If the Panthers had perhaps waited to see if Everette Brown would've slid to them roughly 12 picks later, they'd still have this pick...but no Sherrod Martin or Mike Goodson (so far Goodson has not overly impressed me during a real game).
So here comes the annual dance, but unfortunately we are the fat girl who did not get invited. Just for poops and giggles, (or for the slim chance they trade back into the middle of the first round), let's throw some names out there of some guys who would be available with the 17th pick. These are guys who would either fill a need, be the best player available, or fit the Panther profile....
Mike Iupati, G, Idaho: This guy's stock sky-rocketed at the senior bowl, where he dominated any defensive lineman unlucky enough to lineup across from him. He is a mauling run-blocker with impressive size and off the charts core strength. Imagine this guy right next to Jeff Otah. Talk about opening holes a truck can drive through.
Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan: Another player who's stock rose dramatically after an impressive senior bowl week. Graham is a natural pass rusher. At 6'1" and 265lbs, he is the ideal size for a DE in Ron Meeks' scheme. Graham will likely go to a division foe (Atlanta), unfortunately.
Dan Williams, NT, Tennessee: Williams is a beast. His lower body strength is extremely impressive. He is able to penetrate and make plays in the backfield, or he can gobble up blockers to allow his teammates to run free. Williams will be coveted by all the 3-4 teams, so he may not make it to 17.
Jerry Hughes, DE, TCU: Hughes has been moving up the boards over the past two or three weeks as scouts have actually had to get serious with their selections. With all of the rage on pass rushing, Hughes will be a 1st rounder. His production at TCU was incredible. He is another smallish DE who fits Meeks' scheme well.
Any of these four guys would have made a great addition to the Panthers. With a second rounder, the likelihood of a player being a starter drops a bit, but impact players can still be found in the 40's. Let's just hope we have heard of the player they decide to pick at 48. Outside of Ryan Kalil, the Panthers have not done particularly well with 2nd round picks during the Fox and Hurney era.