The Panthers are looking at receivers, and Ridley is the top talent left on the board.

Giving Cam Newton a versatile receiver would help keep this offense fresh and allow Carolina to draft offensive and defensive line throughout the rest of the draft.

Looking at the Panthers’ roster, it’s clear this team has a lot of talent but also a lot of holes. An infusion of young talent on offense and defense is sorely needed and the new talent needs to be able to contribute early.

Carolina has to use its four picks in the top 100 on players who not only fill a need but also can step onto the field in 2018 and claim a prominent role in the lineup.

(He posted 50-goal seasons at various levels in each of his four seasons before coming to the NHL.) We have already seen this postseason how important Hischier and McAvoy are to their respective teams. Meanwhile, Boeser may already be the next face of the Vancouver Canucks following the retirement of the Sedins.

My answer, however, is Barzal, the unequivocal Calder Trophy front-runner. Russ Farwell, the GM of Barzal’s junior team, the Seattle Thunderbirds, told me in January that, as he watched Barzal thrive with the New York Islanders from afar, the thing that impressed him most was that Barzal hadn’t changed his game at all — despite the significant talent jump from the WHL to NHL. Combine that confidence with pure talent and you have a recipe for a long and illustrious NHL career. Plus, everything you hear about Barzal is that he’s a true student of the game. The 20-year-old is poised for long-term success.

Safety: The Panthers parted ways with Kurt Coleman this offseason to clear cap space and to get younger and faster at the position. They signed former Titans safety Da’Norris Searcy in free agency and Mike Adams is likely to start again at strong safety. But the former should be more of a depth signing, and the latter, at 37, is no spring chicken, so this position needs to be addressed sooner than later.canucks_684

‘Thursday Night Football’ rights in 2016 could be split among as many as 3 TV networks

The NFL is shopping the rights to Thursday Night Football and could split them up between two, or even three, television networks in 2016, according to John Ourand of SportsBusinessDaily.

What is known for sure is that at least eight of the Thursday games have to be televised exclusively on NFL Network. As long as eight regular season games are televised exclusively on NFL Network, it is able to keep its affiliate rate for distributors above $1 and avoid a significant drop-off.

But with the possibility of 17 Thursday Night Football games in 2016, that leaves nine games to be purchased by television networks and a looming bidding war between CBS, NBC and Fox.

According to Ourand, the NFL is considering splitting its remaining nine television broadcasts up into three-game deals each for CBS, NBC and Fox. Ourand said cable networks like ESPN and Turner Sports have bowed out due to the smaller packages and one-year deals that the NFL is pursuing, but according to Ronald Grover of TheStreet, that hasn’t stopped Fox from aggressively pursuing the rights and attempting to outbid CBS for the rights.

When the Panthers beat the Seahawks in the regular season, Stewart rushed for 78 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 20 carries. The team rushed for 135 yards as a whole.

In Carolina’s last game, Mike Tolbert led the way with 59 yards rushing, while Cameron Artis-Payne was the top rusher with 49 yards the week before. Quarterback Cam Newton is second on the team in rushing yardage with 636 yards.

Fozzy Whittaker is dealing with an ankle injury and his status for the game is unclear.

Carolina’s rushing attack has been one of the best in the league, though that does have a lot to do with Newton’s ability to get around the outside and surprise defenses. The Panthers rank second in the league in rushing yards this season, with 142.6 yards per game on the ground.