The Supreme Donte Moncrief Highlights (via MockingNFLDraft)
Iowa TE #86 CJ Fiedorowicz Highlights (via SportsStudio)
I did a mock draft about a month ago, but a lot of things have changed since then, and after reading everyone else's mock drafts, I've got some new views on players. Players that I thought were steals a month ago, seem to be busts now. So, without delay, here's my mock draft for 2014:
Wide Receiver: Jordan Mathews, Vanderbilt.
Height: 6'4", Weight: 205 Ibs, expected 40 time: 4.54
I've seen everyone on CSR talk about Allen Robinson or the guys from LSU, but I like Jordan Mathews as our first round pick. I think Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans will both be gone when our pick comes around, so Jordan Mathews becomes the best receiver on the board to me. I have him ranked higher than Marqise Lee and Robinson, and I think a fast, big bodied receiver like Mathews could really help out Cam on his deeper throws, which have suffered this year. I think Marqise Lee will drop to us in the draft, and if he does, I think we should just pass on him. He hasn't played like a first round pick at all this year. I know he has suffered because of poor quarterback play, and injuries, but I don't think that's a viable excuse. Lee is undersized, injury prone, and can't put up good numbers unless he has an NFL caliber quarterback throwing the ball to him. I like Allen Robinson a lot though, and would have no argument if Carolina drafted him, I just think that Mathews puts up better numbers against tougher defenses, so I would take him over Robinson. (Also, Mathews is like some distant relative of Jerry Rice, and who doesn't like a little Jerry Rice magic?)
Wide Receiver: Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss
Height: 6'3", Weight: 226 Ibs, expected 40 time: 4.47
I know, I know, No lineman? I'm crazy, I know. There is free agency though. There are about 4 viable tackle options, if not more, set to hit free agency this offseason, Jared Veldheer (my favorite), Brandon Albert, Michael Oher, and Eugene Monroe to name a few. I think the panthers will pick up at least one tackle this offseason, and we have 2 of our guards coming back next year, so I think the line might be relatively good, depending on how that plays out. As far as the draft goes though, it is an absolute travesty that people don't talk about Donte Moncrief more. He is a do-it-all type of receiver. Great hands, great speed, good elusiveness, good blocker, average route runner, etc.. He is a very high character player too, all of his teammates love and respect him, and the student section goes crazy when he makes a catch. He has great size, and he fills out his body. He never gets injured, and is very consistent. He plays with a pretty bad quarterback though, and is constantly double-covered, so he doesn't get to light up the scoreboard like some other players (still does really good though). Take a minute to watch his highlight tape, I think you'll like it. He reminds me of Josh Gordon, but without the character issues.
Safety: Tre Boston, UNC
Height: 6' 1", Weight: 200 Ibs, Expected 40: 4.58
The panthers safety position is pretty average. Robert Lester has flashed at times, and the rest of the safeties are playing relatively good, but Tre Boston could really upgrade the secondary. Charles Godfrey has been injured, and I think he will be a cap-casualty this offseason, so we will need to draft another safety even if he's just for depth. Boston isn't just for depth though. Boston can play. He has the size to tackle running backs, has the speed to cover receivers if need be, and has the hands to intercept the ball if Matt Ryan or someone tries to throw the ball in his zone. I think Tre Boston and Robert Lester could develop into one of the better safety duos in the league. They could develop into something like the Seahawks have with Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor.
Defensive End: Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas
Height: 6'5", Weight: 240 Ibs, Expected 40: 4.73
If the Panthers can't retain Greg Hardy after this season, we're in trouble. Part of what makes the defense so outstanding is the fact that we have an INSANE front 4. It's hard to replace a talent like Hardy, but if we have to, Jackson Jeffcoat would be a good pick. Earlier this year, some people thought that Jackson Jeffcoat might be better than Jadeveon Clowney. Clearly, that's wrong now, but Jeffcoat is still very good. He is an outstanding pass rusher, with a solid bull rush, and speed rush. He is lacking a bit on his run stopping, and has had injury problems, but if he can stay healthy, he might develop into one of the better DE's in the league. Even if we keep Hardy, Jeffcoat would be an amazing player to add to the defense. I thought about putting Dominique Easley here, but I'm not sure how good he'll be after he recovers from a torn ACL.
Tight End: C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa
Height: 6'7", Weight: 265 Ibs, Expected 40: 4.65
C.J. Fiedorowicz isn't going to "wow" you this year, unless you're trying to spell his name, but that's because of how Iowa has used him this year. He is an outstanding blocker for Iowa, and they take advantage of that. He is also a very fast, quick, strong receiver, but they don't take advantage of that. I have a feeling that Carolina would take full advantage of it though. I also have a feeling that Cam Newton would love having a 6'7" tight end running a seam for him. Suddenly, Carolina's 2 tight end sets are deadly. Unlike Hartsock, we can bring C.J. in, and people will actually have to cover him. He can actually go play receiver. This is the big athletic tight end we have all been wanting, but we don't have to give up a first round pick to get him.
Cornerback: Stanley Jean Baptiste, Nebraska
Height: 6'2", Weight: 214 Ibs, Expected 40: 4.56
Some of you might be mad that I'm waiting until the 6th round to grab a cornerback. I don't really trust drafting corners. So many corners end up being busts, that I don't like to use important picks on them, unless they have something that really seperates them from the pack. There is no Patrick Peterson type player in this draft, so I say just wait it out, and take the scraps. The scraps this time, happen to be a 6'2" corner. Stanley Jean Baptiste is a former wide receiver converted to a defensive back. He is a bit raw, and will need to be coached up, but he could develop into one of the better corners in the league. He has the size and speed to match up with the elite wide recievers in the league. He has outstanding hands, and good instincts to jump a route and make an interception. My only knocks on him are that he isn't as physical as his size would indicate. He plays off the line of scrimmage a lot, and isn't the most sound tackler. The tackling can be taught, but I'm not sure what to do about his physicality, which is why he is a 6th round pick.
Wide Reciever: Martavis Bryant, Clemson
Height: 6'5", Weight: 200 Ibs, Expected 40: 4.48
According to a hand timer, Bryant ran a 4.24. That's probably wrong, but still, he's fast. He is supposed to be faster than Sammy Watkins, according to one of his coaches. The seventh round won't produce any guaranteed players, so grabbing a receiver that could develop into the best receiver in the league, is a good way to go. Bryant hasn't put up many stats in college, and probably won't declare this year, but if he does, I can't think of another player in the world I would rather get in the 7th round. Bryant may need to gain some weight too, because he doesn't fill out his body very well.