The Carolina Panthers may have had an average draft for the 2014 selection process -- but they added even more depth to their potential roster for the upcoming season by signing 9 undrafted free agents this week.
The Panthers needed a wide receiver to replace star wide out Steve Smith, who was released earlier this year by the team. According to a draft review by ESPN; The Panthers may have gotten their replacement in selecting Kevin Benjamin as the 28th overall pick in the draft. Benjamin is a 6 foot 5" stand out from the national champion FSU squad, and left to enter the draft after his sophomore season. This could give him plenty of miles in the NFL if he does end up becoming a stand out receiver that can replace Smith.
Head Coach Ron Rivera is pleased with how the draft went down for Carolina -- and is looking forward to seeing what his new rookies can do over the summer, according to a report by ESPN.
"I like the potential in a lot of different phases of our offense and defense, and I think we added some free agents who are going to help us on the field," Rivera said. "I told Dave a few days ago that I really liked the way we set up our board, and I liked what they had come up with. I loved the targets that we had."
"Especially in the first three rounds, we had a pod of guys that we felt comfortable drafting and then feeling very good about who the number one guy was in each round. We can be better than we were and we are going to work and strive to get better."
Carolina also added nine players who didn't get their names called during this year's draft. The team announced a nine-player undrafted free agent class that features Ohio State wide receiver Corey “Philly” Brown. Brown caught 63 passes for 771 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Buckeyes last season, and was one of the core components for OSU's undefeated regular season last year.
Along with Brown, the Panthers signed LB Denicos Allen (Michigan State), CB Carrington Byndom (Texas), LB Adarius Blanton (Florida Atlantic), WR Marcus Lucas (Missouri), G Andrew Norwell (Ohio State), RB Darring Reaves (UAB), DT Squad Rowell (West Virginia) and C Jared Wheeler (Miami).
Carolina is also taking a look at multiple other players during the rookie mini-camp session to see if there are any other prospects they want sign onto the team.