ROUND 1 1. Indianapolis Colts- Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford 2. St. Louis Rams- Matt Kalil, OT, USC 3. Miami Dolphins (Projected Trade with Minnesota Vikings)- Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor 4. Cleveland Browns- Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St. B 5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina 6. Washington Redskins- Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama 7. Jacksonville Jaguars- Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU 8. Carolina Panthers- Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
At number 8/9, the Panthers take Michael Floyd, WR from Notre Dame. It’s blatantly obvious that the Panthers biggest needs seem to be CB and DT. Their biggest needs seem to be defensive positions. But this is misleading. Yes, those positions are of a great need of an upgrade. However, there is one thing bigger than upgrading those positions. And that is providing Cam with weapons and tools to develop with for his career.
The offense has vastly improved in 2011, from 2010. And, yes the defense has greatly declined. However, when you have a future Pro-Bowl QB who has the potential to be in the Hall of Fame one day and reinvent the Quarterback position, you do everything you can to give him the tools and weapons around him to develop and grow to his utmost potential.
This means giving Cam a legitimate number two target to throw at. Someone who can get downfield. Someone who can be open when Smitty is not. Someone who can take the pressure and coverage off of Smitty. Someone who is a big and physical target with a big catching radius. Someone who can also be the number one wide receiver in the future, when Smitty departs.
Enter Michael Floyd. Standing 6’3" and 227, Floyd is an impressive prospect. Here is what I wrote about him in early October, when I mocked him to the Panthers who I thought would select ninth in JKP is MOCKING the Panthers yet again:
At 6-3, 220, Floyd has the size that is ideal for a WR prospect. But it's not just his size. He is a physical WR with great body control, and rarely if ever do cornerbacks interfere with him getting the ball when it's in the air. Now, he isn't the fastest guy, but he is quite a deep threat. And he has no trouble getting off the line and getting separation, which many receivers struggle with. His hands are like glue and he catches everything near his vicinity. And in the red zone, he is a truly a threat because he can catch everything. Also comes from a both a pro style system and Brian Kelly's spread and has run just about every route in the tree, and executes them well. Is also a dominant blocker, and pushes the CB around rather than the opposite. Potentially the best attribute about Floyd though is that he makes the QB a better QB.This season, Floyd hasn’t disappointed. Although again playing with a mediocre squad, Floyd accumulated 100 receptions for 1147 yards, his highest season total ever (even over last year’s wonderful 79 reception, 1025 yard year). He also had 10 touchdowns this year, nearly one per game. He’s been consistently unstoppable almost all year long.
The Panthers pick him because he can be for them what Vincent Jackson was for San Diego's offense. Floyd, like Jackson, would be a good deep threat and match for the Air Coryell style offense. With his size and skills, he'd fit in perfectly as the flanker, across from Steve Smith, and would take a lot of pressure (and extra players) off of him. And he'd make Cam even better than he is. Down the road, when Steve Smith leaves football (which I dislike even contemplating the thought) Floyd has the abilities of a number one receiver and could take over the reins.
Now, I'm not going to hide his potential character concerns. He has had a DUI and was nearly kicked off of the team. However, Brian Kelly is known as a disciplinarian and tough coach, and if he's allowed Floyd back on the team, his immaturity might be behind him.
Of course, there will be Panther fans crying that he isn’t a value in the top 10, however many scouts disagree. Some contend that he will be the best professional Wide Receiver. He compares favorably, in style to Dwayne Bowe, Roddy White, and even Vincent Jackson.
Opposite Smitty, he would fit perfectly. He would fill the void of a large possesion receiver, and would fit perfectly into the Air Coryell offense. Teh Jimmeh would also be glad to see a familiar face. The face that may have made him what he was in college.
via www.uhnd.com9. Minnesota Vikings (Projected Trade with Miami Dolphins)- Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
10. Buffalo Bills- Devon Still, DT, Penn St.
11. Kansas City Chiefs- Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
12. Seattle Seahawks- Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona St.
13. Arizona Cardinals- Mike Adams, OT, Ohio St.
14. Dallas Cowboys- Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
15. Philadelphia Eagles- Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
16. New York Jets- Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
17. Cincinnati Bengals (From Oakland Raiders)- David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
18. San Diego Chargers- Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama
20. Tennessee Titans- Quinton Coples, DE, UNC 21. Denver Broncos- Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech 22. New York Giants- Zach Brown, LB, UNC 23. Houston Texans- Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers 24. Detroit Lions- Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska 25. Cincinnati Bengals- Lamar Miller, RB, Miami 26. Cleveland Browns (From Atlanta Falcons)- Whitney Mercilus, OLB, Illinois 27. Pittsburgh Steelers- Kelechi Osemele, OG, Iowa State 28. San Francisco 49ers- Dwight Jones, WR, UNC 29. Baltimore Ravens- Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin 30. Green Bay Packers- Jared Crick, DE, Wisconsin 31. New England Patriots (From New Orleans)- Dontari Poe, NT, Memphis 32. New England Patriots- Mark Barron, S, Alabama ROUND 2 33. Indianapolis Colts- Cordy Glenn, OG, Georgia 34. St. Louis Rams- Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan 35. Minnesota Vikings-Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia 36. Cleveland Browns – Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson 37. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama Community College for Reformed Felons 38. Washington Redskins- Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M 39. Jacksonville Jaguars- Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina 40. Carolina Panthers- Brandon Washington, OG, Miami
In the second round, Carolina surprisingly goes offense yet again. After all, the defense can wait. We simply must, must provide Cam with everything we can for him to be successful and the best he can be. The defense can wait. After this draft, we can even go defense for the next five drafts.
Beyond WR, the only other hole on the team (other than the ill-used and neglected FB position) is the right side of the offensive line. This area has largely been a revolving door for the Panthers and an unsettled position.
A lot of the need for the right side of the offensive line rests upon the uncertainty of Jeff Otah’s situation. It seems that he, like Thomas Davis, may just never be healthy enough and injury free to play professional football.
This is why Brandon Washington makes perfect sense. A standout lineman from Miami, Brandon Washington is extremely versatile. He’s played RT, G, and finished this last season playing LT admirably. If Jeff Otah cannot return, Brandon Washington could fill his void. If Jeff Otah returns however, the Panthers can utlize his drive blocking forte at Right Guard.
Like Otah, Brandon Washington has a massive frame. Although 6-4, 320, he looks much bigger. And although he’s massive, he doesn’t play like a big-belly lineman. Surprisingly nimble, Washington has been able to man all positions because he has very good feet and footwork. However, drive blocking and moving the other man out of the way is his forte. He truly is a road grader.
Although initially, some might not be sure that Washington may be worth this high of a selection simply because of not hearing his name much, Washington is a top offensive line talent. This past year, at LT, Miami contends that he only made 5 errors the entire season. In his sophomore season, he racked 56 pancake blocks and 11 lumberjack blocks the entire year. That’s nearly 5 pancake and 1 lumberjack blocks a game. He also graded out as a near perfect 99 percent against Pitt, the highest of any Miami lineman all year. I’d contend that Washington is of fantastic value in the second round.
A little more about this less-known prospect, Washington has great character. The kind Ron Rivera and JR crave. Washington thrives off of negativity, and proclaims that his best attribute is turning negative emotions and attitudes into positive ones. He also was one of the best HS prospects in Florida, and even played DT in high school.
42. Buffalo Bills- Vinny Curry, OLB, Marshall
43. Kansas City Chiefs- Vontaze Burfict, LB, ASU
44. Seattle Seahawks- LaMichael James, RB, Oregon
45. Philadelphia Eagles (From Arizona Cardinals)- Baccari Rambo, S, Georgia
46. Dallas Cowboys- Dont’a Hightower, LB, Alabama
47. Philadelphia Eagles- Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson
48. New York Jets- Zebrie Sanders, OT, FSU
49. New England Patriots (From Oakland Raiders)- Markelle Martin, S, Oklahoma St.
50. San Diego Chargers- Fletcher Cox, DT, Miss St.
51. Chicago Bears- Nick Toon, WR, Wisconsin
52. Tennessee Titans- Josh Chapman, NT, Alabama
54. New York Giants- Chris Polk, RB, Washington 55. Houston Texans- Billy Winn, DT/DE, Boise St. 56. Detroit Lions- Ben Jones, C, Georgia 57. Cincinnati Bengals- Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma 58. Atlanta Falcons- Mike Brewster, C, Ohio St. 59. Pittsburgh Steelers- Alameda Ta’amu, NT, Washington 60. San Francisco 49ers- Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia 61. Baltimore Ravens- Andrew Datko, OT, FSU 62. Green Bay Packers- Nick Perry, DE, USC 63. New Orleans Saints- Sean Spence, LB, Miami 64. New England Patriots- Juron Criner, WR, Arizona