Panthers GM Marty Hurney feels Devin Funchess has ‘just scratched the surface’
The Carolina Panthers have made it clear that they will be undergoing a major overhaul at the wide receiver position. As a result, the only wideouts that are seemingly safe from potentially being cut are Devin Funchess, Damiere Byrd and Curtis Samuel.
The name that obviously makes sense to stick around is Funchess after he firmly established his role as the Panthers’ No. 1 option in the 2017 NFL season. According to Matt Henson of the team’s official website, general manager Marty Hurney feels Funchess has plenty of more room to grow:
“The ‘X’ role that he moved over to is the role that really fits his skill set the best. Obviously, he’s got size and he’s got good athletic ability for a guy at that position, and he’s got the desire to be good. He’s still growing. We’ve just scratched the surface with Devin. He is now in the position that really maximizes his skill set, and now we just want to see him continue to grow. It’s very important to him, and you could see that in his approach. I thought you saw the improvement when he went over there full time; I think he progressed extremely well at the end of the year.”
Funchess has long been the complimentary option behind former Panthers’ wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin. However, that all changed once Benjamin was traded to the Buffalo Bills midway through last season. Now it seems his time has finally come to maintain his spot as the team’s No. 1 option.
To no surprise, Funchess enjoyed the best year of his career by far. The former 41st overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft registered a career-high 63 receptions, 840 yards, and eight touchdowns. It’s clear that Funchess was rather comfortable with his new role down the stretch.
The Panthers are well-aware they will need more weapons on the outside to help quarterback Cam Newton. It is safe to assume that at this point in time, young Devin Funchess will be their top wideout moving forward.