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Expectations for Day Three (Rounds 4-7)


Okay. So, the Panthers have done their best yesterday, drafting players to fill needs on offense in Rounds 1-3. Will they now turn their attention to enhancing and shoring up their defense? There's still a lot of top quality players left on the board, many of whom no one expected to fall into the 4th round. Who might the Panthers be targeting? And who else might grab them before we do? Here's some analysis I put together this morning while reviewing the needs of teams who pick before us. And I'll get into it...after the jump...

The teams who pick before the Panthers in the 4th round include:

 

1 (99) - St. Louis Rams

2 (100) - Minnesota Vikings

3 (101) - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

4 (102) - Houston Texans

5 (103) - Washington Redskins

6 (104) - Seattle Seahawks

7 (105) - Philadelphia Eagles

8 (106) - Oakland Raiders

9 (107) - Buffalo Bills

10 (108) - Jacksonville Jaguars

11 (109) - Chicago Bears

12 (110) - San Diego Chargers

13 (111) - Tennessee Titans

14 (112) - Carolina Panthers

 

Of those teams, only the Rams, Vikings, and Seahawks still have remaining needs at the DL position. The Rams need a LDE. The Vikings need a DT to eventually replace Pat Williams. And the Seahawks need a DE to replace Patrick Kerney now that he's retired. Other teams may decide to take a defensive lineman as the "best player available" and some may trade up, of course, but these three teams are the ones the Panthers will definitely need to watch.

 

So who's available that we might want to draft? Here's a few guys:

 

Everson Griffen, DE

Corey Wootton, DE

Ricky Sapp, DE

Cam Thomas, DT

Al Woods, DT

Thaddeus Gibson, OLB/DE

 

I could see any of these players falling to us at #112. Almost all of them would be considered value picks in the 4th round, since many were projected to go higher. Everson Griffen is viewed as a 1st round talent. Some rate Al Woods and Ricky Sapp as a 2nd rount talents, though Sapp is a LB/DE "tweener" more than a typical 4-3 DE. Meanwhile, Corey Wootton, Cam Thomas, and Thaddeus Gibson are rated as 3rd round prospects on most draft boards. I've seen Cam Thomas listed as the best DT still available by some experts. Gibson could make for an intriguing player at strongside LB or a pass-rushing DE on 3rd downs.

 

The bottom line is that we appear to have options. Getting any of these players to shore up our defensive line would be a good "need" pick for us. Of course, if we choose to go with "best player available" again, then some of these guys could come up:

 

Bruce Campbell, OT

Perrish Cox, CB

A.J. Jefferson, CB

Dominique Franks, CB

Jacoby Ford, WR

 

And depending on who we've got on our own draft board, the Panthers could be eyeing someone on nobody's radar that addresses a team need. It should be interesting seeing what we do at #112, because after that, we'll be looking for role players and developmental players in rounds 6-7, where we have 5 picks remaining. Should be fun!

 

My two-cents,

--Neil

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