Days leading up to Spring's Thanksgiving (the 2015 NFL Draft), I preened Devin Funchess' potential to thrive in Marc Trestman's offense, fell head-over-dress-shoes for his 6-foot-5 frame, and ... 15 picks after the Baltimore Ravens snagged Breshad Perriman off the draft board, the Carolina Panthers lassoed up the gargantuan tight end out of Michigan.
And I'm glad they did.
Trust - I'm not on bath salts. I expressed my love for Marlon Brown in our podcast, recently recorded with Beatdown's editor Matthew Stevens and writer Kyle Barber. I misspoke and said that Joe Flacco and Brown televised an immeasurable chemistry in the first preseason game against the Carolina Panthers in 2013. (Correction: Brown sat out the Ravens' second preseason game because of his knee, and had the coming out party in the third game, the most important preseason bout. That's when I underwent my "yes sir" moment.)
Back to Funchess. I'll confess. I jumped ship too early. Yes, I was infatuated with Funchess' size. On my swim back to the ship, I realized I rationalized his slothful, 4.6-forty speed for his youth and the memorable #SCTop10 highlight of him hurdling a squatted defender.
As I'm pulling myself back onto the ship's deck I find myself gleefully grateful: Perriman's not in Carolina. Could you imagine BP and Kelvin Benjamin on opposite ends? That's a scary scenario. Think: third-year Marlon Brown, who's on the cusp of enjoying himself to a breakout season, and Perriman, an early nomination on the Offensive Player of the Year ballot.
In Funchess' latest interview with Detroit News, he said that he and Benjamin will 'cause havoc on the field.'
"We're going to be a dynamic duo, two 6-5 guys out there on the outside just making damage and causing havoc on the field. You never see that type of duo in the league, two 6-5 guys on the outside that are athletic and that can run and go up and get the ball. Nobody has that wingspan in the league like us, so it's going to be fun during the season."
False. The only Dynamic Duo I know is the lyrically-talented pair of Korean artists: Choiza (최자) and Gaeko (개코). Secondly, Funchess, you run a 4.70-second 40. Benjamin runs a 40-yard-dash in 4.61 seconds. If you'd said 'sluggish sloths,' I'd second that motion.
The Panthers' reception-leader with 84 catches in 2014 was then-29-year-old tight end Greg Olsen, who could possibly out-sprint the young sloths in a footrace on his best day (Olsen recorded a 4.51-second 40-yard dash). So when the incoming rookie makes statements as bold as 'it's going to be fun during the season,' that's a trope no one sober willfully believes. Especially with Cam Newton's identity doing the whip, or nae-nae, or 'stanky' leg (constantly changing is the point here), Funchess' vocalization is a non-threat at this time.
For the first-ever in his seven-year career, Flacco, under Trestman, could throw for 4,000 yards by the end of December 2015. In his possession are the offensive weapons and the supporting cast to help him achieve the milestone. Flacco could also benefit from his young wideouts in the long run, add a couple more Super Bowl rings on his resume. If my prescience is on target, the symbiotic relationship between Flacco and Perriman will develop into one that is Montana-Rice-esque -- as long as Perriman cures his case of the dropsies by preseason's end, all doubts of the rookie's career being overshadowed by the taller, more durable Funchess, will self-diffuse.
Like Kevin Durant once tweeted, Benjamin is ... a video game. (Perhaps that's why Funchess said it's going to be fun.)
Kelvin Benjamin is a video game— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) October 26, 2014