Three guards among seven undrafted additions to Panthers

The Panthers didn’t draft any offensive linemen this year, which helps explain why their group of undrafted free agent signings includes three guards.

Taylor Hearn of Clemson, Brendan Mahon of Penn State and Kyle Bosch of West Virginia will all join Carolina at next week’s rookie minicamp in what they hope is the first step toward making the 53-man roster later this year. All three were starters for multiple seasons in college and will compete for roles on an unsettled interior offensive line.

Brian Allen is a short, stout center with three years of starting experience for the Spartans. He has adequate quickness and can out-leverage his defenders. Top defensive tackles will put Allen between two slices of bread and munch on him if he tries to block them one-on-one. Positioning-and-technique centers like Allen often stick in the NFL for years because coaches trust them as spot starters, but Allen has limited upside. The Rams are adding depth along an aging offensive line, which is fine. Nothing will matter if the Suicide Squad they assembled on defense makes the team erupt in a giant Michael Bay-movie mushroom cloud.

Meanwhile, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett is working to persuade Witten to stay with the Cowboys. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones also indicated that he’d like to keep Witten around. It’s possible that Jones could offer to boost Witten’s salary to compete with his television offers.

Witten, who will turn 36 next week, started all 16 games last year but saw his production decline: His 63 catches, 560 yards and 8.9 yards per catch average were all his lowest since becoming the Cowboys’ starting tight end in 2004. But despite that decline in production, the Cowboys are hoping to get Witten back.

It is really important. We’ve got to eliminate any sense of unconscious bias in our decision-making. England all-rounder Moeen Ali, who has won 145 caps across all formats, said there are still barriers. Growing up in inner-city Birmingham, I fully understand some of the challenges and barriers for young south Asian cricketers, he said. I see many of those challenges now when I help my dad coach at his cricket academy. Lord Patel of Bradford, an independent ECB director, said he grew up playing cricket in Bradford in the 1960s and had first-hand experience of the benefits of the sport. The passion south Asian communities in the UK have for cricket remains high — but over 50 years later, there is still so much untapped potential, he said.

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