A season ago, rookie running back Christian McCaffrey led the Panthers in receptions with 80, though he averaged just 8.1 yards per reception. Wideout Devin Funchess, a possession receiver, was next with 63. He was followed by two players no longer with the team, Kelvin Benjamin (32 catches) and Ed Dickson (30), and Greg Olson, the big-play tight end who suffered a broken ankle and managed just 17 catches in seven games.

It should come as no surprise that the Panthers' offseason plan included giving quarterback Cam Newton a legit downfield threat. And with the 24th pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Carolina did just that, selecting Maryland wide receiver D.J. Moore.

Retired Panthers legend Steve Smith loved the move going so far as to say, "They have never been able to replace me ... until today."

CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco was impressed too, giving Carolina an A on draft night.

So what sold the Panthers on Moore's talents?

In a word, this:

That was the play -- 12 seconds from snap to score -- that caught the attention of Carolina wide receivers coach Lance Taylor.

"Amazing," is how Taylor described to ESPN.com's David Newton Moore's zig-zagging 92-yard touchdown against Nebraska in 2016. "That play was unbelievable. He should have been tackled at least 15 times and there's only 11 defensive players. There were a couple of guys that had multiple misses on the same play. For him to score on that play was one of those 'wow' moments."

After the Panthers' 2017 season concluded, Taylor began scouting college wide receivers and nothing Moore had done in the year since that touchdown against the Cornhuskers had changed his opinion.

"From the time I started watching his film right after our season was over, he checked all the boxes," Taylor continued. "It worked out perfectly for us to get the guy we liked for a long time. He fits what we do and want to do. He's a great complement and asset and weapon to the other weapons we have."

And Moore could quickly emerge as Newton's primary weapon. After all, Steve Smith doesn't call everyone his spirit animal capable of "instant grits all day long."