NFC South: Best And Worst Draft Picks By Every Team

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Carolina Panthers

Jan 2, 2015; Tempe, AZ, USA; Washington Huskies linebacker Shaq Thompson (7) against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the 2015 Cactus Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium. Oklahoma State defeated Washington 30-22. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Best Pick: WR Devin Funchess, Michigan

Cam Newton needed another target to join Kelvin Benjamin. He’s got one in Devin Funchess out of Michigan. The 6’5 Benjamin caught 73 passes for 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns in his rookie season, and the 6’4 Funchess gives Newton another big-time threat. 

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Funchess completed his three seasons in Michigan with 126 receptions for 1,715 yards and 15 touchdowns. He spent the first two years as a tight end before making the switch to receiver in 2014.

We don’t yet know how the Panthers will utilize him, but they will get the best out of his abilities.

Funchess needs to get safer hands, but he can be lined up all over the place to cause physical mismatches. Defensive backs in the NFC South will have their hands full trying to cover both of these guys.

Worst Pick: LB Shaq Thompson, Washington

Shaq Thompson has the potential to be a really talented player in the NFL, especially in a strong Panthers defense. He’s versatile, which is a plus, but it’s unknown just how he will be used in the NFL.

Maybe he plays safety for them, maybe he plays linebacker. Versatility is a great thing in the NFL. It just seemed too early to take Thompson. Many had him projected to be taken in the second or third round, which is exactly where Lance Zierlein of projected him to fall in his draft profile.

Nevertheless, he’s a talented player who will add quality to the Carolina roster. Maybe it’s a little harsh to label him the ‘worst pick’, and we can’t call someone a reach before they have even played an NFL snap. But for me, the jury is still out on this one.

Next: Atlanta Falcons