Quinton Coples was the clear BPA where he was selected. (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images)
With the yearly Mocking the Draft fan mock happening over the weekend I decided to take a gander over at the work Carolina Panthers representative 'pcroadrage' put in and give his chance at playing Hurney a grade. Overall I think he did a really great job, and I'd like to thank him for representing our fan-base well as he selected a group of players that fit need and BPA quite nicely.
1.9- Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
Philadelphia traded up with Miami to the #8 spot to grab Fletcher Cox, so the Panthers opted to take the UNC pass rusher. Based on who was left on the board I think this was a fantastic pick; one that represents pure BPA and fills a dire need for the Panthers
2.40- Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina
It would be an easy (and lazy) argument to typecast our mocker as a Tar Heels fan for going with back-to-back UNC prospects, however Brown would be close to the BPA in this scenario. Personally, I probably would have gone with Alameda Ta'amu at NT, or Amimi Silatolu at OG- but the upside of Brown is undeniable. One concern of mine is using the first two picks on upside guys, both of whom are risky. This could be genius, or blow up in the team's face.
More after the jump
4.104- Tommy Streeter, WR, Miami
At this stage in the draft Streeter was a solid BPA pick. I have personal concerns about whether he'd be a huge upgrade over LaFell, or Gettis- but I have to separate those feelings and look purely at the pick. I think it was a solid move, with a lot of value in the 4th round.
5.143- Akiem Hicks, DT, Regina
I can see the appeal of bringing in a big DT like Hicks, but I think this was probably the biggest reach in the Panthers draft. With Nate Potter of Boise State still on the board I think this was a spot primed for the Panthers to solidify the OL with a player some scouts have graded only slightly behind Cal's Mitchell Schwartz. I have big reservations that Hicks, and doubt whether he would outperform the current cadre of DTs to the point. If he couldn't then he wouldn't earn a roster spot.
6.179- Shawn Powell, P, Florida State
My intitial reaction was one of shock, given Cal's Bryan Anger was still on the board. However, as I thought more about this pick the more I loved it. While Anger has a much bigger leg, Powell is the better directional punter. It's this characteristic to his ability that I think makes this such a wonderful, and cerebral pick. With Cam Newton under center it's rare we'll see the defense stall out at the 30 yard line, however when we get stuck in that limbo of long FG/short punt it will really pay dividends to have an amazing directional punter to coffin the opposition.
6.207- Oliver Vernon, DE, Miami
Two Canes and two Heels join the ranks in this draft. I think this was a sound BPA pick for a player who will help bolster the depth of the pass rush. Wont blow you away, but this was a solid pick
7.216- Josh Chichester, TE, Louisville
Chichester is a one-trick pony, but his trick is pretty darn good. At 6'8" he's an athletic pass catcher who would probably be little more than a red-zone threat, but with that size he'd create some nasty mismatches.
I think pcroadrage did a really solid job in his draft. The defense is immediately improved with Coples and Brown, while adding value depth to the team. I'll admit I'm a little scared about the prospect of entering 2012 without any additions at CB or OL, but I think this draft class would make the Panthers better- even if it takes time to find answers at other need positions.
Final Grade: B+
If you would like to see the entire draft you can find it here.