Tom Sorensen

Hey Dave Gettleman, here’s who Tom Sorensen would have picked

Welcome to Tom Talks, the sports talk show of the printed page and our website and our phone app and anywhere else you can find it. Let’s go to the phones.

Tom, Nikki from New Bern.If you were the Carolina Panthers, who would you have taken in the first round?

I would have taken Breshad Perriman, the receiver out of Central Florida.

If that’s true, why did you praise the Shaq Thompson pick?

If Thompson, a linebacker and a fine athlete, can cover tight ends and backs, he creates matchup problems. That’s a great option. I love the possibilities that he and Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis offer.

Tom, Walter from Wilson. Why do you think fans of every team but New England and Seattle are critical about their team’s draft?

The wait feels interminable. You find a player you like and by the time your team’s pick is finally announced you feel as if you know him. When your team refuses to take your player, it has let you down. It has failed.

Tom, if you were the Panthers, who would you have taken in the fourth round?

Jeremy Langford, the running back out of Michigan State.

Tom, Bill from Biscoe.

Where’s Biscoe?

Its only in the geographic center of the state in which you’ve lived 34 years. Is there one phrase you hear draft commentators say that makes you want to turn off the TV?

Yes, but it’s also funny. The variations of the phrase are: “All he does is win, all he does is make plays” and “all he does is get in the end zone.” Nobody just wins, just makes plays and just gets in the end zone. They eat breakfast. They hang out. They log on to their computer. They drink water. They drive cars. They read books or playbooks. They talk to their family. They sleep. They lose, they fail to make plays and they fail to get in the end zone.

Tom, Sally from Southport.

I love Southport.

How could you not? If you were the Panthers, who would you have picked in round two?

I would have taken Ameer Abdullah, the running back out of Nebraska.

Tom, Lyle from Liberty, and if you don’t know where Liberty is it’s your fault. What letter grade would you give Carolina’s draft?

I’d give it an incomplete. I don’t get a feel for the rookies until I go to Spartanburg for training camp. I knew in the first week there that defensive tackle Star Lotulelei, the first round pick in 2013, would be good. You could see it. You also could see the defensive coaches smile.

I knew in the first week that Kelvin Benjamin, the first pick in 2014, would be good. Yes, his routes were flawed. Every rookie receiver’s routes were flawed except for those of the New York Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr. Benjamin suffers lapses in concentration. But he gets open and he catches the ball. If you knew Saturday whether the Panthers won or lost the draft, I salute you. If not, come to camp.

Tom, Ava from Angier. You don’t know where Angier is, do you?

Yes, I do.


North Carolina.

Which NBA semifinal series are you most looking forward to?

I like them all. But I find Atlanta-Washington strangely compelling. Washington’s John Wall, who is from Raleigh, was unbelievable in the first round. The fifth-seeded Wizards could beat the top-seeded Hawks.

Tom, Jill from Rock Hill. If you were the Panthers who would you have taken with the 33rd pick in round five?

Cameron Artis-Payne, a running back out of Auburn.

Who would you have taken with the 38th pick in round five?

Cameron Artis-Payne, a running back out of Auburn.

If you were GM, the Panthers would have 10 running backs.

They have 11 wide receivers.