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Funchess isn't nuts for thinking about Rookie of Year

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Here are a few unpopular opinions I have about the Carolina Panthers:

1. I think, when it's all said and done, Dave Gettleman will be viewed as one of the 10 best general managers in football.

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2. I think Cam Newton was worth every penny of his $103.8 million extension.

3. I'm on record as saying Shaq Thompson is a good pick and might end up as one of the best in this year's first round.

4. I don't think Devin Funchess is crazy when he brings up the Offensive Rookie of the Year award, as all rookies are likely to do around this time of year.

Funchess, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound second-round pick, said as much last week during his NFL.com rookie confessional: "The goal that I've set for myself is to be Rookie of the Year."

I'm going to go one step further and add a fifth unpopular opinion to this list: Along with the Raiders, Saints and Jets, the Panthers have the best chance of landing a Rookie of the Year candidate on either side of the ball. Both teams had superb first- and second-round picks. Funchess is just a little overlooked.

Early reports out of camp suggest that the Michigan standout has already played at the X, Z and F slots and is learning all three at a brisk pace. He's giving himself more opportunities to stay on the field and make the plays Newton needs him to.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses the Bills' QB situation, the Odell Beckham Jr. drama and unveils the Superstar Club. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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