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Grill Bill: Time to draft a quarterback?

Posted Feb 23, 2018

Cam Newton is the unquestioned starter, but Carolina is the only team that hasn't taken a quarterback over the past six drafts.

You guys brought the sarcasm this week. I dig it.

Yeah, I've never been all that great at darts. Pretending I know right now who they’ll grab at 24 or who the new owner will be isn’t my style.

The Norwell part isn’t as hard to guess, though.

The way I see it, the Panthers made that decision last summer when they signed Trai Turner to a big contract. I don't think they'll give another to a guard.   

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, franchising Norwell isn’t an option. That’s because offensive linemen are lumped together when it comes to the tag, and you’re not going to pay a guard left tackle money. 

Anyway, I get why many are using “sources” to connect Norwell with new Giants general manager Dave Gettleman, but I’m not convinced that’s what will happen. It could, but with the number of holes Gettleman needs to fill, he may steer away from big-ticket items. And besides last year's signing at left tackle, he wasn't much of a Macy's guy during his time in Carolina. 

Good question and dead-on comment. 

As Bryan Strickland touched on this week, Vernon Butler is more like Kawann Short than Star Lotulelei. Butler has Lotulelei-like size, but I’d think they'd try to find a more natural space-eater to help fill Lotulelei’s sizable shoes. And because defensive linemen draftees are rarely plug-and-play starters, I'll say the best way to do that is through free agency.

Here’s a list of defensive tackles that could be available.

The key is finding a nose tackle who won’t command top dollar but who will be much more productive than, say, Paul Soliai. 

Free agency and the draft. The draft and free agency. One comes before the other, but they go hand-in-hand. 

Oh, you mean one of those seven-round deals where not one of the possible names will match what they actually do two months from now? Fun!

It’s not the craziest idea, but according to multiple reports that came out Wednesday, Gordon is tied to Cleveland for another season. The uber-talented but oft-troubled wideout is an exclusive rights free agent. That means the Browns can – and probably will – offer him a cheap, one-year tender. Gordon’s options will then be limited to signing the tender or missing another season. 

Website submission from Caden: Which wide receiver are the Panthers most excited for?

I’ll answer this by assuming you mean on the current roster, Caden. 

If he weren't currently trying to make his way back from a serious ankle injury, I’d say Curtis Samuel. So I’ll instead go with Devin Funchess

Does he have the talent to be an elite No. 1 wide receiver like Julio Jones? No. But Funchess probably still has a good amount of room to grow before he reaches his ceiling, and he’s still only 23 (he’ll turn 24 in May). 

Because Randy Moss is the top target, obviously.  

Since making Cam Newton the No. 1 overall pick in 2011, Carolina is the only team in the league that hasn’t taken a quarterback in the past six drafts. Even New England and Green Bay, who have somewhat decent quarterbacks, have each picked two since 2012. It’s time the Panthers use a mid-round pick on one. 

Second question, first.

Gotta go with Newton. He has a big garage full of cars, so I'll take that driving experience over Kuechly, who not surprisingly sticks with just one trusty ride. 

The skiing question is tougher.

If you were asking about the slalom, I'd pick Ryan Kalil. He'd be better than the others in a tighter space. But for the more open giant slalom, I'm rolling with Trai Turner. He's a much better athlete than you'd likely assume.