Panthers coach Ron Rivera was discussing quarterbacks and the positives displayed by the cornucopia of signal-callers that will be available in April’s NFL draft. Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Mallett are some of the guys at whom the Panthers are looking.
But Rivera, who’s said that the team is really focusing on eight players for the No. 1 pick, revealed that five of them are NOT quarterbacks. Great news, by the way, for Jimmy Clausen. For now, at least.
“We have a number of positions that we've identified as needs. We're trying to get to that point where we can start filling those needs as the time is appropriate,” Rivera said, via the Charlotte Observer. “If you can fill a need through free agency, we're going to do it. If we have to go through the draft, we'll do it. If we've got to make a trade, we'll do it.”
Some names thrown out there by staff writer Joe Person include defensive linemen Da’Quan Bowers (though his stock certainly had dropped since the NFL combine), Marcell Dareus and Nick Fairley. In reality, any of those players could go No. 1, though Fairley also isn’t as highly-rated as before.
Or, like Rivera said, the team could go the trade route and address another team need – like WR or CB.
“Anything's possible,” Rivera said. “We've got to finish the process and see where it all fits.”
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