2011 Senior Bowl: 5 Players the Carolina Panthers Need to Consider
The Under Armour Senior Bowl is the final showcase for future NFL talent before the NFL Combine. This year, it was dominated by the South, 24-10. The North had many prospects considered to be of first round caliber, but few played like it. I know one thing, it is a good thing the Carolina Panthers don’t need offensive tackles.
There were many players that stood out during the game, like Purdue’s Ryan Kerrigan and Texas A&M’s Von Miller, but they are destined for other places as neither fulfills a great need for the Panthers. There were five players, though, that stood out and Carolina should really consider drafting. Are any of these seniors part of our future or should they be crossed off the list right now?
5. Kendric Burney
Burney is a 5'9" corner out of North Carolina. I realize we already have a half-pint in Captain Munnerlyn, but this kid might be special. He is very fast, a great special teams player (led all players in ST tackles during the game) and he is very instinctive. The best part is he will not require a high round draft pick, not like we have many anyways. This one is one to watch come day three of the draft, as he could be a great nickel corner someday.
4. Charles Clay
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Clay is a 6'3" halfback out of Tulsa, but he’s an athlete. He wasn’t showcased well in the Senior Bowl, but he has the skills to really help the Panthers in a number of ways. First, he’ll make a great special teams player. Second, he can play fullback or halfback and has the speed and power to be very effective. Third, he can play tight end as he has good size and great hands. He is a playmaker and a good Combine will show why the Panthers need him.
3. Titus Young
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Young is a receiver who’s almost six feet tall, but the guy is fast. He didn’t have a great Senior Bowl, partly due to Jake Locker trying to get him killed on a few plays, but he’s also a playmaker. He had over 1200 yards receiving and nine touchdowns last season for Boise State. With some grooming he could challenge for the No. 3 receiver spot in his first year and be a starter in two.
2. Clint Boling
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Boling is a 6'4" 300 pound guard out of Georgia who had a very good Senior Bowl. He only had one bad play all game and was a consistent force in the running game. Boling could sure up the right guard position that has been a gaping hole for many years. He is strong, like all Dawg linemen, and showed in the bowl game that he can get out and block. With any luck, he’ll have only a decent Combine and fall to the third round.
1. Phil Taylor
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After watching this guy play during the bowl game, I was drooling. Taylor is a defensive tackle with ideal size. At 6'3" 337 pounds, this guy could instantly come in and fix our line. The beast out of Baylor was consistently terrorizing quarterbacks and stopping running backs in their tracks.
Unfortunately, a second round pick may be needed to acquire him, but he’d be worth it. Imagine what our line could look like: Nick Fairley and Phil Taylor, or Taylor and Marvin Austin. Either of those combinations would work for me. Maybe someone should help him miss the Combine so he can fall a little for Carolina to grab him, in a metaphorical sense.
The 2011 Draft is dominated by juniors, but the Senior Bowl showed that the first few rounds have players to be desired and Carolina should take note as some could make a huge splash in the NFL.