Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory was impressive in a workout for the Carolina Panthers on Wednesday, on the heels of a visit to the club's facility last week. Just how the Panthers could get Gregory back in Carolina after the draft, however, is difficult to imagine.
NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport reported Carolina's impression of Gregory's workout via Twitter. Gregory posted a video of his 40-yard dash and resulting workout numbers on his Facebook page.
As a potential top-five pick, however, Gregory figures to be wearing another club's hat by the time the Panthers make their first-round choice at No. 25. Moving up in the draft high enough to acquire Gregory would require a blockbuster trade, in the order of what the Atlanta Falcons gave up in 2011 to move up 21 spots from No. 27 to No. 6 to draft wide receiver Julio Jones. The Cleveland Browns reaped five draft picks from the trade, including two first-rounders, a second-rounder, and two fourth-rounders over a two-year stretch.
But while Carolina is a long way from Gregory territory in the first round, there is little doubt of the club's need for a pass rusher. NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt sees it as a top draft priority for the Panthers. The club's best pass rusher since 2012, Greg Hardy, has signed with the Dallas Cowboys and left something of a void on the Carolina defensive line.
The club's leader in sacks last year, with Hardy out on suspension, was Charles Johnson, who had 8.5.