So, I had a little time today and figured I'd check to see if Walter had a new Mock draft. Voila! Hot off the presses, I found his latest and greatest (?) 5-round mock, and proceeded to review the new picks. Let's just say there was one particular change I found very interesting, but within the justification I read something that just cracked me up.
Let me first say, I'm a fan of Walter's. You can often find good information, and the style includes lots of intentionally humorous commentary. Before getting to the great moment in my afternoon, I'll first recount Walter's most recent picks for the Panthers.
I'll reveal further details ... after the jump.
9. Carolina Panthers: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
As I mentioned earlier, Fletcher Cox has been moving up draft boards. There's been a ton of buzz about him lately, and it wouldn't shock me if he were selected No. 6 overall. I now have him as the top consensus player available, so he'll be the pick in this spot.
The Panthers have a huge need in the interior of their defensive line. They spent a pair of third-round picks last year on defensive tackles Sione Fua and Terrell McClain. Fua wasn't that bad as a rookie, but McClain was awful, constantly getting abused against the run. Adding an immense talent like Cox would allow Fua and McClain to rotate next to him depending on the situation.
*** OTHER 2012 NFL DRAFT POSSIBILITIES: ***
1. Luke Kuechly, LB - Luke Kuechly is arguably the best prospect available. The Panthers really like him, and with no obvious player to select, they may just pull the trigger on the top linebacker in the 2012 NFL Draft.
2. Michael Floyd, WR - Floyd will be considered as a strong No. 2 option for Cam Newton.
3. Quinton Coples, DE - I've seen Coples mocked here in numerous publications. He makes sense if the Panthers are comfortable with his character, but they put so much emphasis on that. Will they be OK with the fact that he admittedly gave a C effort as a senior?
Pick change; previously Luke Kuechly, LB
No shocker here, just a switch from Kuechly to Cox. Yet the reference to Coples admission to giving a "C" effort was foretelling.
40. Carolina Panthers: Andre Branch, DE, Clemson
If the Panthers pass on Quinton Coples at No. 9 overall, they could consider local product Andre Branch to bolster the defensive end position. The pass defense struggled last year, but part of the reason for that was Carolina's inability to get to the quarterback consistently (31 sacks).
Pick change; previously Jerel Worthy, DT
Again, bolstering the D-Line is not a foreign concept around here, although I'm not in love with the pick.
104. Carolina Panthers: Terrell Manning, OLB, N.C. State
The Panthers may consider a linebacker here if they don't draft Luke Kuechly. Both Jon Beason and Thomas Davis have major injury concerns.
Pick change; previously Brandon Washington, G/OT
All defense so far ... I like getting our insurance WLB in the 4th or 5th, even though Manning's not my personal favorite.
143. Carolina Panthers: Tim Benford, WR, Tennessee Tech
The Panthers need help at receiver, and they've shown interest in Tim Benford.
I saw this same pick at 143 in Charlie Campbell's lastest version (also on Walterfootball.com). It was a name I hadn't heard, but Charlie gave a little more explanation in his version:
Benford had a breakout performance at the East-West practices. The first practice of the week saw him give a lot of defensive backs problems with his straight-line speed and quickness in route running. The 5-foot-11, 199-pounder has the quality measurements to become a fast, slot receiver-type prospect in the NFL.
As a senior, Benford totaled 65 receptions for 923 yards and five touchdowns. He never recorded a 1,000-yard season in college, but his least productive year still surpassed 500 yards.
Pick change; previously Demario Davis, OLB
Okay, so we're interested in an unheralded WR. I like the previous pick (Demario Davis) better here, and we could maybe find a better WR prospect in the 4th. But hey, if Benford's an ankle-breaker and can catch the ball, it's cool with me. I don't think it's a bad draft if it goes this way. I think I'd take Amini Silatolu, G/OT, Midwestern State in the 2nd, and as I said already, I'd love to get Demario Davis in the 4th or (preferably) 5th.
Anyway, the great moment alluded to earlier is actually back in the first round. Quentin Coples is shown as an alternate choice for the Panthers (pick Cox), the Seahawks (pick Kuechly), the Cowboys (pick Poe) ... geez how far does a "C effort" drop someone. Apparently all the way to 19. Da Bears:
19. Chicago Bears: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
Quinton Coples can easily fall on Draft Day. He's very talented, but there are questions about his work ethic and motor. When asked to evaluate his own effort as a senior in an interview with Charley Casserly, Coples gave himself a C, admitting that he didn't give 100 percent in 2011. I find that very troubling. What's he going to do once he receives a signing bonus?
The Bears may believe he's way too good to pass up, however. They need a pass-rusher across from Julius Peppers, who also happens to be a talented defensive end out of North Carolina. The front office may believe that Peppers could be a great tutor for Coples.
Wow, what a free fall, huh? But it's that last sentence (emphasis mine) that made me literally LOL. Th..th.. th.. that's all folks. I want a clean fight... no hitting below the belt... no rabbit punches.