As we draw closer to the NFL draft excitement is filling the air regarding which way the Panthers will go with their draft class. Here at CSR there is no shortage of information, opinion and commentary on the state of the draft: Jaxon is working on his big board project, I am running the community mock draft and Cyberjag continues his excellent series colating the top mock drafts into a cohesive and tanglible ranking system.
Today I thought we could go another way for a little fun on a Tuesday- I call it the 'Offseason Mock Draft' the concept is quite simple, post your mock draft, however there is one important twist; you can make any trade that has previously be made this offseason. In any scenario where players were traded for picks we are assuming the Panthers could have made the same deal, from there make your selections using common sense to select players who could be available when the Panthers pick, i.e no Sam Bradford in the 3rd round, for example.
It appears that SI.com are the only site whose transaction records are up to date. You can find the link here. So let's have fun with it and see what kind of mocks we can come up with!
My mock after the jump
Starting off there seems to be one deal that makes all the sense in the world, so I'm taking advantage of it.
Granted, we lose two of our highest draft picks but there is no way the Panthers could have found a player of Boldin's proven ability in those rounds. He steps in immediately and gives the organization the receiving threat they need, while also giving Steve Smith a break.
The second deal I'm making also fills a need.
The Panthers now have their backup. Hill isn't anything special, per se, but the price is right and he'll ride the pine nicely.
Brown was a 571 yard receiver in 2009 and had 816 yards the year before. He would fill the role of #3 receiver behind Smith and Boldin perfectly.
Okay, so now we're done with the trades here is what the Panthers have left:
2nd round: Corey Wootton, DE- Northwestern
6th round: Jay Ross, DT- East Carolina
6th round: Armanti Edwards, QB- Appalachian State University
6th round: Crezdon Butler, CB- Clemson
7th round: Reggie Stevens, OG- Iowa State
7th round: Thomas Harris, WR- Alabama A&M
Now to briefly run down my picks:
- Wootton: Pretty obvious here, he's a very talented DE who will help to bolster the line and fill in where needed, or spelled with Everette Brown.
- Ross: His stock has taken a major hit since he lost weight, pushing him from a 3-4th round NT to the 6th round. I don't see any reason why he can't bulk up again, especially if he's not needed his rookie season.
- Edwards: Explosive player who can sit comforably as the 3rd QB behind Moore and Hill. He can learn the game and the offense which will take time for a spread QB, and if he doesn't pan out we have a more athletic version of Julian Edelman... not bad if you ask me.
- Butler: Very skilled corner who had a down season. In the 6th round he'll be required for little more than special teams and dime packages, but his skill level reeks of Captain Munnerlyn who slipped in 2009.
- Stevens: A big guard at 6'3", 324lbs. If Duke Robinson doesn't pan out he's a guy who could learn and be solid depth on an o-line always in the need of another healthy body.
- Harris: An effective kick returner from a small school. Has the potential to break a big return and can be extremely elusive, exactly what the Panthers need.
Along with these picks I've addressed the Panthers' #2 and #3 receiver concerns as well as found a solid blue collar backup for Matt Moore. Using the same criteria, what can you come up with?