NFL DRAFT DIAMONDS

Carolina Panthers now have a pressing need at Offensive Tackle, Could they trade up?

Today the Charlotte Observer announced that Carolina Panthers veteran offensive tackle Jordan Gross has decided to retire after 11 seasons, the team confirmed Tuesday.

Gross will address the media Wednesday at a press conference at Bank of America Stadium, but could this decision affect the outcome of the Panthers draft pursuit?

The Panthers, who pick 28th in the May draft, could try to find tackles in free agency or in the draft, which boasts a deep group of tackles. If Taylor Lewan falls in the draft, I would not be surprised to see the Panthers make a move to give Cam Newton some protection.  Panthers right tackle Byron Bell is pretty suspect as well, which could lead to a nightmare season for the Panthers.

The Panthers already had 21 free agents, and now they will have a new hole to fill with LT Jordan Gross gone.

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