Carolina Panthers

Private meetings with 2 Clemson Tigers show Panthers’ interest. Here’s what we know.

Clemson wide receiver Artavis Scott (3) has great football speed and the ability to play in the slot, where the Carolina Panthers have a need.
Clemson wide receiver Artavis Scott (3) has great football speed and the ability to play in the slot, where the Carolina Panthers have a need. AP

Most of the dozens of scouts and coaches that descended on Clemson on Thursday for the Tigers’ pro day were there to see quarterback Deshaun Watson throw and Mike Williams catch.

Not the Panthers.

Carolina sent new receivers coaches Lance Taylor and Jerricho Cotchery and running backs coach Jim Skipper to watch Tigers slot receiver Artavis Scott and running back Wayne Gallman, respectively.

The Panthers’ coaches met privately with Scott and Gallman following the drills and testing at the Tigers’ indoor facility, where four head coaches were in attendance – Mike Tomlin, John Fox, Mike Mularkey and Jim Caldwell.

The Panthers won’t be drafting a quarterback any time soon, although Cam Newton has served as something of a mentor to Watson since the Georgia native played in Newton’s inaugural 7-on-7 all-star tournament.

The 6-4, 220-pound Williams also does not seem to be a fit for the Panthers, who already have two big receivers in Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess.

But here’s a closer look at the two Clemson prospects they talked to Thursday, plus a third Tiger who could draw interest from Carolina during next month’s draft:

WR Artavis Scott

Height/weight: 5-10, 193

Draft projection: Third to fifth round

How he fits the Panthers: Carolina is looking for a slot receiver after letting Philly Brown walk in free agency. They also need a punt returner after Ted Ginn signed with the Saints as a free agent. Scott played several receiver spots at Clemson, but lacks the size and speed to be a wideout and projects as a slot receiver at the next level. He also has return skills, which could be his best shot at making a roster.

What he did at Clemson: Finished as school’s career leader with 245 receptions, which ranks fifth in ACC history. Caught a pass in 42 of his 43 games, including a streak of 38 consecutive games with at least one reception.

What he did during Tigers pro day: Ran under a 60-yard bomb by Deshaun Watson that looked like it was going to be an overthrow.

Quotable: “I’ve never seen anybody catch him. He’s got unbelievable football speed. He came here as just kind of a football player and he’s really developed into a really good receiver. He’s going to be a guy that just makes plays. And one of the hardest guys that we’ve had come through here to tackle.” – Clemson coach Dabo Swinney

RB Wayne Gallman

Height/weight: 6-0, 215

Draft projection: Second to fourth round

How he fits with Panthers: Carolina needs another running back to complement Jonathan Stewart, although there are concerns Gallman lacks the field vision and receiving skills to be an effective play-maker in the NFL.

What he did at Clemson: Broke the school’s single-season rushing record with 1,527 yards in 2015 and became Clemson’s all-time leader in 100-yard rushing games (17) over his three-year career.

What he did during Tigers pro day: Ran the 40 in 4.52 and 4.48 seconds, unofficially.

Quotable: “He was a linebacker in high school. A lot of people offered him as a linebacker. ... But he plays running back like a linebacker. He punishes people. Very seldom do you see him being the hit-ee. He is usually finishing the blow. He’s just a violent runner, a slashing kind of a guy that gets better as the game goes and just keeps bouncing up.” – Swinney

TE Jordan Leggett

Height/weight: 6-5, 258

Draft projection: Third to fourth round

How he fits with Panthers: Several draft analysts lately have projected Alabama TE O.J. Howard to Carolina at No. 8 as a big-play complement to Greg Olsen. But if the Panthers go a different direction in the first round, Leggett could be a second-day target. Leggett has good size and has dependable hands: The former high school wideout had only two drops over his final two college seasons. There are questions about Leggett’s effort and blocking skills, and it might be telling Carolina didn’t send tight ends coach Pete Hoener to Clemson.

What he did at Clemson: Finished as the Tigers’ career leader among tight ends with 112 receptions for 1,598 yards and 18 TDs.

What he did during Tigers pro day: Ran fluid routes and posted respectable 40 times after not running at the combine.

Quotable: “I think I ran good. It’s what I wanted – high-4.6, low-4.7.” – Leggett on his 40 times Thursday.

Joseph Person: 704-358-5123, @josephperson