If we draft like this, 2014 could be the best draft in Panthers history. 1st move - Trade with St. Louis Rams. The Rams having a plethora of picks after Washington gave away the farm for RGIII, and would be willing to listen to offers. This year they hold the 16th and 22nd picks in the first round, and the 16th (46 overall) in the second. By trading their 22nd and 2nd round picks in exchange for our 1st round selection, that gives them a chance to select a quality OT, a desperate need for them along with a dynamic playmaker at another position. With the 22nd overall pick, the Panthers select Matt Elam, S, Florida "Athletic, instinctive and quite physical, Elam demonstrated the ability to walk up into the box and be a force near the line of scrimmage while also dropping back into coverage as a single-high safety when coaches called for it -- showing off the type of versatility NFL teams are demanding from today's hybrid safeties. Elam shows good vision and anticipation when fighting through blocks near the line of scrimmage and is a reliable, physical tackler." -Rob Rang Safety is clearly an area of need on this team, and Elam becomes the best player available. With Elam we get a tough defensive leader, sure tackler to pair with Luuuuuke in the middle.
With the 46th overall pick, the Panthers select Dallas Thomas OT, Tennessee "Naturally large man with even weight-distribution and the long arms to make the transition back outside to offensive tackle. This isn't the typical rotund blocker who is simply too un-athletic to compete on the outside. Thomas is an impressive athlete, who plays with very good initial quickness as well as top flexibility and balance. Thomas plays with excellent knee bend, giving him the base to handle powerful bull rushers, as well as the spring to easily move left and right to remain square to quicker pass rushers. Is physically tough, as well, having started the final 37 consecutive games of his career. " -Rob Rang Thomas is not my favorite OT in this draft, but at the 46nd pick we get a very athletic tackle that could start on the right next season and move to LT his second year int he league to spell Gross.
With the 48th overall pick, the Panthers select Margus Hunt, DE, SMU "Naturally powerful defender who can simply bull-rush his opponent deep into the pocket. Big, strong and reasonably active hands to fight through blockers' attempts at grasping a hold of him. Good hand-eye coordination and times his leaps well to aid in his kick-blocking prowess. Has emerged as a player the offense must account for on virtually every snap and yet remains a better athlete than football player, which speaks to his exciting upside." -Rob Rang Margus is a complete manchild. My gut tells me this guy will fly up the draft charts during workouts. This decatholete from Estonia, started playing football in 2009. At 6'8" with a 4.6 40, Hunt has the quickness and power to slide to DT on passing downs, and rotate with our dynamic pass rushing combo of Johnson & Hardy. With the NFL turning into more of a passing league, having the ability to consistently bring pressure with your front 4 is key in todays game. With our 4th and 5th round picks I would like to see us draft the next best O-linemen and LB avaialble to add young depth. After the 5th round is a crap shoot, position doesn't matter, if the front office sees anyone they think can make the roster for a few years pick him up!