Panthers G.M. admits drafting to need, but says he didn’t reach


Every General Manager in the NFL loves to talk about taking the best player available, and not falling victim to reaching for certain players to fill specific needs.

So it’s natural that Panthers G.M. Dave Gettleman felt he had to explain himself, after drafting three cornerbacks among his five picks this weekend.

After drafting to one of his team’s deepest positions with defensive tackle Vernon Butler in the first, the Panthers then chose Samford cornerback James Bradberry in the second round, traded up to take West Virginia cornerback Daryl Worley in the third round and then took Oklahoma cornerback Zack Sanchez in the fifth.

Gettleman was forced to admit that after taking the franchise tag off cornerback Josh Norman, the Panthers had to adapt their philosophy to make sure they had a depth chart.

“It did. It has to,” he said, via Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review. “You have to prevent position disasters.”

With Norman gone and fellow starter Bene Benwikere still recovering from last year’s broken leg, the Panthers didn’t have much to work with. They did go get nickel Brandon Boykin this offseason, but needed to add corners in bulk.

Gettleman said that after a second-round run on corners — Xavien Howard, Mackensie Alexander, Sean Davis and Cyrus Jones — that Bradberry and Worley were the next two on their board.

“We are very pleased, to say the least. They’re both big, they’re both long, they both can run, they’re both physical and they both have really good ball skills,” Gettleman said. “The best part of this thing, I promise you, I’m not lying, we did not reach. . . .

“Very honestly, if you told me two nights ago we were going to come out with Vernon Butler and these two corners, I would’ve been very happy. Again, I don’t feel like we reached, I know we didn’t reach. We didn’t. And I’m excited about it.”

It’s hard to tell whether Gettleman’s trying to convince us or himself, but the Panthers added the needed reinforcements in the secondary. And with the luxury of walking into the draft with so few holes on a talented roster, it was something he could afford to do to fix a shallow position, much in the same way he doubled up on defensive tackles Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short in 2013.

16 responses to “Panthers G.M. admits drafting to need, but says he didn’t reach

  1. The only people who claim a player is a “reach” are the guys whose opinions don’t matter. The player ratings from people outside of the teams, (writers and draft “experts”) are pretty much ignored by the teams. So when a team chooses someone low on a writers list, the writer has to justify themselves by claiming the team “reached” for a player.

  2. How did he goof?
    He gets a compensatory end of 3rd round pick for him
    And he didn’t want to pay that much for a 1 year deal.

    Lets say Norman performs like a 13.9MM CB. And would have been paid 13.9MM. That provides 0 surplus value.
    The Panthers are better off using that money elsewhere.
    And if Norman performed like a 12MM/year CB, then it would have hurt the team to keep him, assuming they have other players to pay.

    >>realfootballfan says:
    May 1, 2016 12:25 PM
    He goofed intaking that franchise tag off of Norman, but we’ll see how much it hurts this year.

  3. Trades away too many draft picks for bums. You build a team through the draft but you do not give away all your draft picks to trade up for Archie Who? Gettleman also screwed up by not locking Norman down to a contract last year when he had the chance. We shall see what we shall see during the upcoming season but I would not want to go into the season with my number one corner being injury prone.

  4. Gettleman has been doing fine and this draft was no exception. Smart to get those Corners when Benwikere is recovering. There will be competition for that position and that’s a good thing. Panthers are solid everywhere but O-Line could have used a boost. Gettleman will pick up a vet when some other team goes overboard with their shiny new rookies. And it won’t be a “bum”.

  5. corkspop says:
    May 1, 2016 1:20 PM
    Gettleman has been doing fine and this draft was no exception. Smart to get those Corners when Benwikere is recovering. There will be competition for that position and that’s a good thing. Panthers are solid everywhere but O-Line could have used a boost. Gettleman will pick up a vet when some other team goes overboard with their shiny new rookies. And it won’t be a “bum”.
    If he picks up a vet, that could cancel the compensatory pick they would get from Norman.

  6. intrafinesse ,

    He would have gotten a compensatory pick next year too. He only took it off this year because his inadequate offer in line with what Sean Smith got was rightly rejected by Norman, but you still had a top 5 CB under contract for 1 more year with a Super Bowl caliber team. Now, you’ve put your team behind the 8-ball on the back end because that decision was made a year earlier than it had to be made. He just told you in so many words he goofed because they had to deviate from their board and draft for need, but you keep defending the move. I’m a Gettleman fan, but even smart people get things wrong sometimes. I know that’s hard for some of you myopic fans of specific teams to admit. But keep telling yourself that the front 7, which is no doubt terrific, will be able to cover up the back end’s deficiencies or that rookies and street free agents can fill that hole well enough.

  7. I woul have preferred to have seen them trade up to get Derek Henry in the 2nd rd. While Stewart is a good RB, he has never played a full season without getting hurt. I too am excited about the reported Undrafted Free Agents. Jarrett a WR from Tulsa, who is 6′ 4″, 220 lbs. and led the nation in receiving. Cash, a S from Duke, and Johnson, a RB from Marshall may be helpful. Also, they signed a LB, another WR, a FB, and their obligatory TE. You have to remember that Philly Brown was undrafted.

  8. We will see just how smart Gettleman is when Norman is getting beat deep in games where he will be asked to play man vs man in Washington with a crappy front seven. Norman’s agent was the reason he left carolina. Norman wanted to stay and carolina wanted him back. But not at the expense of being a distraction for a team that is a championship contender or for 16 million a season for a zone cb. Norman should have signed the tender and not listen to his agent. He got the money he wanted but now he will get exposed.

  9. Carolina has depth on defense that could start for most teams. AJ Klein (and take your pick along the d-line) for example. You don’t get that way by reaching in the draft. Period.

  10. Whether you’re Gettleman fanboy or not, he loaded up on CBs because of uncertainty in the secondary.

    N0 team can lose an all pro and have it not effect the position group. Keep in mind, all the mercenary vets he let go and the injury to Benwikere.

    Reach or not, who takes 3 players at the same position, on 3 consecutive picks? Gettleman is trying too hard to convince the world and hoping he didn’t screw up. That is all.

    We won’t know until Julio starts running routes.

  11. The comparison to 2013 is a good one. Remember that in 2011-12 the Panthers started 2-8 both years because they couldn’t defend anyone. So DG goes and gets Star and Short in the first 2 rounds, and the defense rises dramatically and we go 12-4.

    Bradberry has real potential. Worley should be well-prepared for the NFL after living in the 120-points-per-game Big 12. Sanchez is a lot like Norman – gambler, extremely self-confident, also lived through playing in the Big 12 (he needs to learn how to tackle, but he admits that).

    I also would have like to have seen an OL drafted, with both our tackles in contract years. I’m a big Auburn fan, so I want to see Cameron Artis-Payne get some more reps whenever Stewart gets hurt again.

    I think we will be a better team this year than last, even if we win fewer games (I think we’ll win 12), and are better-equipped to win the Super Bowl.

  12. Don’t forget……Gentleman made the decision to remove the franchise tag BEFORE the draft!

    Does anyone really think that 1 week before the draft, GM removes the tag and then goes.. “OH NO! I should have thought about who was going to replace him”???

    This was absolutely intentional and well thought out prior to letting JNo go!


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!