Welcome to my early January 2012 Carolina Panthers Mock Draft! I have been watching games and studying up on several players that I have been interested in as the college football season has come to its end. I, like most of you, watch as much football as my brain can handle. I have watched all of the premiere teams and players, and I like to think I have a pretty decent eye for talent. Recently, I have delved into researching a lot of under-the-radar players that I think could be good fits for the Cats. I like a few big names, and I like a few guys that you may not be so familiar with. Here is my seven round mock with two compensatory picks, one in both the 6th and 7th rounds. I have us losing the coin-toss with Miami and picking 9th in each round. I don't mind saying that if things fell this way for us, I would be more than giddy...Enjoy!
Round 1...Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama 6' 2" 192 lbs.
Not much of a surprise here. I love his size a physicality. Would be an instant upgrade to our secondary and a starter from day 1. Excellent in run support, and probably a better tackler than anyone in our current secondary.
Round 2...Sean Spence LB Miami 5'11" 222 lbs.
Here is a mild surprise as many will argue that taking Spence is a reach and doesn't fill our BPA needs. My argument is that he is the most instinctive LB in this draft and is insurance against TD being able to come back. His small size is the only thing keeping him from being a top half of the 1st round prospect.
Round 4...Amini Silatolu OT/OG Midwestern State 6' 3" 324 lbs.
This is a small school player with the tools to be an excellent OG in the NFL. Played LT in college and is much more nimble than his frame would seem to allow. Excellent size and has a nasty streak. Could be a solid back-up and eventual replacement for Wharton.
Round 5...Levy Adcock OT Oklahoma State 6' 5" 322 lbs.
Big right tackle that has had some issues, which causes him to fall to the 5th round. Has had his work ethic questioned in the past, but had a very nice senior season. I think he has the potential to be a replacement for Otah, if he can become focused and be prepared to work.
Round 6...Nicolas Jean-Baptiste NT Baylor 6' 2" 320 lbs.
Baylor plays defense? J-B is a solid NT prospect with excellent size. Not the most athletic guy on the line, but he works and is always hustling around ball-carriers. Could be a nice rotational guy with the size we are looking for at NT.
Round 6...Drew Butler P Georgia 6' 2" 212 lbs.
We need an upgrade, and Butler is the best in college football. Excellent bloodlines.
Round 7...Chris Rainey RB Florida 5' 8" 175 lbs.
Ultra-speedy RB could be our Darren Sproles. Excellent hands catching the ball out of the back field. Could make an immediate impact on special teams.
Round 7...Donte Paige-Moss DE UNC 6' 4" 265 lbs.
I really hate this guy. I think he has a bad attitude and is coming off an injury suffered in the UNC bowl loss. He lost his job after a productive sophmore season and never became a force this season. However, when he is healthy and playing hard, he is an excellent prospect. I would take a flier on him and hoped he could become a more athletic version of Greg Hardy. Really nothing to lose.
So there you have it Panther fans, any and all feedback is welcomed!!!