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Notes: Panthers wrap up 2014 draft

Posted May 10, 2014

CHARLOTTE – Day three of the NFL Draft was a particularly unique one for general manager Dave Gettleman and the Panthers.

After he attended his son's graduation, Gettleman drafted via Skype from Becker College in Worcester, Mass.

"It was interesting. It worked. The process was really the same," Gettleman said. "There were times where it was a little choppy in terms of the technology side. But it worked fine. This was one of those things that I believe I needed to do."

The Panthers made three picks on day three – North Carolina safety Tre Boston in round four, San Jose State cornerback Bene' Benwikere in round five and running back Stanford Tyler Gaffney in round six.

Those selections join Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (round one), Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy (round two) and Louisiana State guard Trai Turner to form Carolina's 2014 draft class.

"Big men allow you to compete, and we addressed that in the first (two) days. It's important that we have those people," Gettleman said. "And I like the last three. We got a chance to address needs with value. I'm not a checkbox guy, where we need a position so we are just going to go draft that guy. I just don't think it is prudent.

"I like where we are at. I'm pleased. I trust our evaluation process."

OPTING AGAINST OT: Many felt the Panthers would draft an offensive tackle in the draft, but the team steered clear of the position.

Gettleman said that was a result of confidence in players currently on the roster and the tackle talent that was available.

"It's really a combination of both," Gettleman said. "Once you got past that top tier of tackles, there was a huge drop-off. For us, we just felt that the guys we have on our roster that are going to compete for those spots are just as good if not better than what we were staring at. The value wasn't there."

UNDRAFTED OPTIONS: Gettleman said the team will target a select group of undrafted players to bring in as rookie free agents.

"We are going to target four or five guys that the coaches really believe in," Gettleman said. "Last year, we targeted (defensive end) Wes Horton, we targeted (safety) Robert (Lester) and we targeted (cornerback) Melvin (White). We are going to do the same process this year."

Horton, Lester and White combined to play in 37 games with 14 starts last year.

GODFERY MOVES TO CB: Charles Godfrey, who is returning from a season-ending Achilles injury, has been moved from safety to cornerback.

"It's all about giving him an opportunity and a fair shot," head coach Ron Rivera said.

In college at Iowa, Godfrey started 25 of 28 games at cornerback, and the Panthers feel he can make a successful transition with the nickel spot in mind.

"He had success as a corner in college. He has nickel ability," Rivera said. "We feel it is the best opportunity for him to get a chance to play for us."