watson is perfect for a team like the Texans, he is plug and play for them where as mahomes and kizer are projects that probably won’t turn out. Does Watson have his issues but what quarterback doesn’t, all the draft experts even found problems with Andrew luck. Watson ceiling may not be as high as others but his floor is way higher than any of the rest of the top of the draft qb’s.
The Browns allegedly want Trubiski, so that should let everyone know who is going to be a bust. Watson is the only guy I’d take near the top of this draft, and it isn’t even close.