WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Notes, Quotes

The Sports Xchange

April 29, 2018 at 10:44 pm.

–The Panthers made a trade during the middle day of the draft, swapping picks with the Green Bay Packers. The Panthers gave up the No. 88 pick overall (third round) in return for a pair of selections on the draft’s final day, including the first pick of the fourth round and one in the fifth round.

That signaled, in part, that the Panthers were pleased with the defensive backfield help they had acquired earlier in the draft.

“We just thought that the way the board was stacked up, that extra pick and that top pick in the fourth round (were good spots),” general manager Marty Hurney said.

On Saturday, the Panthers traded some more, this time moving up in the fifth round and trading away a couple of later picks and then trading a sixth-round selection as well.

–The Panthers are going with quantity in the defensive backfield. It will sort itself out.

With two of the first three draft selections going for defensive backs, there should be no shortage of incentive for players to show their value.

“Competition, you’re absolutely right,” head coach Ron Rivera said. “It is about competition and that’s a big part of the reason why some of the things that we’ve done, we’re doing. We’ve created some competition at wide receiver, obviously. We’ve got it at corner. We’ve got it at safety. We’ve got it at nickel.”

–Quarterback Cam Newton expressed his pleasure with the Panthers when they took wide receiver D.J. Moore out of Maryland in the first round of the draft.

Head coach Ron Rivera said Newton had a positive reaction. He sent a text that said, “Thank you” after the selection.

It figures that the Panthers needed to upgrade the receiving corps. It also was clear last fall that Newton was miffed with the trading of wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, so this gives Newton somewhat of a perk.

“It was kind of cool to have him react the way that he did,” Rivera said of Newton’s response.

–The Panthers locked up tight end Greg Olsen for a couple of more seasons with a draft-week contract extension. Still, filling in gaps behind Olsen on the depth chart is important, particularly with the loss of Ed Dickson, who was a productive replacement during Olsen’s time out with an injury last year. Dickson left in free agency.

Yet there was still a need to address that position and the Panthers did that by taking Ian Thomas of Indiana with the first selection of the fourth round.

 

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