Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Carolina Panthers [full archive here].
Season Recap: Cam Newton proved many doubters wrong and finished with perhaps the greatest rookie QB season of all-time. The future looks very bright for Carolina fans, but there are still many holes to be filled. All eyes will be on Newton as he enters year two in the league.
1. Defensive Tackle: The Panthers defense finished 28th in 2011 and the problems began upfront. Carolina needs a dominant presence in the middle to free up the linebackers and edge rushers. Fletcher Cox has been linked to the Panthers in many mock drafts and would be a great building block for the young defense.
2. Cornerback: Carolina doesn’t have much at the cornerback position and needs to find an upgrade over Captain Munnerlyn. Stephen Gilmore is the second best corner on the draft and should be available at pick number nine. Janoris Jenkins and Dre Kirkpatrick are options in round two.
3. Wide Receiver: With the addition of Cam Newton, Steve Smith showed the world he still has elite talent. Smith will be 33 by the start of the season and could use a playmaker opposite him to take off some pressure. Newton wouldn’t mind another weapon, as well. Michael Floyd is a reasonable selection if available. The Panthers could also choose to wait until round two and grab Mohamed Sanu or Alshon Jeffrey.