The Panthers are better at receiver than they were a year ago. Nothing against Steve L Smith, but at 35 he was no better than a No. 2 receiver and at the end of his career. Brandon LaFell, Ted Ginn Jr. and Domenik Hixon really weren't big losses when you look at it closely. Hixon wouldn't have been a loss at all were it not for the game-winning touchdown against New Orleans. The key here will be chemistry, but first-round pick Kelvin Benjamin looks like a red zone beast at 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds. Free agent signees Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant are solid possession receivers, and more dependable than the players they replaced. Who steps up as the fourth receiver will be the biggest question, whether it's free agent Tiquan Underwood or one of the young receivers. The Panthers plan to run a lot more two tight-end sets makes that less critical.
We project Cotchery and Benjamin to start but believe that Greg Olsen will once again lead the team in catches. Benjamin has upside, but Cotchery is a dirt cheap WR5/WR6 option available in the final rounds.
Wednesday, May 28, 2014, 12:02am
Thursday, March 13, 2014, 12:21pm
Friday, September 13, 2013, 6:45pm
Thursday, September 12, 2013, 6:38pm
Wednesday, September 11, 2013, 7:00pm
Friday, September 6, 2013, 6:25pm
Thursday, September 5, 2013, 6:42pm
Wednesday, September 4, 2013, 7:17pm
Saturday, August 24, 2013, 7:23pm
While Hixon and Armanti Edwards sat out Thursday’s game at Philadelphia with hamstring injuries, David Gettis turned in another strong performance with five catches for 82 yards in the Panthers’ 14-9 loss.
Coming off two injury-plagued seasons after a promising rookie year, Gettis is a factor again.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013, 6:26pm
Panthers WR Armanti Edwards had four years and three position coaches, but the former Appalachian State quarterback is finally looking like an NFL receiver. He could be the No. 3 wideout if he returns quickly from a hamstring injury.
Tuesday, August 6, 2013, 9:01am
Since Panther WR Brandon LaFell’s rookie season, WR Steve Smith has been pushing the former third-round draft choice in an attempt to groom LaFell into a No. 1 wide receiver. And LaFell has been pushing himself while also knowing that, for now, the Panthers need him to be the complement to Smith.
“I see it as another year to go out here and prove to everybody that I can really do this,” LaFell said. “A lot of people say I’m not a good No. 2 receiver, but I’m learning from one of the best guys in the game who’s the No. 1, which I’m trying to be.”
The fourth-year receiver from Louisiana State has shown improvement during each of his first three years. He tallied 468 yards in his rookie year, following that with 613 in 2011 before catching a career-high 44 balls last season for 677 yards and four touchdowns.
His yardage total likely would have been more had he not missed two games with a foot injury. But despite the improvement, he knows this has to be his year.
We rank LaFell just 55th but admit he should see WR2 targets. Still, he's not getting drafted according to ADPs and free agent signing Domenik Hixon could be a little bit of a concern. LaFell seems better suited for deep leagues. We expect him to stay on par with his numbers from last year for 2013: 48-680-4
Giants WR Rueben Randle has been given an enormous opportunity with Hakeem Nicks sidelined by an injured groin, taking almost all the snaps with the first team in team drills. And he’s taken advantage with a sometimes spectacular performance. He’s flashed his speed and a quickness that wasn’t always evident last year. Judging by the number of times he’s caught passes he seems to have a better grasp of the offense than he did last season, and is clearly more confident in his role. And he’s shown a knack for getting open, even in double coverage, finding just enough room for Eli Manning to hit him. That’s huge, and not just because of Nicks’ health. With Nicks and Victor Cruz the Giants already have a terrific 1-2 punch at receiver. If Randle can emerge they suddenly have a very dangerous Big 3.
Randle only had 32 targets last season, but he turned that usage into 19 catches for 298 yards and three TDs to post the #6 FP/T among all receivers with at least 30 targets. With Domenik Hixon gone, Randle has a stranglehold on the Giants' WR3 job, and he may move up a notch depending on Nicks's shaky knees. Randle drew praise from OC Kevin Gilbride for his play in minicamp, so he has nice upside considering his late-round ADP.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013, 10:07am
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