NFC South

Temple Ties and Draft Prospects – J. Wash

Matt Rhule. Photo By Bobak Ha'Eri (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Matt Rhule is bringing his own culture and philosophy to the Carolina Panthers.  Surrounding himself with people that are familiar to his system will surely help in the transition to NFL head coach.  With that in mind, it is no surprise Rhule has brought in players and coaches who are familiar with his football vision.  Enter former Jets wideout Robby Anderson, XFL phenom quarterback P.J. Walker, veteran linebacker Tahir Whitehead, and former Saints receiver Keith Kirkwood.  All played college ball under Rhule at Temple and will now join him in Carolina.  The New York native came to Temple in 2006 serving as defensive line coach.  He eventually was hired as the 26th head coach of the Owls and served in that role from 2013-2016.  Safe to say those players certainly know what coach is looking for and speak highly of him.  Rhule did not stop with former players.  He brought several of his former staff from Temple (and Baylor) to Carolina.

Rhule could look for more familiar faces in the upcoming draft.  The Panthers need to sure-up the defense after losing a good bulk of it in the offseason.  There are two Baylor playmakers that could help in that department and will be available in the later rounds.  James Lynch played defensive end for the Bears and is Baylor’s all-time sack leader, which he achieved last season.  Bravvion Roy lined up at nose tackle and is a powerful interior lineman who eats up a lot of space.  Both could be rotational and depth pieces to sure up a line that got abused last year, especially against the run.  Rhule was the head coach at Baylor from 2017-2019 and could advocate for those two.

An offensive lineman that could get a look, though wasn’t coached by Rhule, is Temple’s Matt Hennessy.  Those Temple points will only go so far.  The main reason the Panthers will look at the Owl center is the need for depth at that position.  The play of center Matt Paradis last season was nothing to write home about so Hennessy could push for that starting spot.  His technique and ability to slide over to guard could increase his chances of landing in Charlotte.  It is well known that Carolina has had issues protecting the QB, i.e. Cam Newton, so a versatile Hennessy could be a good get.  He is projected to be taken in the third round.

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