The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue says there’s a good chance Panthers GM Marty Hurney would like to pick Auburn DT Derrick Brown if he’s available at No. 7 overall given he fills a big need. Hurney also appeared quite taken by Brown at Auburn’s pro day, per NFL Media’s Aditi Kinkhabwala.
However, Rodrigue points out there’s a strong argument for Carolina taking South Carolina DT Javon Kinlaw, particularly if they can trade down. Kinlaw is a little more versatile, a little more athletic and offers more as a pass rusher than Brown, all of which could appeal to HC Matt Rhule who is under contract longer than Hurney.
While both Clemson LB Isaiah Simmons and Ohio State CB Jeffrey Okudah would fill major needs and be the best play available, Rodrigue and the Athletic’s Joseph Person don’t expect either to be available at No. 7 overall.
Hurney didn’t go into detail about the team’s decision to move on from QB Cam Newton other than to say it wasn’t easy: “You have to make difficult decisions every year. This was probably the most difficult.” (Rodrigue)
Hurney said immediately after the team made the decision to try and trade Newton, they informed his camp: “Once we made that decision — and it was a lot of thought and communication that went into it — we let Cam know immediately.” (Person)
Asked about the difference in timelines between how Carolina moved on from TE Greg Olsen and Newton, Hurney essentially confirmed the team didn’t see Newton’s departure as a foregone conclusion: “We let Olsen know as soon as we made a decision on him, and we let Cam know as soon as we made a decision in him.” (Person)
Hurney praised Newton’s successor at quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater: “He’s a very talented quarterback. I’ve always liked him. He’s got a quick release. Everybody you talk to talks about his communicative skills. And he’s got some familiarity with [Joe] Brady’s system in New Orleans.” (David Newton)
Hurney declined to elaborate on any contract talks with RB Christian McCaffrey: “Obviously, we’ve had internal discussions. Everybody knows what we think of Christian as a player. Other than that I can’t really say any more.” (Newton)
Given the team’s additions on offense in free agency, Hurney said it would be a safe bet the draft would be defense-heavy. (Rodrigue)
Hurney added the team would explore all options at all picks, including trading up or down with the No. 7 pick. (Rodrigue)
Lenoir-Rhyne S Kyle Dugger says the Bills, Browns and Panthers have shown the most interest in him during the pre-draft process. (Jonathan Jones)
The Athletic’s Sheil Kapadia thinks the Saints could explore a trade for G Larry Warford based on reports the team thought his play slipped last season. If that’s the case, he says sending Warford to the Seahawks for a third-round pick would make sense.
If the Seahawks can’t bring back DE Jadeveon Clowney, they could take the money they have earmarked for that and use it on Warford and DE Everson Griffen, upgrading both their lines with the same money while still having two picks each in the second and fourth rounds.