Explaining My SBN Mock Draft Pick at #9 for the Panthers

I decided to go ahead and write a new post of this topic since it got more involved than I planned.

My pick at #9 is...DT Fletcher Cox Miss St....you can read my short write up as to why I like Fletcher here at MTD.

Here's my explanation for a few of the players I passed on. Please remember I'm basing this on who I think the Panthers will select which admittedly is a complete shot in the dark. Honestly after selecting Blaine Gabbert #1 overall last year I think I can go nowhere but up with this selection. ;)

DT Dontari Poe - I'm always wary of combine workout warriors who shoot up boards based on measurables but not game tape. Poe seems to fit that mold in classic fashion. Also, he seems way better suited as a 3-4 NG based on his size and would only be a run stopper with the Panthers. I think Ron Edwards has that spot nailed down for the Panthers and they will instead look for a guy that can provide inside pass rushing ability. Essentially what we were hoping to get from Terrell McClain last season but never materialized.

LB Luke Kuechly - I really love this kid and think he is a future star but he is best suited at MLB in a 4-3 and we just lost a similar (but less athletic) back-up in MLB Dan Conner. The fact I'm not sure he would excel at WLB which is where we need help is my primary reservation. Maybe James Anderson could play WLB and Kuechly the strong side but now your moving another guy (Anderson) who played great at SLB in 2011 to get a rookie on the field. So in summary, though I'm not sold on Thomas Davis returning to form for an entire season I also don't think Kuechly would be the solution either.

DT Michael Brockers - We all Many of us loved Brockers at first blush but he is very raw and will take time to develop, if he develops. Hence he is more of big risk, big reward pick and Hurney hasn't made many picks like that in year's past (Newton aside). I wouldn't be unhappy at getting Brockers I just don't think the Panthers have him up this high on their board. But I admit the thought of this monster manning the 3 technique is a good one.

DE Melvin Ingram - Another guy I would not be unhappy about but he seems better suited as a 3-4 OLB making him a situational player only for the Panthers. I can't see spending a #9 on a DE that may not play three downs. Plus I can't get past the fact he is simply a slightly more athletic version of Eric Norwood, a guy who to date can't get on the field for the Panthers.

Offensive Tackle - Whether its Reilly Reiff or Mike Adams I can't see the Panthers going offense with this pick. I think they are willing to give Otah the preseason to show he is finally healthy and instead might add a tackle later in the draft. Neither of these guys are sure fire long time starters anyway with each having ugly spots preventing a top 10 selection.

So who would I select myself (rather than the Panthers)in this scenario?

I think I would go where need meets value and stick with CB Dre Kirkpatrick. With his recent legal troubles he most certainly is out of the picture with the Panthers but if not for that he would certainly still be in the mix. A tall, fast and athletic CB is needed across from Chris Gamble meaning Kirkpatrick would start immediately. I've heard the knocks on Kirkpatrick, he doesn't play the ball well in the air for example, but he is also a sure tackler, something sorely missing in our secondary last season.

Keep checking back as the SBN Mock Draft progresses ober at MTD as it is a two round mock and I can't wait to see who our pick at #40 lines up.

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