My Dream Scenario For The Carolina Panthers 2012 Draft

In case you were wondering, my 2012 mock draft juices are still flowing as strong as they ever were, and like a mad scientist, I like enjoy concocting as many scenarios as possible in order to come up with the most intriguing proposals, especially the ones that give the Panthers the most picks through trade back opportunities. With that being said, it should come as no surprise that I have come up with another scenario that will give the Panthers some more flexibility in this draft and the next. Although I completely understand that a trade like the one that is presented below are highly unlikely, I did my very best to come up with something that is both conceivable and realistic.

As many of you already know, the NFL will determine whether we end up with the 8th or 9th pick in the first round of the 2012 draft by flipping a coin. However, the outcome of this toss is of little consequence in my scenario. The most difficult part of this exercise was determining whether or not the additional picks acquired in this trade-back would ultimately outweigh the player that we were giving up in the process. I’m still not entirely sold on it myself, but I wanted to see where other Panthers fans stood if the draft shook out like this. Allow me to set the table after the jump.

In case you were wondering, my 2012 mock draft juices are still flowing as strong as they ever were, and like a mad scientist, I like enjoy concocting as many scenarios as possible in order to come up with the most intriguing proposals, especially the ones that give the Panthers the most picks through trade back opportunities. With that being said, it should come as no surprise that I have come up with another scenario that will give the Panthers some more flexibility in this draft and the next. Although I completely understand that a trade like the one that is presented below are highly unlikely, I did my very best to come up with something that is both conceivable and realistic.

As many of you already know, the NFL will determine whether we end up with the 8th or 9th pick in the first round of the 2012 draft by flipping a coin. However, the outcome of this toss is of little consequence in my scenario. The most difficult part of this exercise was determining whether or not the additional picks acquired in this trade-back would ultimately outweigh the player that we were giving up in the process. I’m still not entirely sold on it myself, but I wanted to see where other Panthers fans stood if the draft shook out like this. Allow me to set the table after the jump.

It is no secret that the New England Patriots have made a habit of pillaging extra picks from foolish teams like theCarolina Panthers (see 2010 draft pick, Armanti Edwards) over the years under the shrewd leadership of Bill Belichick. While these calculated risks have certainly produced a plethora of picks, it actually seems as if this strategy has lately done more harm than good for the Patriots. Perhaps Belichik decided it was time to go to this extreme after the 2006 draft when they traded up into the early part of the second round in order to pick Chad Jackson, who became a complete bust. As a result of the trade with the Patriots, the Green Bay Packers were able to pick up pro bowl wide receiver Greg Jennings only sixteen spots later in the second round, where the Patriots would have originally picked had they not made that trade.

Even though this scenario will completely go against the grain of the Patriots pattern over the last five years, I think it’s time for Belichick to test the trade-up waters again, and the beneficiary of this move will be none other than the Carolina Panthers. The word beneficiary is the key word here, because you will have the opportunity to vote at the end of this post on whether or not the Panthers truly would benefit from the following trade. Without further ado, let’s begin the mocking madness.

First Round Trade: The New England Patriots move up 18/19 spots in order to acquire the Carolina Panthers 8/9 selection. The player that the Patriots moved up to get is none other than Morris Claiborne(although this is dubious in light of the Bucs most recent hire), the number one rated cornerback in the draft. This was not an easy decision for the Panthers, but it allowed them to acquire the Patriots’ #27 1st round pick, both of their 2nd round picks, and a 2013 2nd round pick. If something like this were to actually come to fruition, it would bring back memories of the Panthers’ 2007 draft when the Jets moved up to our #14 first round pick in order to select the #1 cornerback in the draft, Darrelle Revis. Of course, the Panthers were able to haul in Pro Bowlers Jon Beason and Ryan Kalil. This is exactly the type of bounty the Panthers will be looking for on draft day and this trade was a good start. Now comes the hard part: Choosing the right players. Let’s see how we did.

1st round- 27 **From New England** WR Rueben Randle LSU

This is essentially trading one LSU player for another one, plus additional picks. If you happen to be one of those readers who is questioning this pick right now, consider the fact that Randle is a taller, younger, and potentially faster version of Justin Blackmon, with more upside. While Blackmon was putting up big numbers in the no defense Big 12, Randle was honing his craft against the best defenses college football has to offer in the SEC. Furthermore, Blackmon was fortunate enough to have a solid quarterback throwing him the football, while Randle was stuck with the misfortune of catching passes from two different underachieving quarterbacks for the past three years. Randle has the body and physical tools to resemble Andre Johnson before it’s all said and done. A special shout out to Shankdiddy for turning me on to Randle.

2nd round- 40/41 DE/OLB Vinny Curry Marshall

Could Curry be this year’s version of Von Miller? If so, we’ve got ourselves a steal in the form of a pass rushing machine. At 6’4" 263 lbs, Curry was consistently in the backfield at Marshall and the numbers don’t lie. He posted 12 sacks, 18 tackles for loss and 11 sacks, 22 tackles for loss in each of his last two seasons, respectively. In fact, Curry amassed an impressive 26.5 sacks and 48.5 tackles for loss over his final three years in college.

2nd round- 48 **From New England** CB Chase Minnifield Virginia

Don’t ask me how, but this intelligent cornerback with size, speed, and strong bloodlines fell right into our laps. The Panthers would be overjoyed with the prospect of adding a much needed number two cornerback to this roster at this point in the draft.

2nd round- 63 **From New England** RB Lamichael James Oregon

Surprise. The Panthers do something unexpected with this pick by adding a dynamic running back in the mold ofDarren Sproles. It wouldn't hurt to add another weapon for Cam and the rest of the team on offense. Additionally, defenses will be challenged even more than they were before because they will be forced to take into account another playmaker on the field. James scored 18 touchdowns and rushed for 1,805 yards at 7.3 yards per carry in 12 games last year. I’ll take that type of explosiveness all day long, and so would the Panthers.

4th round- 104 OT Mitchell Schartz California

Why not bring in Geoff’s brother to compete at right tackle and possibly even at left tackle in the future? On film, he looks solid to me, but I’ll let you be the judge.

5th round- 137 ILB NigelBradham FloridaState

This hard hitting linebacker is as fierce as they come. Both Bradham and the Panthers would have to walk the fine line of reigning in some of those over the top headshots without robbing him of his aggressiveness and intimidation. Although I’m not sure his sideline-to-sideline speed is good enough to play on the outside at this point, he would be a nice back up for Beason in the short term.

6th round- 168 FS Tramain Thomas Arkansas

Good-looking safety who had 4 interceptions his Junior year and 5 in his Senior campaign. At the very least, he will provide some help on special teams and provide depth for a group of safeties that are currently reeling.

7th round- 198 DT Akiem Hicks Regina/LSU

All you have to do is look up my Fanpost evaluation of Hicks to know how I feel about him. I don’t think he will fall this far, but there’s always a chance, right?

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