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Eric Galko: Elite WR Prospects Could Fall To Panthers

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(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

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NFL Draft analyst from Optimum Scouting, Eric Galko, who also writes for the Sporting News and the National Football Post, joined Mac and Jim to discuss the Panthers prospects in this May’s draft and the receent announcement of Michael Sam.

On Michael Sam as a linebacker: He produced at a high level. He has good body control, the ability to rush off the edge and the rip move to be an effective pass rusher, however, he’s very limited in his rush development, really only has one move, to the outside, and was kind of exposed the week of the Senior Bowl going up against NFL-caliber offensive tackles. He’s a day three guy who needs to work on his consistency and versatility, probably a 4th or 5th round pick.

On the impact of Sam’s announcement that he’s gay: NFL teams were already aware. Most teams are going to embrace taking a guy like him into the locker room, they will also recognize they need a strong locker room, a strong front office, a tolerant fan base and ownership. Unfortunately, it may be a tiebreaker for teams if Sam and another player are on the an equal playing field. On the field, he’s a 4th or 5th round pick and he could go a little later than that on draft day.

On the prospect of the Panthers taking an offensive tackle in the first round: Outside of Jake Matthews, Tyler Lewan, Greg Robinson and Zach Martin, who I think will all be top 20 picks (Panthers select 28th), if one of them happens to be there, they could be a perfect fit for the Panthers. In the first round you really want to look at offensive tackle, if you can, maybe an interior offensive linemen if you think a guy is an elite prospect, which I’m not sure any of the guys are in this draft class. If you miss on one of the top four offensive tackles it’s not worth taking one in the late first round.

On this year’s wide receiver crop: The Panthers could benefit from this class being so deep. Teams in the top 15-20 may opt to pass on receivers early on and leave a lot of top talent falling to the Panthers. Teams are going to say I want to address a different need early in the draft and get my receivers in the 2nd or 3rd round. The Panthers could do the same, but they also could end up getting a guy like Odell Beckham Jr or Marquise Lee, a top receiver who could be a number one receiver, a feature weapon in the offense, a guy that could be a top 10-15 pick in most years. If I’m the Panthers I’m lookly strongly at wide receiver. There’s as many as 15-20 WRs with top two round grades and teams realize this, so they’ll push guys down their board to go after other needs.

Eric also breaks down, individually, three of the top wide receiver prospects: Marquise Lee, Odell Beckham, and Allen Robinson

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