The Carolina Panthers secured a backup quarterback for Cam Newton late on Friday night.
Carolina drafted West Virginia quarterback Will Grier with the 100th overall selection in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Grier is the fifth quarterback taken in the draft and the second taken on Friday after the Denver Broncos picked Missouri signal-caller Drew Lock in the second round.
The divisive QB prospect was thought to be a potential surprise first-round pick, but Grier fell to the back of the third round where Carolina snagged him.
Scouts were torn on Grier out of college. The 24-year-old is seen as a “good thrower” who is “super smart” but needs a “development period,” according to football minds who spoke to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Grier had a high completion rate and a wild TD-to-INT ratio (71:20) at West Virginia, though scouts chalked that up to the simplicity of his offense.
Grier originally played for Florida but transferred out after he was suspended one year for PED use.
Will the QB push Newton for playing time in 2019? Unlikely, though Newton is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. Carolina also employs Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen, who led the Panthers to a Week 17 win in 2018, in that QB room.
That didn’t stop former Panthers defensive end and pick presenter Charles Johnson from throwing down the gauntlet on behalf of the fiery Grier.
Mississippi offensive tackle and first-round draft prospect Greg Little visited and worked out privately for the Texans, according to league sources not authorized to speak publicly.
Little worked out on campus for Texans offensive line coach Mike Devlin in Oxford, Miss.
Little also visited the Buffalo Bills, New York Giants, Tennessee Titans, Minnesota Vikings and Carolina Panthers.
He worked out privately for the Giants at right tackle at his Pro Day as well as the Titans, Vikings and Panthers.
Little has also drawn significant interest from the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots.
Little played high school football in Allen with Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, the Heisman Trophy winner, and Oklahoma left tackle Bobby Evans.
The former prep All-American and All-Southeastern Conference selection and freshman All-American is one of the only pure left tackle prospects in the draft.
He has started 24 games over the past two seasons, never missing a game in three seasons. He was a two-time all-conference selection.
The draft is finally almost here, which means the time for studying prospects and flushing out big boards and reacting to draft rumors is about over, and so is the time to make a guess on what the Lions will do.
I think staying put at No. 8 or trading down are equally plausible at this point, and that’s why my final guess for the Lions’ first-round pick is Florida State edge rusher Brian Burns.
Those who have followed my draft coverage here probably know how high I am on Burns. He is the No. 6 Lions prospect in my final rankings. I think he has the best initial get-off of any pass rusher in this draft as well as the most versatility.
But mock drafts are about what we think the teams will do, not what we would do. After correctly predicting Bob Quinn’s first two first-rounders in Detroit, Taylor Decker in 2016 and Jarrad Davis in 2017, I fell into this trap last year in sending them the pass rusher in Harold Landry, when a center like Frank Ragnow should have been more in the cards with Matt Patricia’s desire to bring toughness and a running game to Detroit.
In a mock draft last week, I gave the Lions T.J. Hockenson as a reaction to that miss. I didn’t feel great about it, partly because it’s so group-think-based, and I reserved the next week to think it over.
After doing so, Burns is the player I think winds up with Detroit by the end of the night.
First of all, Hockenson could go No. 7 to the Jaguars, who just signed Nick Foles, who had such success with Zach Ertz and Trey Burton in his brief time in Philadelphia. He’s more likely than Burns to be gone. He’s also more likely to go to the Packers, Dolphins or a team trading up if the Lions are able to move back, either with a quarterback-needy team like the Bengals or Redskins or with someone in search of Ed Oliver like the Falcons.