Panthers second-round pick Devin Funchess: 'I can play it all'

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Was there a better combination of size, speed and versatility at wide receiver in the NFL draft than Michigan’s Devin Funchess?

Funchess doesn’t think so.

“Nobody," Funchess said Friday night after being selected by the Carolina Panthers in the second round. “I was the only one I guess, because of what I can do. Most of the wideouts just play one position. I can play it all."

Funchess is 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds. His 40-yard dash time at Michigan’s Pro Day was 4.47 seconds. He can play all three receiver spots.

Is he better than Alabama’s Amari Cooper and West Virginia’s Kevin White, who were selected in the first seven picks? No.

But when Carolina looked at the draft board and saw every wide receiver they had ranked ahead of Funchess was gone, it was an easy decision to trade their second, third and sixth round picks to St. Louis to move up 16 spots to No. 41.

They created a twin-tower scenario with Funchess and 2014 draft pick Kelvin Benjamin, who is 6-5 and 240 pounds.

“Yes, just being that tall, and that physical ... that will be a big mismatch up in the NFL," Funchess said.

Funchess sounded as excited by the prospect of catching passes from Cam Newton as Benjamin did a year ago.

“That’s an explosive guy, he is athletic, very talented and gifted from the man upstairs," he said. “I’ve been watching him since he was down at Auburn, or Florida before that. I watched at Auburn and I loved what he did at Auburn. Then he comes into the league and makes his own mark. So I just love him as an individual and a football player."

So what do we know about Funchess beyond his size?

  • He has North Carolina ties. His mother is from Mebane and many of her family still live there.

  • The toe injury that hindered him much of last season is “healthy and ready to roll."

  • He hasn’t gotten tired of people questioning is speed since he ran a 4.75 40 at the combine. “No. I just told myself in those situations, like running at the combine, I let my actions speak louder than my words. That’s what I did on my Pro Day."