The Carolina Panthers announced this afternoon that they reached terms with guard Mike Pollak, formerly of Indianapolis while officially announcing the signing of Kenny Onatolu and R.J. Stanford signing his tender.
The headliner here is Pollak, who according to Hurney will get a shot of starting- presumably at the RG spot vacated by Geoff Hangartner who will likely move to LG in 2012. A second round pick in 2008 Pollak has spent all of his time in the NFL at RG, and played well enough his rookie year to be named to the all-rookie team. The organization are talking up Pollak’s ability, but on visiting SB Nation’s Colts blog I’m slightly less excited. This was from their last round of cuts in 2011:
“For some reason I always picture Pollak like a turtle on his back after getting run over by a lineman.”
Honestly, I’m unsure why he fell off the map following his solid rookie season, but if the Panthers’ braintrust believe he has a shot to start, then we’ll see what happens.
I said these signings start to shape the draft board, and while they do to a degree I think it’s far more noticeable the absence the Panthers had from Stanford’s pro-day today. From what I can tell Carolina were one of the few teams who did not send coaches to California to watch the team, instead the majority went east to Raleigh to check out NC State.
It’s hard to imagine the Panthers would really consider either David DeCastro or Jonathan Martin without seeing them at the pro day, but stranger things have happened. Conversely, I think it’s interesting to note that NCSU have two prospects, both of whom are seen as 3rd-4th round outside linebackers in Audie Cole and Terrell Manning respectively. If I’m a betting man I think it’s safe to assume that we now have an idea where the drafting priorities are: At defensive end, defensive tackle and linebacker.
Also noticeable today is that the Panthers didn’t send a large contingent to LSU to see Michael Brockers and Morris Claiborne. One could intuit that Carolina got a good look at Brockers when he visited Charlotte, and Claiborne may be seen as unattainable at #9.