The Draft Approaches
The Carolina Panthers head into the 2019 NFL Draft with several needs, especially in a defense that got long in the tooth since it’s Super Bowl run. The Panthers have a great mix of veteran and younger players at the moment. They approach the NFL Draft with needs particularly in both sides of trench warfare and in a deep draft particularly at those spots, they have a chance to come away with a need fulfilled via their 16th overall pick.
One player who was thought to be on the Carolina Panthers’ radar in round one is defensive end Montez Sweat from Mississippi State. With a motor that won’t stop running and phenomenal pass rushing ability, Sweat looks to be the solution to the Carolina Panthers’ deficiency at defensive end. After the retirement of the player fourth all-time in sacks, Julius Peppers, the Panthers need a quick fix in regards who will put pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
It appears that Sweat has met with the Carolina Panthers’ coaching staff at the NFL Combine and has even gone through film sessions with them. As reported by Jourdan Rodrigue of The Charlotte Observer, Sweat watched a lot of Julius Peppers for his inspiration and play-style. Considering the acclaim Julius Peppers gained in his Hall of Fame-worthy career, there are certainly not many players better to emulate. Sweat plays with the exact attack mentality Peppers did, and will go after the quarterback no matter the down or distance. At the same time, much like Peppers was, he plays cerebral.
Montez Sweat set an NFL Combine record with an incendiary 4.42 second 40-Yard Dash. The Panthers may have to trade up in order to acquire the player they interviewed.
Watch The Film
Watching the film, you’ll see that Sweat plays hard, but also plays smart, not surrendering many drive-extending penalties in his pursuit. Considering the Panthers play in the high-octane NFC South Division, they need a pass rusher who can exert constant and consistent pressure on the opposing quarterbacks. Sweat will do just that for the Carolina Panthers. He will be the solution to the Panthers pass rushing conundrum if they make a move to get him.
Trade Up or Stay Put?
After his incendiary combine performance, Sweat most likely will not be there by the time the Panthers draft. This means that the front office has to get together in the war room and decide quickly if he is worth the risk of trading up in the first round. In that case, the Panthers would likely have to jump ahead of at least the Miami Dolphins, who currently pick 13th.
Will he be worth what the Panthers will have to surrender to acquire him? If the Panthers indeed deem him worthy, then don’t be shocked to see them make a trade with either the Cincinnati Bengals or Green Bay Packers.
And don’t be shocked to see Panthers fans cheer in excitement and jubilee, while NFC South quarterbacks start banging the table for upgrades at offensive tackle.