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Panthers' X-Factor

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham
The Truth Network Radio
August 25, 2020 5:57 pm

Panthers' X-Factor

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham

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August 25, 2020 5:57 pm

On this edition of The Drive Josh discusses the potential impact of Panthers rookie Jeremy Chinn, Chris Spatola joins to talk Hornets draft, and NFL Trading Card War.


Welcome into a jam-packed Tuesday Drive. Wake Forest basketball coach Steve Ford's will be here later in the hour and I've finally made up my mind Robert on the three players I'd like to see the Charlotte Hornets take at number three. We'll get to that in a few minutes but I want to start with the Carolina Panthers and the player who's quickly becoming the x-factor of Phil Snow's defense and potentially one of the best training camp stories not just on the team but I'd argue across the National Football League. I'm talking about Jeremy Chen who is easily the rookie the Panthers are most excited about.

That is it to say he's the most talented. Derek Brown there's a lot of expectations being put on the rookie out of Auburn's shoulders having to start immediately right next to KK Short. A lot of that pick was made to fill a massive need there. The second pick was Yatour Gross-Matos who apparently has shown great upside.

Matt Rule feels like that by the end of the season that's a guy who could be starting for this team. Then you got a player the Panthers traded into the second round to take. Chen out of southern Illinois and on draft night or I should say Friday night of draft week after they drafted Chen, Marty Hurney this was the player he was most excited about.

This was the one he was grinning ear-to-ear just lighting up to talk about and they feel like they have a steal here. They feel like they got a first round talent late in the second round with their third pick and he's impressed vets. So it's not just you see potential and you hope it pays off years from now they're already seeing immediate return on investment at camp and remember Carolina no OTAs.

Haven't had a chance to see these guys in preseason. Jeremy Chen's already impressed some of the Panthers vets. This is Trey Boston last week when he was asked about Jeremy Chen. You know he has a possibility to be a real deal and I say that because I've seen guys coming here you know he reminds me a little bit of Shaq when Shaq first came in here. Shaq was the first you know rookie I had seen that I was just like whoa yeah that guy's a pro you know that's like that kid's gonna be special. And you could argue after KK Short Shaq Thompson's the best player on this defense.

Shaq was a first-round pick out of Washington. He's also playing a position that I think Chen is competing at. Playing it outside linebacker.

Trying to get in there. Maybe a big nickel is what Matt Rule's calling it. But when I looked at draft mocks going into April with Carolina being a bad team last place in their division you tend to be an expert on the draft. Chen was a player that was compared to Isaiah Simmons out of Clemson. Wasn't that the guy Robert we were most excited for Carolina at seven? Like when we talked about mock drafts what we would ideally want to see. Simmons was the guy that we wanted the most wouldn't you say? Yeah for sure. So I don't think Carolina would ever say truthfully what their thinking was going into the draft but maybe with Simmons available on the board and them deciding to go with Derek Brown instead maybe some of the thinking was they can get a guy they don't feel is a massive drop off from Simmons in the second round with Chen and still get their guy with Derek Brown.

Potentially. They are gonna play a similar position. I haven't had as much time to watch Chen at Southern Illinois as I did Isaiah Simmons at Clemson but if they get somebody who could step in and play that role that is a big deal. Carolina they did something similar with Thomas Davis. They got him in the middle of the first round out of Georgia. They brought him in to be a DB and it became clear pretty quickly he was a linebacker.

A tremendous outside backer and a 4-3 defense. That's what Phil Snow wants to run. That's where Jeremy Chen's competing. Now you might be thinking Josh why are you leading your show with Jeremy Chen just to tell us that this guy might be competing for a job. Might be competing for some playing time. He could be a contributor. I'm leading the show with this because Matt Ruhle said earlier today when I asked him about Chen he would be starting if the season opener was today.

Here's how that sounded. Chen's gonna play a lot for us whether it's safety or the big nickel. He plays really hard. He's talented. He plays really hard and he plays really physical. He's extremely coachable and you know as a young guy he's a blank slate so you know that there's gonna be some you know there's gonna be some you know bumps and boozes along the way as a young player but he listens.

He plays hard so he's a guy right now that if we went out there and played today would probably be starting for us and can do a lot of different things and be really versatile. Oh shoot I asked him a follow-up didn't I? Can I hear the rest of that Robert?

I got a little bit too excited I'm sorry. Do you remember something that stood out on tape that you watched about him coming out of FCS that really got you excited to coach him? I went back and watched the went back and watched the one-on-ones from the Senior Bowl because obviously all that stuff is filmed and you know you saw him playing press man versus draftable wide outs you know at 220 pounds and that to me verified like hey this guy's really a special talent if we have a chance you know he'd be someone that really fits us.

That's the rest of that there but him saying the reason why I interjected there and broke radio rules and ticked off Robert where he's staring a hole right through my forehead is because think about how great of a story this already is. If he starts game one at outside linebacker or big nickel and for those who don't know you play nickel if there's more wide receivers out on the field you're seeing this a lot more with past heavy offenses and college football influences on the NFL. Carolina's in a division with Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, Drew Brees they put a lot of wide receivers out on the field so you might want to go with smaller guys or versatile guys who could play outside backer and DB if you're in certain packages that have to match up with those wide receivers.

They like Jen and as you heard rules say there he would start and he liked the fact at his weight he could hang with wide receivers who are draftable receivers and remember this is seen to be one of the better wide receiver classes we've ever seen. That means a lot. Think about the story. I get into sports broadcasting ultimately because I love storytelling.

I got into it. I love storytelling. I love things like Jeremy Chin. The idea the last time this guy played a competitive snap of football was at the FCS level for southern Illinois and the next snap he takes considering there's no preseason against an opponent might be the Las Vegas Raiders of the National Football League having not been a first-round draft pick not even been the Panthers top two picks.

That is an amazing story. Jeremy Chin is the type of story I get into this business wanting to tell wanting to follow he's an easy guy to root for and if he's starting day one and he could contribute that is a big deal for Marty Hurney and a huge win for the Panthers evaluation staff the Panthers scouting department. I want to shift things to the Charlotte Hornets. I've made up my mind we are less than a week after the Hornets got the number three pick in the draft lottery so I started thinking about three guys I would like the Hornets to take ideally. It's a lot of fun when you're picking in the top three because you don't really have to consider many names that you like but here are the three guys in order Robert that I would like to see Charlotte take with the third pick. Anthony Edwards out of Georgia, LaMelo Ball Australia and Lithuania and Denis Avdia the Israeli 19 year old 6 foot 9 can handle the basketball can shoot a lot of people are comparing him to Luka Doncic.

I want Edwards, LaMelo and Denis Avdia in that order. I don't think Anthony Edwards is gonna fall he's my favorite prospect in this draft he's so strong he's young he's versatile he's exactly who the Charlotte Hornets have never had. They have not had this guy since returning to Charlotte in 2004 with the Bobcats they have not had that guy. Also smaller markets need to take bigger swings I've often said this you can't try to think like the big dogs you can't try to think like the Lakers you can't try to think like the New York Yankees if you're in baseball if you're a smaller market radio show you can't do a national radio show and expect to be successful.

Do take big swings take chances try to stand out. Charlotte they need to take a big swing you can't go safe just taking a college basketball player who doesn't feel special at all to fill a need that's what it feels like you're doing with the Kongwoo or Obie Toppin who's 22 years old or even Devin Vissel out of Florida State and there are a couple more I can name. Okoro you you take your pick I'm not a big wise man fan I've made that clear smaller market teams need to take bigger swings. Luca he was a big swing at number three in 2018 a lot of people liked him but it was still a swing oh he's soft I don't know quite what he's going to be is this gonna work not anymore we're seeing Luca how great he is I don't want to see Charlotte taking somebody who can't shoot the basketball at the NBA level I don't want to see it you might cite Lamello's release the way it looks somewhere compared it to Michael King Gilchrist release get out of here with that it's not that bad it needs a little bit of work but he already has the vision down he has I think the decision-making down and it's already understood that he is better than Lonzo Ball when he came out and Lonzo was for sure the number two pick for the Lakers so Lamello I would like him secondly I don't know if he's gonna fall to Charlotte Avdia he's the biggest swing there but I think there's a massive amount of upside to taking who I'm already gonna call here Israeli Luca in a little over 15 minutes Wake Forest head basketball coach Steve Forbes is gonna join us coming up next though why this week in Tar Heel football had me thinking about Larry fedora and dick crumb keep it here on the drive I've been giddy today I don't usually drink coffee that might be why got some coffee local here in Kernersville but I got so excited about the NFL trading card war I accidentally opened my pack a little bit early but I like the pack that I have here for those who don't know the NFL trading card war me and Robert we open up pack cards there's 12 packs or 12 cards in each pack and we don't know what's in it and we try to figure out where to place players in given categories there are five of them I used to love looking at senior senior yearbook superlatives there's some of that in play a lot of this is typecasting as well but doing so with random players in the NFL we get nostalgic about trading cards and senior yearbooks and things like that so it's it's a really fun segment we like to play here B dot gets jealous that he doesn't get to play it because he comes in on Wednesdays so let's dive right in for our NFL trade trading card war this means war this means war what does it have to get it mean something else okay you dirtbags this means war as I said my pack of cards already open but I'll hold the piece of paper the to the microphone and take it sound like I didn't theater of the mind here all right as we start looking at our entire pack or you start looking at your pack Robert here are the five categories we have the place players into most likely to rock a banana hammock otherwise known as the Borat the guy you don't want to spend Thanksgiving with most likely to spin their game check their entire game check at a casino most likely to have the cleanest locker and most likely to date the coach's daughter really strong categories this week how you feeling about your pack of cards strangely I feel very good this is a stacked deck of cards not a lot of non named guys a lot of guys who are very well known so this should be good I usually judge that by the number of quarterbacks you have in your pack how many do you have oddly enough only one quarterback I think is gonna be in play for me yeah I have three quarterbacks that I think I'm gonna play all right let's start here most likely to rock a banana hammock I'm gonna go with the name also the guy I think would look best in it that I have Nick Chubb Nick Chubb also a really good name just for wearing one of those that's right Nick Chubb I got the name the guy he has he's really strong sturdy I think it would look good in a banana hammock I think he would wear a banana hammock those Cleveland Browns they like to have a lot of fun over there yeah part of picking whoever this is isn't necessarily about who would look the best in it but who would not feel shame and putting one on and that's how I got DK Metcalf the dude pulled his shirt off when he first met the Seahawks front office I think he would look great he could probably rip it off I think he would look great wearing nothing so a banana hammock would would support a lot of his strong features and only thing he's got to worry about just like in a football game is his fumbling issue Wow can't fumble not a lot of jumping up and down going on I think just the Chubb portion of this makes that joke fit I got a one nothing lead here but DK oh my goodness him without a shirt got to be careful around that photo number two guy you don't want to have around for Thanksgiving who are you going with I have Derek Henry not only is this dude probably gonna go up for seconds thirds fourths fifths he's also gonna push down everybody in front of him in line just like he did to the Ravens just like he did to Earl Thomas who might show up a little bit later on this list I've got the perfect player and just the perfect player for this one a guy that is actually the perfect one to have that you don't want to have at your Thanksgiving meal Aaron Rodgers because I don't know if Aaron Rodgers does spend Thanksgiving I don't know if he celebrates Thanksgiving Aaron Rodgers we know he has his family issues we know he's just a curmudgeon and an unpleasant person to be around he's ornery Derek Henry you're right he eats a lot he does but two people dislike Derek Henry like would you like not want to have a conversation with Derek Henry I don't think Aaron is that ornery like where are you getting this from that he is like a lot of his former teammates and coaches like Greg Jennings out here criticizing him there's a former tight end I forget who it was it wasn't Bubba Franks but a former Packer tight end was criticizing him there was a coach that said he was an issue as well and he ended up getting fired the next day when he was quoted in a story and there's also the stuff that Jordan Rodgers has said about Aaron too so there is a pretty big rap sheet on Aaron which isn't great you don't see a lot for quarterbacks it's kind of like when people say that Cam Newton is a problem in locker room I never really understood it when you don't really hear the same things people are saying about Pam or about Aaron Rodgers with Cam Newton so Aaron Rodgers that would be my pick since I gave myself the benefit of the doubt in the first one Robert I'm gonna let you decide Aaron or Derek Henry you can have it that's cool but we got somebody on the line who has it something Kevin and Burlington who would you not want to spend Thanksgiving with in the NFL David Carter does that ring a bell now who's that 300 pounds vegan football in 2014 you do not want him there you will not have no David Carter that's right I got him here six six five three hundred pounds yeah played for the Cowboys that's a good one there I probably could box you out with refrigerator Perry if we're gonna go former guys but Robert this is important for you it's the third card here most likely to spend a game check at a casino I do not like what I have I got Jalen hurts and here's what I'm thinking he's young he's polite he's a sucker like he doesn't play cards at all or anything of that sort but just because you're polite doesn't mean you're not competitive all these guys you get to this level are competitive so he strikes me as somebody who's gonna get suckered and just compete a ton and have all his money taken away and not realize it until after the fact you know when I came up with this question I was hoping and praying that I got a Raider on my team and I did just that I'm gonna raise Josh Jacobs it's the second year in the league they're in Las Vegas he's gonna have a lot of time in casinos he's gonna be very popular with the ladies yeah I think you can blow a whole check you got me on this one I didn't even think about the Las Vegas Raiders I do have a Raider in my back as well that I might be saving for this very next card cleanest locker hunter rimfro what I went with Earl Thomas he has the cleanest locker because he cleaned out his locker no longer on a team I've been do I felt so good about the rim throw card I probably could have won it with the casino if I had rim fro against Jacobs but I saved it for cleanest locker because type casting the Earl Thomas joke and truth of it that's just too good and the timeliness of it so you've tied this thing up rather quickly you have to I have to it comes down to the final one here Robert most likely to date the coach's daughter let's just think real quick when you're talking about characteristic dating the coach's daughter what are you thinking about well I'm not gonna give you a bunch of pointers on how to frame your card alright who do you got I've got Austin Eckler he's a alright since you're not gonna tell me your points how about you go first and tell me your points I've got Austin Eckler he's a real coaches coach our coaches player spends a lot of time in the field he looks good he's attractive he probably spends a lot of time at the coach's house maybe the coach invites him over for dinner his daughter's there she's smitten by him she comes to a game he scores two touchdowns Oh Daddy I really like him and the coach is like yeah I really like him too he's a great player and that's how Austin Eckler ends up dating your coach's daughter you made the mistake I got Jared Goff Jared Goff he's the quarterback so yeah he does spend a lot of time with the coach but also I'm thinking douchey guy douchey guy is the one that dates the coach's daughter like when you look at the history of athletes who have pulled off this feat the quarterback is always the most appealing and Jared Goff is dressing up like the guy in Malibu's most wanted for Halloween he's going on barstool sports for interviews Jared Goff just your guys guys guy and he looks like a douche he plays for the LA Rams he also went to Cal Berkeley Jared Goff is the choice it is the choice I feel like if you're dating the coach's daughter the coach has to approve of it and if he knows of your antics and he knows you're not a good guy he knows you're a douche he's not gonna let you date his daughter Eckler is a lot more expendable than Jared Goff so if you need if Jared Goff highest-paid player on the Rams you higher than Donald that's a good question actually who is the highest-paid player on the Rams I didn't think about Aaron Donald and figure that one out real quick get IT on this highest-paid player in the Rams is Jared Goff so you go you're not gonna take that dead cat pip even if it's for your daughter I didn't say you have to cut them you just don't have to let him date your daughter it's not that hard you just be like yeah don't don't date that guy he's getting cut into you're not assuming she's a teenager she's gonna make her own decisions here I'm not gonna leave it up to you it doesn't matter to me you don't win a lot just take it rather than giving me any credit yeah that's how the NFL trading card war ends Jared Goff versus Austin Eckler who's most likely to date the coach's daughter that's why this game is so great I didn't know we'd end up in that conversation today coming up the x-factor for the Carolina Panthers defense who's quietly becoming the best story in the NFL and trading camp this is the sports up you're on the drive a lot to get to with our next guest ESPN college basketball analyst Chris Patola I do want to talk about something that Steve Forbes told us earlier in the show today Wake Forest head basketball coach but let's start with the excitement surrounding the Charlotte Hornets as they get the number three pick and the draft last week improving their odds based on when they were originally slotted in the draft lottery as somebody who covers college basketball so closely and keeps an eye on these prospects as they transition to professional ball who among the options available to Charlotte excites you the most that's a good question well look I think there's a lot unknown about Lamela ball and James Wiseman I am of the opinion that both of those guys have the highest ceiling in this particular draft now I think one thing Josh about this draft is especially the guys in the top three they're probably starting from a lower floor than we're used to seeing of top three picks you know like you know for example Zion Williamson or John Moran therefore was a lot higher than what I see James Wiseman in Lamela balls in particular but I think overall in terms of a projection Josh I think both those guys have unique skill sets that that would set them perhaps in terms of ceiling higher than some of the rest the guy that I like the most but I don't know it's not necessarily a guy you would take if you're trying to find your neck the next cornerstone of your franchise or the next you know second third option of your franchise but a guy who would fit well with the Golden State who's obviously welcoming back to Hall of Famers and in Stephen clay I love Anika Akongu from USC he reminds me a lot of he's actually I think gonna be a better Clint Capella so that's a guy I love Isaac Okoro in what he brings he's just offensively a little he's got a long way to go there but but those you know those two guys Wiseman and ball I think probably they don't excite me like some of the drafts in the past but I think in terms of ceiling those guys probably have the greatest potential before we know it we're going to be talking about college basketball starting or maybe college basketball starting in November I asked Steve Forbes about this earlier today and he brought up some of the options that are being considered by ACC coaches on these weekly calls between all the head guys and here's how that sounded I think there's about four scenarios are looking at right now possibly I think starting on time is one I think starting you know maybe a week after that or then maybe Thanksgiving or the first December I don't know we're considering right now starting in January I think that probably worst-case scenario but I do think we'll play basketball I just don't know exactly you know what day that's gonna be is like when it's gonna start but even when as far to say that Thanksgiving made the most sense with him which falls in line with what John Calipari said hey if the students are off campus we can have a firmer bubble assuming there are students on most of these campuses around Thanksgiving when you're based on what you're hearing conversations you're having inside college basketball what do you think the most realistic option is for a start time in terms of college hoops yeah I think the consensus is that they have to take advantage of time when the students aren't there now I've pushed back on some of these guys and that you know basically asked why we're essentially going to a bubble in all intents and purposes and a lot of these places and some of the coaches I've talked to they've got their you know athletes already quarantined you know basically removed from the rest of the population whether they're in a hotel or they're in a you know a specific wing of the of the residence hall or it's a program that has its own athletic dorm so you know to me Josh obviously the start date and this is one of the advantages of the NCAA being in charge of college basketball the oversight committee being in charge of college basketball and the NCAA being in charge of the postseason tournament is that you can from a competitive balance standpoint you can manufacture the start date so I think one of the complications and it's why Steve brings up the four options there that they're trying to nail down is what what these schools and assuming that some of them are still going to have students on campus what the timelines are in terms of students going home so that you can now enter into the equation some of these exempt tournaments that will exist still exist but exist in a different form over that Thanksgiving break so how can we figure out the timing of that how can we figure out the timing of playing a you know because the idea would be to play some of these tournaments in a bubble around that Thanksgiving break and then begin conference play in earnest to be it in a bubble in a specific location or to do it within you know however conferences set up the parameters of it to do it where there is limited travel but to get as many games as you can in from that Thanksgiving break to the you know theoretical beginning of the next semester and then beyond that figuring out how you finish up conference play and then ultimately have an NCAA tournament but I think right now Josh it's about getting schedules on par where you could have an actual uniform start date across all of these conferences because I think what people need to understand the big difference between college football and college basketball there is a clear demarcation between the power five and its dominance in college football versus FCS and group of five whereas in college basketball there are a lot of non power five conference school programs that masquerade as essentially power five in college basketball so that's the other thing I've heard from these coaches is how do we get the Gonzaga's the Wichita State some of these programs that are in non power five or power six conferences how do we get them to be able to match the same schedule that the rest of college basketball would be on and I don't think anybody if things were pushed to January and you had a January through May hypothetical college basketball season nobody's going to be crying medical concerns for the actual athletes themselves the way you would for football if you were try try to play in the spring and then quickly turn it around on a regular schedule in 2021 Chris Patola with us here shoot him a follow on Twitter ESPN college basketball analyst at Chris underscore spatola let's talk a little ACC basketball because this headline to me I thought was a pretty big deal last week Matthew hurt apparently has picked up 21 pounds in weight from 214 to 235 he had some big rebounds last year the Florida State game he had a really big offensive board hit some free throws to close that game out in Cameron but we all felt like yeah he has another level to get to and it starts with him picking up some pounds it seems like to me Duke is in that top tier Virginia they're finally benefiting from the national title win and recruiting and bring back a lot would you limit the top tier of the ACC to those two or would North Carolina and Florida State play a part in that as well yeah I mean I think certainly those two teams would play a part in it you know it's I think the top of the ACC is gonna be very interesting and I think you're gonna see the resurgence of a Georgia Tech I think they're gonna they're certainly gonna have an opportunity to make the tournament but I think you know you start with the guys who came back and your example of hurt is is a good one you know the way it's great I always like to see him because look everybody puts weight on over the summer the question is can you move that weight during the actual basketball season the one thing I do believe about hurt is you know he's going to be I I would think one of those shining examples of a guy who made the right decision to come back and takes his game now to and you know to that next action astronomical jump I think he's gonna have a good year I think coming back was absolutely the right decision and from what I've heard he has become significantly better outside of the poundage that he's put on but yeah it's I think the league's gonna be much much better Josh and I think some of it is you know look one of the reasons the league was a little bit down last year's because they dominated the first round of the draft the year prior but I think some of the guys who have come back I think some of these middle tier programs you know for again like a Georgia Tech I think have will have the ability to make a resurgence into a you know a higher tier a top level so I think it's going to be more competitive I do and I think that top will be will be interesting particularly given the circumstances we're all dealing with I mean what these off seasons were like what these preseason have been like what practice schedules get disrupted because there are clusters that develop I mean there's there's going it's going to be a chaotic start to the year and I think how coaches and programs manage that will be interesting. Chris it's good to hear from you man it's just good to talk some college basketball again shoot him a follow at Chris underscore Spatola follow his stuff there I hope to be seeing you sometime soon and I hope we're gonna be talking about basketball sooner rather than later thanks for doing this. No doubt Josh my pleasure.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-17 01:35:40 / 2023-05-17 01:47:53 / 12

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