(Draft day has finally arrived, and in the hours leading up to the Panthers being on the clock at No. 24, Panthers.com writers Max Henson, Bryan Strickland and Bill Voth are each profiling a prospect Carolina could target with its first-round pick.)
General manager Marty Hurney hasn't been shy about his desire to add more speed and explosiveness to the offense.
Maryland wide receiver DJ Moore brings exactly that, and he would make a lot of sense with pick No. 24 if he's still on the board.
The 6-foot, 210-pounder excels in an area where the Panthers have been lacking: yards after the catch and big play potential. Get the ball out quickly and let him do the rest. He's not the most polished route runner, but Moore's elusiveness and ability to shed tackles would make life easier for quarterback Cam Newton and the entire offense.
Offensive coordinator Norv Turner and wide receivers coach Lance Turner appeared to be all smiles when they worked with Moore at his pro day, and it's safe to assume they'd love to continue working with him.
But here's the problem: Moore might get taken ahead of Carolina. Recent reports suggest some teams view him as the No. 1 wideout in the class over Calvin Ridley, who had long been considered a surefire top-20 pick and the cream of the crop at the position. Let's say Moore is off the board and Ridley is still available. In that case, I could see the Panthers wasting no time grabbing the Alabama standout with their first-round pick. Speaking of traits the Panthers need, Ridley is regarded as the draft's best route runner, with top speed and suddenness to gain separation consistently.
With all that said, it's entirely possible that Moore and Ridley are wearing draft caps by the time Carolina is on the clock. But if one of them is still around? Another offensive weapon could be on the way.