Tom Sorensen

Drafting players without positions? Panthers’ picks have two each

The quality that Carolina’s first-round pick and second-round pick share is that they are considered players with multiple positions. That’s a nice way of saying they haven’t found a position.

But general manager Dave Gettleman insists that second-round pick Devin Funchess is a wide receiver, not a tight end, and of course that first-round pick Shaq Thompson is a linebacker, and not a safety.

▪  Funchess is 6-4 and 230 pounds. Kelvin Benjamin, the wide receiver who was last season’s top pick, is 6-5, 243. Tight end Greg Olsen is 6-5, 253.

Other than Benjamin and Funchess, the only wide receivers on the Carolina roster are, in order of height: 6-4 Stephen Hill and Marcus Lucas; 6-3 Brenton Bersin; 6-2 Jarrett Boykin; 6-1 Jerricho Cotchery; 5-11 Corey Brown, whom Funchess called "little," and Ted Ginn Jr.; 5-10 Mike Brown and De’Andre Presley.

▪  With Funchess the Panthers now have 11 wide receivers. They might lead the league in wide receivers.

▪  Funchess ran a 4.7 40 at the scouting combine in Indianapolis. He ran a 4.47 at his pro day at Michigan. If Funchess continues to improve at that rate, he’ll run a 4.24 in training camp.

▪  If Funchess emerges as Carolina’s No. 2 receiver, Cam Newton could have difficulty throwing the ball over the heads of the rookie and of Benjamin, and he shouldn’t be allowed to overthrow Ginn, presumably the fastest on the roster.

▪  The Panthers have five more draft picks. Who would you like to see them take, which positions?

If there’s a tackle out there, he’s stealth. There is a running back. They have to take a running back. After that, they’re on their own.

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