While I have worked on keeping the readers of Bleacher Report up to date on the Carolina Panthers' draft picks and offering a personal analysis, the site's Lead Writers have been doing the same for the all 32 NFL teams. It's only right to provide the insight of another Bleacher Report writer who submitted a grade for the Panthers.
Michael Schottey broke down his grades based on individual round along with the team's need, the pick value and the fit. Needless to say, his assessment of Carolina's first pick is in line with the majority.
Schottey's Carolina Round 1 Grade: A+
Star Lotulelei will probably go down as a steal for the Panthers not just in the first round, but perhaps the entire draft. It's unbelievable that just a few short months ago, he was viewed as a top-five pick, and yet he slipped drastically due to concerns over his health.
Schottey sums up the pick with his last sentence of his evaluation:
He'll make Charles Johnson, Greg Hardy and Luke Kuechly very happy.
Schottey's Carolina Round 2 Grade: A
The only reason his grade is not higher is because at this point, the team need is not as glaring as it was when the draft opened. However, the value and fit warranted high marks, and for a team that struggled on the interior of the defensive line the past couple of seasons, the selection of Kawann Short was a good one.
Schottey doesn't ignore some fan displeasure, but he points to the upside of the selection:
...this is a great pickup and a fantastic fit next to Star Lotulelei. Luke Kuechly is a happy man this evening as he'll have room to maneuver with two stud tackles in front of him...
Schottey's Carolina Round 4 Grade: C-
Calling the Panthers' selection of offensive guard Edmund Kugbila a reach is a fair statement. I had similar sentiments when the pick was made, as the argument was made about drafting a higher-rated offensive lineman or a defensive back. Schottey had this to say about Kugbila being drafted in the fourth:
This is a big reach, but he's got great upside as a stout run-blocker and fits what the Panthers wants to do with so many high-paid running backs.
Let's hope the coaching staff knew what they were doing, because if this guy doesn't produce or allow for the running game to assert itself, this pick will be questioned for years to come.
Schottey's Carolina Round 5 Grade: B+
The more and more I look at this pick, the more I like it. Schottey and I seem to agree on this one even though at first it appeared to be an unnecessary selection.
Schottey's Carolina Round 6 Grade: B-
Schottey looks at this pick as a good one even though the Panthers have more than enough running backs on their roster. Like Evan Silva and a few others, he thinks that by drafting Kenjon Barner, the Panthers will be setting the stage for dropping one of their two high-priced running backs and freeing up significant cap room.
This pick is still one I'm on the fence about, but I do recognize the potential value here if the Oregon product can make headlines in the NFL. However, the true worth of this pick probably won't be revealed until the end of the 2014 season—which could see Barner in a more prominent role within the offense.