Murphy to Panthers could be huge…but maybe not.

Posted: July 25, 2012 in NFL, Sports
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Louis Murphy is headed back East. The former Florida Gator was recently traded to the Carolina Panthers from the Oakland Raiders for a 7th round pick. Murphy was going to be buried on Oakland’s depth chart behind last years standouts (Denarious Moore, Jacoby Ford, and Darrius Heyward-Bey), so it looks like a win-win, I just happen to think the Panthers won a little more. In Murphy Carolina gets a guy who should step right in as the #3 WR and maybe even push Brandon LaFell for the starting spot opposite Steve Smith. Murphy is your prototypical Al Davis draft pick in that he possess ideal size and speed, but sometimes comes down with the case of the dropsies, and has had trouble shaking the injury bug. But, Murphy has been effective, particularly as a deep threat, averaging around 16 yds/catch in his three year career.

Now, Murphy may not be a super star, but I’m adding him to my potential “break-out” list for this year. I’ll admit, I know nothing about Brandon LaFell and even less about David Gettis, but what I do know is Cam Newton can sling a football, and when the safeties roll over towards Steve Smith or bite on a hard play-action (yes, I think the Panthers will actually run the ball enough this year for a defense to bite on play-action) that’s when you will see Murphy do his damage.

I’ll be honest, the Panthers were making me nervous, it looked like nothing was changing offensively and Cam would be doomed to a sophomore slump when he had nothing new to throw at defenses, but now I’m starting to see it. A beefed up defense means they may actually be able to hold a lead, which takes us back to that whole, more running bit I mentioned earlier. (Seriously you can’t have a tandem like Williams/Stewart and not use it) Greg Olsen no longer has Jeremy Shockey taking away targets, and he could do some damage over the middle. Now you add Murphy who could be a burner on the outside (or inside, give him a few quick cuts and dare the nickel guy to catch him) This is shaping up to be a very promising year for the Panthers.

I may be getting a bit over excited though. The Panthers will actually have to play better defense and Murphy will have to show that he is the player from two and three years ago, and not the guy who only caught 17 passes last year (hard to catch when you’re not on the field.) And to do that he needs to stay healthy. The drops, I’m less worried about, he’s young and with some good coaching, and getting to watch the best in the game up close Murph should at the very least play well enough to prove he was worth that 7th round pick…which really shouldn’t be that hard since just making the final roster should put him ahead of the curve.

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