It is interesting to read up on all of the CSR comments and ideas on who members think the Panthers will draft in this upcoming 2012 NFL draft. Some have us either going CB or DT. I was inclined in earlier comments and post that I have put my two cents in that I thought we should go after a pass rushing talent. I am still on board with getting a better pass rush with this team and I believe over the offseason Rivera will address this with new schemes or a free agent signing like a Cliff Avril out of Detroit would be a type of Hurney move. Not a big name guy but a good overall player. Over the last week after trying to pick up on hints that the organization has dropped either as being legit or blowing smoke I now have a better feeling how our draft might turn out. This will be my first attempt at a realistic mock draft.
Round 1. Riley Reiff OT Iowa. I think this is the best pick at our spot in the first round. When this team starts to have a better winning record it will insure us of drafting later on in the draft order in seasons to come. Besides the QB position, having a probowl caliber tackle prospect is always at the top of any years draft. We need to address this now and provide Cam a blind side protector for years to come. This pick at this point and time where we are drafting just makes the most sense from a team and organizational standpoint.
Round 2. Sean Spence OLB Miami . This might seem to be a reach to some of us on here but IMO besides Lavonte David of Nebraska, Spence will end up being the next best OLB we can get our hands on. I just think David will be gone before he gets to us. It is obvious with Davis's injury history and in all likley hood he will be not the same if he did resign after they released him. Yes they will release him first that is just a financial fact. What else do we have at WLB? Jordan Senn? Who else is there that really is a realistic durable playmaker. Answer is no one. Senn did play outstanding in his opportunities this year and he will be back but we have nothing behind him that really counts and we need to bring in someone on a higher talent level to compete for that position. In last years draft the team took Lawrence Wilson in the sixth round to be groomed as a potential WLB as an insurance policy against another Thomas Davis injury. Well we all know how that turned out. I believe Hurney and Co. will invest a higher pick on this postion this year to address the lack of durability that itself has lacked for the last two to three seasons.
Round 4. Brandon Boykin CB/PR Georgia. This pick is a double value pick. The Panthers aquire a good DB to groom along with Hogan towards the future. It also adds to the competition on who really is the better talented player to take over that number two CB position. On the plus side he is also a very explosive punt returner which this team is in dire need of. Boykin can make the first tacklers miss which is something Armanti can not grasp. If our special teams punt return blocking is not on a consistant level of play then we need a player that can make things happen without everything lined up perfectly for them. Boykin can bring two instant things to the table as depth in our secondary and possibly a special teams standout. Great value pick for the fourth round. This is as far as I am guessing how this draft will turn out. These first three picks should all bring an impact to our team as a whole. After that you try to find players that could provide depth and contribute on special teams in the later rounds and maybe land a diamond in the rough as Hurney has a time or two. I will also state we will draft a punter with a later pick. Jason Baker will just financially cost to much and his leg has seen better days. The Panthers future is bright with Rivera at the helm and Cam to lead us into the future.