With most of the focus on the Panthers overall #1 pick let's not forget we should get a couple good players in the 3rd round as well. The Panthers obviously will pick at the top of the round at approximately #65. I also expect them to get a compensatory pick at the end of the round. So who might the Panthers target with those two picks? The conventional wisdom seems to be the TE position:
TE D.J. Williams – Arkansas: Williams is more of a receiving tight end that is not the best at blocking in the run game. With sub 4.6 speed and a 236 pound frame, Williams has great hands and comes from pro-style offense at Arkansas. Williams route running is a strength and he can create mismatch problems for opposing defenses.
TE Lance Kendricks – Wisconsin: Kendricks is more of an all-around tight end. While at Wisconsin, Kendricks was asked to block on a consistent basis. At 6'3" and over 240 pounds, Kendrick makes for a large target in the red zone.
We would prefer Notre Dame TE Kyle Rudolph but nobody expects him to last until the top of the 3rd round being the top rated TE in the draft. So if the Panthers don't select a TE at the top of the 3rd who else might be there?
I'm almost certain a good DT will slide to that point but if the Panthers already selected Nick Fairley they might be more inclined to go with another position. We'll look at both options...after the jump
Here's a some DL that could slide or be available at the top of the 3rd round:
Casey is a similar prospect to former USC standout (and New Orleans' 2008 first-round pick) Sedrick Ellis but he doesn't have the same size scouts prefer. His game is built around burst off the line, strength and relentlessness. Casey isn't likely to match Ellis' high draft selection (No. 7 overall), but with a year or two to acclimate, he could enjoy a similar career.
DT Jerrell Powe - Miss - 6'2" 320 -
Powe is an interesting prospect to figure out. He has a ton of talent and was borderline dominant during his junior season at Ole Miss. The defensive tackle made 25 solo tackles and was tied for first on the team with 12 tackles for loss. He was named to the All-SEC Second Team by the Associated Press. Powe has been clocked as fast as 5.02 in the 40-yard dash -- impressive speed given his 6'2'' and 320-pound frame. He weighed even more in seasons past, but has slimmed down considerably.
1/25/2011 - SENIOR BOWL PRACTICE, MONDAY: Miami (Fla.) defensive end Allen Bailey measured in at 6-3, 278 pounds on Monday morning, which was disappointing to scouts, and he failed to get much movement against Ziemba, Love and other tackles when lined up outside. But as he did his junior season, Bailey showed some quickness against interior lineman when lined up at tackle. Since he lacks size to play inside and seems unable to make a lot of plays on the edge, teams might consider him the top "tweener" defensive line prospect in this draft.
DT Marvin Austin - We've talked plenty about this guy. I think he would be worth the risk if we don't go with Fairley at #1
If we go with Fairley I imagine if the Panthers get another DT it will later in the draft on a guy that slide. Instead I'm thinking we target a CB or an OL in the 3rd. So here's a couple of each that could be the Panthers meow:
This is a guy we haven't heard much of but he seems to fit what we would look for at CB:
Brown's elite speed, ability to mirror receivers on the outside, as well as special teams acumen, have made a lot of fans among NFL coaches and scouts. The importance of finding athletes of his caliber to play across from the league's receivers will push Brown up many draft boards next April.
Something to think about is the gunner position on special teams. I guy like Brown could fill one of those roles.
Since we seem to love guys from Utah:
Burton, a 6-foot, 185-pound lockdown corner, made 51 tackles and two interceptions for the Utes in 2010. He finishes his college career with 97 stops (67 solo) and three picks over three seasons. His most memorable legacy, however, was the game-saving block of a BYU field-goal attempt in Utah's 17-16 victory over BYU in November.
Love it perfect type of OG that could kcik outside to OT in a pinch just as Travelle Wharton does now.
A first-team All-SEC left tackle for the Razorbacks, Love's lack of agility and balance were exposed throughout Senior Bowl practices and in the game. He'll need to be moved inside to guard at the next level and might not warrant consideration as a top-50 pick.
Franklin had a solid game against former Virginia star and No. 2 overall pick Chris Long in 2007. The huge blocker was also surprisingly successful against South Florida's formidable pass-rush tandem of Jason Pierre-Paul and George Selvie. Despite earning second-team All-ACC honors, Franklin's lack of top-shelf athleticism was exposed this season at left tackle. He looks capable of developing into starter inside at guard or at right tackle.
If we take Fairley #1 overall then getting a CB and OG in the 3rd round would fill needs. That would leave the TE question open but maybe we could fill that in free agency.