Today concludes a week that has to rank in the top two for the most garbage coming out of people’s mouths.
I am talking about the days leading up to the NFL Draft (the other would be the week leading up to November elections). You just can’t trust what people say is the truth.
Sure, there are some people who have been telling the truth this week, but they are scattered here and there amongst the bull-slingers so that it is hard to know the difference.
The Cardinals are trading Josh Rosen. No they’re not; they are taking Nick Bosa.
Despite having an aging Eli Manning at quarterback, the Giants aren’t interested in a QB at #6. Or maybe they are. Or maybe they are planning a trade with the Cards for Rosen.
There is always a weak team that is willing to trade back to acquire more draft picks because it has so many holes to fill. There is always a team willing to give up a lot to trade up because it thinks it is one key difference-maker from being a Super Bowl contender.
Who will be making trades with whom? It’s a guessing game all the way up until just a few minutes before the draft starts when all the phone calls going around might leak out to the media.
The Carolina Panthers tied for 13th place with three other teams with a 7-9 record, but wound up the worst of the lot because of a stronger strength of schedule. That leaves them at 16th instead.
The Panthers aren’t one of those teams with only a hole or two left to fill. They legitimately have four starting jobs that need filling.
As I said earlier this year, since Jordan Gross retired in 2013, the Panthers have tried 10 different guys to replace him at left tackle. The team has hoped in recent drafts that a good one would drop to them, but that hasn’t been the case because left tackles are so valuable.
Another very valuable role is outside pass rusher, and the team is in dire need of help with only Mario Addison (29.5 sacks the past three years) as someone who can get double-digit sacks. Bruce Irvin was added in free agency, but he is now 31 and even in his best year he only had eight sacks.
The spot that personally has driven me batty for years is free safety. Not to sound like a broken record, but coach Ron Rivera has a habit of bringing in some aging vet to get a year or two out of him on the cheap rather than invest a high draft pick.
However, if you want to get more sacks, how about doing a better job with coverage? James Bradbury and Donte Jackson can cover at cornerback, and Eric Reid showed he can put a lick on a receiver at strong safety. A young, speedy safety who can cover a lot of ground allows the corners to play tight at the line with safety help over the top.