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Coach Ron Rivera received a text from Cam Newton immediately after the Carolina Panthers selected Maryland wide receiver D.J. Moore in the first round of the NFL draft that read: "Thank you!"

 

The Panthers gave Newton more help on offense Thursday night by selecting Moore 24th overall in hopes of upgrading a passing game that finished 28th in the league last season.

Moore was the first wide receiver taken in the draft.

Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said Moore's best quality is his ability to make plays after the catch.

"When he has the ball in his hands he turns into a running back Cheap Customized Indianapolis Colts Jerseys ," Hurney said. "He breaks tackles and makes big plays. And still he has the speed to stretch the defense and go deep. He runs good routes and has a lot of strengths."

Newton apparently took notice.

"Cam stays up on all of this stuff and he came right to us with all of the offensive guys," Rivera said. "He pays attention to it."

Newton isn't the only one high on Moore.

Steve Smith Sr., the Panthers all-time leader in most receiving categories, said he likes the toughness with which Moore approaches the game and thinks he can be a big time player.

"To be truthful, they have never been able to replace me" said Smith, now an analyst for the NFL Network.

Smith thinks Moore might finally be the receiver that can.

"You get that guy and you've got instant grits all day long," Smith said.

"For Steve to say that is high praise," Rivera said. "I'm pretty fired up. I believe D.J. is a guy who can come in and play all three of our wide receiver positions."

Moore is the latest skill position player selected early by the Panthers in the hopes of giving Newton more to work with on offense. Last year Carolina selected running back Christian McCaffrey in the first round and wide receiver Curtis Samuel in the second to take some of the pressure off Newton after he had a down season statistically in 2016.

"It was nice to know that whatever I did in college did not go unnoticed Youth Jalyn Holmes Jersey ," Moore said.

Moore joins what is becoming a crowded wide receivers room in Carolina.

The Panthers traded with the Eagles for Torrey Smith and signed free agent Jarius Wright from the Vikings earlier this offseason. Devin Funchess returns as Carolina's No. 1 receiver after a breakout season in 2017 and Samuel hopes to battle back following an injury-plagued rookie season.

Moore said he had a good idea the Panthers were going to select him.

"It was a sigh of a relief when I saw North Carolina (area code) come up on my phone," Moore said. "I was like, 'OK, this my pick.' They told me when I was on my draft visit they were going to (draft me), so they kept their promise."

Moore was the 2017 Big Ten Receiver of the Year and first-team all-conference selection. He had a school-record 80 receptions for 1,033 yards and eight touchdowns in 12 games last season for the Terrapins. He also led Maryland in receiving as a sophomore with 41 receptions for 637 yards and six touchdowns.

Rivera said Moore could also contribute right away as a returner in addition to playing wide receiver.

The 6-foot, 210-pound Moore said he feels like he can be a week one starter at wide receiver "if I put the work in."

Moore is the first draft pick chosen by Hurney's since 2012. Hurney was fired by the Panthers that year after conducting 11 drafts as GM, but returned to the team on an interim basis last summer and was hired full time in February.

Hurney said he didn't think Moore would drop to No. 24.

He said Moore reminds him a little of Smith.

"He has that play strength and that ability to break tackles and make yards after the catch Authentic Tremaine Edmunds Jersey ," Hurney said. "That is a pretty high bar to set (comparing him to Smith) but there are a lot of things we liked about him.

The Panthers have made the playoffs in four of the past five seasons, but were knocked out in the first round last season by division foe New Orleans. The Saints swept all three games from Carolina, which made finding ways to match up better with them an offseason priority.

Carolina's offense stalled most of the season in 2017 and it was often the defense that had to bail them out.

The move comes on the same day the Panthers gave three-time Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen a two-year contract extension.

The Boston Bruins won, then got the break they needed to remain in contention for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

 

David Pastrnak and Tommy Wingels scored 51 seconds apart in the second period and Boston beat Ottawa 5-2 on Saturday night, a win that preserved Bruins’ chances for the No. 1 seed with an overtime loss by Tampa Bay.

”It’s been a battle all year. It’s been a grind, but we’re in that position,” said Patrice Bergeron, who assisted on Pastrnak’s tying goal 8:08 into the second period.

The Bruins host Florida on Sunday night in a game postponed by a winter storm Jan. 4. Boston is one point behind Tampa Bay Customized Cincinnati Bengals Jerseys , which lost in overtime at Carolina, for the top spot in the East and the Atlantic Division.

Danton Heinen also scored for Boston, which added late goals by Noel Acciari and David Backes in the final two minutes to put away the Senators and complete the season sweep.

Anton Khudobin stopped 26 shots for the Bruins.

”We have a chance to move into first. That’s what we all can ask for – to have a chance,” Boston captain Zdeno Chara said. ”It’s in our hands tomorrow.”

Ryan Dzingel scored both goals for Ottawa and Colin White had two assists. Daniel Taylor made 29 saves for the Senators, who finished 28-43-11 one year after reaching the Eastern Conference finals.

The Senators closed out the season with back-to-back games on the road against two of the top teams in the East. After getting shut out 4-0 at Pittsburgh on Friday night, Ottawa didn’t concede anything against the Bruins.

”We’ve got a lot of young guys and some big names missing. It could have been easy yesterday or today to come up with a poor effort or a lack of commitment,” Ottawa coach Guy Boucher said. ”We were making some mental mistakes and stuff but I think the effort was there from the beginning until the end.”

After falling behind 1-0 on Dzingel’s goal 12:31 into the game, Boston tied it on Pastrnak’s power-play goal 8:08 into the second period. The tie lasted less than a minute before Wingels fired a wrist shot that Taylor got his glove on but couldn’t hold and the puck bounced over the goal line at 8:59 of the second.

Heinen made a steal at the Boston blue line and took it the other way John Kelly Jersey Elite , beating Taylor on a wrist shot with 2:59 left in the second.

Dzingel pulled Ottawa to 3-2 at 7:07 of the third with his second goal of the game, but Acciari added an insurance goal for Boston with 1:51 left and David Backes scored on an empty net with 43 seconds left to play.

”I thought today we got better as the game went on and we really started playing our game, our style, our system and it showed on the scoreboard,” Bergeron said. ”We’re in a position where we can win the conference. It’s a big feat.”

NOTES: Senators D Erik Karlsson missed his third straight game, remaining at home with his wife after the couple’s first son was stillborn last month. … Bruins LW Tim Schaller and RW David Pastrnak are the only Boston players to have played in the first 81 games. … Bruins LW Rick Nash missed his 11th straight game with an upper-body injury. … After entering the season on a six-game winless streak against Ottawa, Boston swept all four games.

UP NEXT

Senators: End of regular season.

Bruins: Wrap up the regular season Sunday night at home against the Panthers.

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Posted in Default Category on August 23 at 05:38 AM

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