Many of us disagree on who the Panthers should pick in almost every round of the draft. Here is how I see draft's talent stacking up at the Panthers positions of need.
1. A Top Pass Rusher - With the exception of maybe 2 small DT's, and a couple of 3-4 OLB's, the top pass rush talent runs out in the 2nd or 3rd round.
2, CB - In a way the Panthers are reduced to considering only 6 foot tall CB's (5 of their 6 current CB's are 5-10 or shorter), and this reduces the pool of CB's to chose from. The only good CB from the 4th round on who is likely to be much of an improvement is red flag poster child Cliff Harris.
3. OLB - The draft's 4th round seems to be loaded with around 5 good OLB's, and 2 good 3-4 OLB's in the 7th round..
4. NT - If the Panthers want a NT they will have to draft him in the 2nd round.
5. DT - The only big DT (300 pounds or more) with a good pass rush is Derek Wolfe (2nd or 3rd round), but have doubts that his pass rush will transfer to the NFL, because of a lack of speed (5.16-40). So the Panthers will either have to remain a team with no inside pass rush, or draft a smaller pass rushing DT, and hope they can bulk him up. Only 2 DT's with a good pass rush exist after the 3rd round (likely 5th round picks), but they both only weigh 280 pounds.
6. DE - They need 1 more DE for the rotation, to prevent CJ and Hardy's production to drop off in the last 1/3rd of the season, and he needs to be a good pass rusher. That means they will have to get him in the 1st or 2nd round.
7. S - The Panthers need help at S, but I'm not really impressed with any of the S's in the draft. Most run in the 4.5's or 4.6's.
8. OT - The only sure fire LT is Kalil, with the starting talent running out before the 4th round.
9. OG - Wharton's 2012 salary cap number of $8.1 million is way too high, and needs to be cut in half. DeCastro is a good size for LG, but small for a RG, and that's where he played in college.
10. WR - If they don't re-sign Legedu Naanee, then they need to draft a WR, and good talent exist through the 5th or 6th round.
11. RB - A late round pick or a un-drafted free agent to replace Goodson.
What The Panthers Draft Picks May Look Like:
Lets face it, we all really only care about all the draft picks of other teams because of how it affects the Panthers choice of draft picks, so I will only post the likely Panthers picks.
1st Round - DE/OLB Whitney Mercilus (6-4, 265, 4.65-40), 57 tackles, 16 sacks, 22.5 TFL's, & 9 Forced Fumbles (the only other choice is CB Dre Kirkpatrick).
2nd Round - CB Chase Minnifield (6-0, 185, 4.49-40), he might be gone before that, if so CB Desond Trufant (6-0, 184, 4.42-40), if he enters the draft. If neither are available then NT Dontari Poe, or DT/DE Jared Crick.
3rd Round - Traded for TE Greg Olsen.
4th Round - CB Cliff Harris (5-11, 180, 4.40-40) if they miss out on a CB in the 2nd round, but if they get a CB in the 1st or 2nd round, then a OLB, as many as 5 good ones may be available. However, their numbers are all over the place now, so a decision may have to wait in the Combine and pro Day Results. Sean Spencer (5-11, 224, 4.49 to a 4.58-40), Danny Trevathan (6-1, 232, 4.56 to a 4.68-40), Nigel Bradham (6-3, 241, 4.54 to a 4.67-40), Terrell Manning (6-3, 224, 4.53 to a 4.63-40), and Mychal Kendricks (5-11, 240, 4.59 to a 4.73-40).
5th Round - WR Jordan White (6-0, 216, 4.46-40), 140 catches for 1.911 yards, and 17 TD's, or WR Ryan Broyles (5-10, 188, 4.52-40). However, they could go for a pass rushing DT, Roy Brett (6-4, 280, 4.84-40, 10 sacks, and 9 sacks as a junior) or Mike Daniels (6-1, 280,4.83-40, 9 sacks) from Iowa like The Titans 5th round pick this year DT Karl Klug (6-3, 275), who had 7 sacks as a rookie.
6th Round - RB Jeff Demps (5-8, 191, 4.26-40) a Sproles like RB.
7th Round - OLB Sammy Brown (6-2, 240, 4.67), 88 tackles, 14 sacks, and 30 TFL's. If they get an extra comp pick, then FS Chistian Thompson (6-1, 218, 4.45-40) or OG Brandon Brooks (6-4, 343, 5.32-40).