Josh Norman

Josh Norman has big day in Panthers camp

Carolina Panthers 5th-round pick Josh Norman has been fairly quiet early this preseason, but he made sure everyone took notice of his performance on Tuesday afternoon. According to the Panthers official twitter feed, Norman picked off four passes, including three in a half-hour span.

While practice stats are even less relevant than preseason numbers, at worst Norman caught the attention of the media and fans. He’s in the midst of a tough battle for the nickel corner job and Tuesday’s performance potentially could give him a slight edge over his closest competitors, R.J. Stanford, Darius Butler and Brandon Hogan.

But this day will quickly be forgotten if he doesn’t follow it up with a solid showing in actual game action when the Panthers take on the Dolphins on Friday night.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Panthers Leave a comment

Draft Grades: Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers needed to upgrade the talent around Cam Newton, and while they didn’t immediately address their offensive needs, they ended up with a solid group which should help Newton develop in his sophomore season.

The selection of Luke Kuechly came as a surprised, but it was a welcomed one. Kuechly was the best player on the board and will immediately step into a starting role. He is expected to move into the middle linebacker position, with Jon Beason shifting to weak-side linebacker.

I was surprised by the selection of Amini Silatolu, and thought it was a reach, but I do understand their desire to address the interior offensive line. The main issue I have with the selection, however, is the fact that Cordy Glenn was still on the board.

Frank Alexander was a reach in the 4th round. He fits the mold of the type of well-rounded end the Panthers were looking for, but he has an uphill to earn playing time in Carolina. He’ll battle Thomas Keiser and Eric Norwood for playing time.

I love the selection of Joe Adams. At this stage of his career he’s nothing more than a vertical threat, but he’ll have the opportunity to work with Steve Smith in Carolina, one of the game’s elite undersized receivers.

Josh Norman could prove to be a steal in the 5th round, but does come with some character concerns. Having Norman and Brandon Hogan in the same secondary is scary thought. Clearly the Panthers are becoming one of the teams that isn’t concerned with character.

Selecting Brad Nortman in the 6th round was almost as bad as the Jaguars selection of Bryan Anger in the 3rd round. While Anger was a reach, at least he was the elite punter in this year’s class. Nortman was barely on the radar screen. There’s just no reason to waste a pick on a guy like Nortman. A handful of punters of his caliber can be found in the free agency process after each draft.

D.J. Campbell was a solid 7th-round pick. He’s best suited to play free safety, but will enhance his chances of making the final roster if he can demonstrate some versatility in training camp.

Overall, this wasn’t the most exciting draft class, but I like the Panthers approach – especially in the 1st round. Kuechly may not change the direction of this franchise on his own, when rebuilding teams can’t afford to pass up sure things in the draft.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Draft Grades - 2012, Panthers Leave a comment

Josh Norman scouting report

Josh Normal CB Coastal Carolina #24
Ht: 6’0″Wt: 197  
Adequate height and overall size. Great ball skills; can go up and make plays in traffic. A good natural athlete; shows great body control turning to locate the ball and make a play. Looks very good in press coverage; has the strength to physical with receivers at the line of scrimmage and won’t back down from tough assignments. Decent tackling skills for a cornerback.
Relies heavily on his raw athleticism; takes a lot of missteps and doesn’t appear to have great anticipation/recognition skills. Will be picked apart by efficient route runners at the next level. Recovery speed is average at best; may struggle with elite deep threats at the next level. Competition level is a minor concern. Arrested in 2009 for driving with a suspended licence. Reportedly isn’t always interested in listening to coaching and may need to mature before he’ll be capable of realizing his full potential.
Norman has the size and athleticism to develop into a quality starting cornerback, but he’s too raw to warrant a high pick. He should draw interest from teams willing to invest a 3rd/4th round pick and take the time to develop him over the next two to three years. Given his modest speed and his playmaking ability as a ballhawk, some teams may view him as a potential free safety.
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 Leave a comment