First Round: Kelvin Benjamin, WR
Stats against Bengals: 7 receptions, 8 targets, 49 yards, 1 touchdown
Season Totals: 31 receptions, 55 targets, 416 yards, 4 touchdowns
Analysis: After a quiet game against the Bears, Benjamin had a bounce back game against the Bengals. It was not an easy game as Benjamin took some huge hits from Bengals defenders. However, he was able to absorb those hits and still hold onto the ball. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come and Benjamin continues to develop into a number one wide receiver for Cam Newton.
Second Round: Kony Ealy, DE
Stats against Bengals: 2 total tackles
Season Totals: 4 tackles
Analysis: The Panthers and their fans are still waiting for Kony Ealy’s breakout game. The rookie had two tackles against the Bengals but has yet to register his first sack. He did closer than he has been in previous weeks with one QB hurry against the Bengals, according to Pro Football Focus. A consistent pass rush by Ealy would have a major impact on this defense.
Third Round: Trai Turner, OG
Stats against Bengals: Start at right guard, played every snap
Season Totals: Second consecutive start, has played every snap the past two games
Analysis: The rookie has claimed the right guard starting job and it doesn’t look like he is going to give it up anytime soon. Before the Chicago game, he was splitting time with Fernando Velasco but has gotten the start the last two weeks and played every snap. The offensive line as a whole has looked better the past two weeks and Turner should continue to develop as the season progresses.
Fourth Round: Tre Boston, S
Stats against Bengals: Active for the first time this year, 8 snaps on special teams
Season Totals: None
Analysis: For the first time in Tre Boston’s NFL career he was active and saw his first action in an NFL game. He only played special teams, out there for eight plays, but it was good to see the rookie out on the field. He has battled injuries to this point but finally looks to be healthy and ready to show what he can do.
Fifth Round: Bene Benwikere, CB
Stats against Bengals: Out with Ankle Injury
Season Totals: 8 tackles, 2 passes defended, 1 fumble recovery
Analysis: The Panthers really missed the fifth round rookie in their secondary against the Bengals. Bene Benwikere has been very solid as the team’s nickel back but with him out they had to turn to Charles Godfrey. It doesn’t look good for Benwikere either this week against as Ron Rivera said he would probably be doubtful with the ankle injury, according to this tweet by Joe Person of The Charlotte Observer.
Undrafted: Darrin Reaves, RB
Stats against Bengals: 8 rushing attempts, 15 yards, 1 reception, 4 yards
Season Totals: 31 rushing attempts, 76 yards, 5 receptions, 31 yards
Analysis: The rookie running back is now tied for the team lead in rushing attempts with Cam Newton but is fourth on the team in rushing yards. The 2.5 yards per carry average is second to last on the team, ahead of only Mike Tolbert. I don’t believe Jonathan Stewart or DeAngelo Williams have anything to worry about losing their starting job.