The Carolina Panthers used the 100th pick in the NFL Draft to take West Virginia University quarterback Will Grier. This is a great pick as insurance to Cam Newton.
The Carolina Panthers quarterback situation is a real question mark right now. If we look at a depth chart, we see Cam Newton there and things seem like they’re alright, but the former first-overall pick might be in a bad way.
Newton is coming off his second shoulder surgery in three offseasons, and there are real concerns on whether he’ll be ready for the start of the season. That means the Panthers at this point were staring at starting the season with Taylor Heinicke under center. That’s not going to put butts in the seats.
Then, the Panthers used their third-round compensatory pick to draft West Virginia University quarterback Will Grier. This is a Charlotte native that’s taking his family home after a tumultuous college career. Grier started a University of Florida, but he was suspended for a PED issue that never was fully explained, and he left to go play for Dana Holgersen and the Mountaineers.
Grier was nothing short of amazing for most of the season. Whether it was the Horns Down game where he scored a two-point conversion to beat the Texas Longhorns, or the time he went head to head against Kyler Murray when Oklahoma came to Morgantown. Murray was the eventual No. 1 overall pick, but Grier looked just as good in that game.
Right now, if Newton is healthy, he’s the obvious choice at quarterback. Grier is great at making throws when he has time and he can make plays happen, but he’s prone to the mistake. He trusts himself a little too much, which will be good in the long run but the Panthers have to make him play a little smarter. However, he’s got the talent to play in this league tomorrow.
Newton’s not only hurt, but he has a contract coming up in two seasons. If the Panthers like what they have in Grier, he’ll be cost controlled for a couple years after that.
Grier seems to be one of the most controversial QBs in the class. People like the analysts at PFF think he could be one of the best in the class, if not top two right now. Others, like ESPN’s Todd McShay, think the Panthers slightly overdrafted him. He had him as a fourth-round grade in his mock drafts.
Grier has a ton of upside, and he’s an older player at 24 years old so he has a little more maturity that other players at his position lack. If he gets with the right coach, he could be a star, and Ron Rivera with his aggressive style and Norv Turner’s offense could be that coaching staff.
Newton is surrounded by question marks, but the answer in the short term and the long term might be Will Grier.