Last year was quite a treat watching 1st round draft pick Cam Newton come out in full beast mode from day one in Panthers uniform. I enjoyed watching him virtually make every one of his critics eat their harsh, and uncalled for prejudgments of who they all thought he'd be in the NFL. That being said, as we approach the 2012 draft many of those same critics now want to put their two cents in on who they think the Panthers should draft. I keep hearing names like Fletcher Cox, and Quinton Coples. Cox seems to be the consensual choice of most scouts and analysts, but I think the better choice for the Cats would be LSU DT Michael Brockers. He is more versatile and a little more polished than Cox is. When I look at the Panthers, IMHO I feel if they took a similar approach to what Buffalo has done this offseason, if would take them from "might" making the playoffs to NFC favorites in a hurry. Buffalo plays in a tough division led by the defending AFC champion New England Patriots. That division also includes the Jets. As good as the Pats were on offense last season, they might be even better this year with the addition of Brandon Lloyd. The Bills front office were smart in there free agency approach in shoring up there D-line by adding Mario Williams and Mark Anderson. Their addition to current starters Marcel Darius and Kyle Williams is going to be a matchup nightmare for opposing offenses. This was nothing but a direct move to answer the firepower of the Patriots in order to challenge their long time AFC divisional rivals.
I have always been a firm believer in building a team from the front lines out because the lines for both offense and defense are the 1st points of attack. Who ever wins the battle up front controls the outcome of the game. Although CB is another area of need for the Panthers, they can address this in the 2nd or third round as this year's crop coming in is a deep one with several to choose from. Janoris Jenkins would be a steal as a second round pick despite his off field troubles. The Newton led offense is a Porsche that should only get faster this year if what Cam is saying of his offseason improvement is indeed true. Cam Newton better in his second year? That's just down right scary. Give him a defense that can actually get stops when you need them and this team is destined for greatness. As the draft approaches Michael Brockers http://www.nfl.com/draft/2012/profiles/michael-brockers?id=2533050 is my top choice for the team as they look to shore up the defense. A lot to be excited about for this year's Carolina team as the 2012 season nears.