Hey all. It has been a while since I checked in with any kind of mock draft recently and as I have a little break from school today, I figured I would stop by with an idea I had for the Panthers. I hope you enjoy.
That being said, although I feel that the Panthers could find a very god player at 8/9, I will propose a trade back situation here. The trade back I propose is with the Bengals, as many have done before. This deal involves their 1.17 pick from Oakland, along with their 3rd & 4th round pick and next year's 2nd. While this may seem a bit much, most future picks are devalued by a round, meaning that if it were this year we would be considering it a 3rd, and with the new slotting system I feel that the value for higher picks is now greater than before. If this scenario comes true it leaves us with picks 1.17, 2.09, 3.21, 4.09, 4.21, 5.09, 6.09, and 7.09. Here is my idea of how that could play out:
1.17 - Michael Brockers - DT - LSU - This pick I debated for a while. At this pick Brockers, Brown, Kirkpatrick, Still, Jenkins, and others could all still be available. This explains why I normally do multiple scenarios, but I chose to pick Brockers in this one because I feel he has immense potential and his weaknesses are things that can be fixed with coaching. His big problem is not his attitude or work ethic, but rather keeping is 6'6 frame low to the ground upon the snap. This is correctable, and I think that given a chance to work in rotation with Edwards, McClain, and others, he will be able to develop into a potential pro bowl caliber player.
2.09 - Mark Barron - SS - Alabama - The best overall safety in the class. While he doesn't have great potential, he is solid in all areas and could prove to be a good long term piece in an area that we could use. Some have him in the 1st round, which is understandable, and if he is gone then I am looking at players like Burfict (yes a MLB), Minnifield, Curry, or possibly Ta'amu.
3.21 - Trumaine Johnson - CB - Montana - A small school player, but likely the best of them, Johnson has the size at 6'2 204 and excels in 1 on 1 situations. Not a burner but solid all-around speed. He has been on the radar for a while and was recruited to Pac-12 schools out of High School, but decided to attend Montana. One of my favorite sleepers of the draft who could continue to move up draft boards
4.09 - Brian Quick - WR - App State - After going defense with the first 3 picks I decided it was time to provide Cam with another weapon. Quick is a name we all are familiar with around here and one that I think could blossom into a very good target in the NFL. He has the size and the hands and the main question is how well he can gain separation. He could prove a lot with a good showing at the Senior bowl this week.
4.21 - Lardarius Green - TE - Louisiana-Lafayette - A tall (6'6) and very athletic pass catching TE, Green finished the season very strong with 29 catches, 370 yds, and 3 TD's in his last 4 games. After the season of great TE play we have seen around the league a player like this will be a valued commodity and may cause him to rise. While we have Olsen, cap restrictions may not allow us to bring back Shockey unfortunately. If not, Green could step up in his place and even if we were to bring back Shockey, there may not be a better guy for Green to learn from.
5.09 - Cliff Harris - CB - Oregon - An amazing returner and ball hawk, Harris has red-flags which cause him to fall a lot. If his attitude can be straightened out he could be a great player in the long run. Personally I think he could learn a lot from Cam, as having watched a lot of Pac-12 football as a huge UW fan, he plays with swagger, something many Panther fans want to see more of, but if he learns to control when and where he could be great. A CB group of Gamble, Hogan, Captain, Johnson, and Harris is one full of potential and solid players. One that I would love to see.
6.09 - Marcus Forston - DT - Miami - The potential for Forston to drop this far is decent after the injury that held him out all last year. While some may question double dipping at DT, this is the 6th round, and taking a flyer on a guy who was considered a round 1 type player if not for an injury is great value at this point, and something we see Hurney do quite a bit.
7.09 - Matt McCants - OT - Alabama-Birmingham - Another guy with a lot of potential but coming from a small school, McCants has an opportunity this week at the Senior Bowl to move up on boards. His draft stock right now is as high as the 4th round but could also be found undrafted. McCants has good size (6'7) but is fairly lean at only 295. He proved his worth controlling Vinny Curry when they played Marshall. There is a good chance he may not be available at this pick, but if he is he has the potential to be a solid regular for the Panthers with time.
I think, as a Panther fan, if this is the way the draft were to play out, I would be very happy. You get a very high end potential DT, followed with a solid NFL SS, and then a well-regarded small school CB, an in state WR with great potential, a high ceiling TE, another high ceiling CB, a DT who could have been a 1st round pick had it not been for injury, and a high ceiling small school OT. We not only gain depth at positions of need, but also players who can start at those positions for years to come, not to mention a possible 2nd round pick next year in the trade.
I would love to hear everyone's thoughts.