The Panthers held their pre-draft press conference on Tuesday and, like every other team, they mostly played it coy about their intentions in May.
General Manager Dave Gettleman acknowledged the need for offensive tackle and wide receiver help, but said he wouldn’t be bound by positional need if a “blue goose” came along at a different position. Coach Ron Rivera was a bit more forthcoming about what direction he would go if given a choice between the team’s two biggest needs.
“I think protecting [quarterback Cam Newton],” Rivera said, via Steve Reed of the Associated Press. “You have so many opportunities to get playmakers on the field. Other than the quarterback there are five other guys who can make plays for you. I think right now what we’ve done is bring in guys who have the ability to make plays for us. I feel very comfortable with that.”
Rivera may not feel as comfortable with the team’s receivers as he claims, but it’s got to be more comfortable than he feels about the prospect of playing with better receivers and no Newton. The Panthers’ goose, regardless of color, would likely be cooked if Newton missed any significant time and that’s as good a reason to find some blocking as you need.