Ryan Van Bibber for SB Nation put out the mothership's first attempt at an NFL mock draft today and has the Carolina Panthers selecting #5 overall at taking South Carolina WR Alshon Jeffrey. It's a plausible, albeit disappointing scenario that has a number of the players the Panthers would take off the board before the 5th pick. It is also conducted under the notion that players are included until they officially declare they're returning which Matt Kalil has only done publically, not officially (Van Bibber has him going #2 overall).
The rationale for the Jeffrey pick is as follows
Carolina's biggest need is in the middle of its defensive line. The fifth pick seems a little high for Penn State's Devon Hill, though that could change as the draft season progresses. Cam Newton and Steve Smith formed a deep connection this saeson, but the young quarterback needs another, younger complementary receiver to take this offense to the next level. Not convinced there won't be some draft day horse trading? Just look, we're at the fifth pick and Robert Griffin and Matt Barkley are still on the board.
It's hard to project Jeffrey at the next level; some believe with a little work he could be the next Calvin Johnson, others think he's the second coming of Dwayne Jarrett; personally, I think he's neither. He needs to lean up, needs to get a little faster but there's something to be said for that 'catch anything' ability he has, though it will be hard at the next level for Jeffrey to get separation he does have an almost Steve Smith-esque knack to catch the ball in traffic, which is invaluable at the next level- Plaxico Burress has made a career out of it.
That being said, I'm not a huge pick of Jeffrey as a top 10 pick. It seems to reek of need rather than BPA in a way that would definitely improve the Panthers, but not enough for such a high pick. What do you think Panthers fans? Would you be okay with Jeffrey at #5?