If you follow the mock drafts that trickle out every couple of days, you probably noticed the latest ones offer the Panthers an opportunity to take the first wide receiver off the board. If for some reason the Carolina Panthers found themselves in this position, should they pull the trigger?
I took the time tonight to figure out how this scenario might happen and to see what teams could be targeting a WR before and after our first round pick. I gathered team’s needs from a few websites and crossed them with several mock drafts out there for accuracy.
Teams who can go WR before #14
– Pick #8 Buffalo Bill – GM Buddy Nix told the media that he is going to draft a franchise quarterback and a complimentary wide receiver to Stevie Johnson. They can reach for a QB at 8 or look for Nassib in the 2nd. We all need to pay attention on draft day to this pick and the one after it.
– Pick #9 New York Jets – They still need a rushing linebacker, 2 safeties, RT and QB. But walterfootball.com points out that Holmes is coming off an injury, Stephen Hill isn’t a big factor yet and they lost Dustin Keller to the Dolphin’s. I included the Jets here to show that their receiving group could be considered a liability.
What does this mean for us at #14
At best, we are given the opportunity to take who we feel is the best WR. At worst, to this point Patterson and Austin might be off the board. This would leave to pick either Keenan Allen or DeAndre Hopkins. Though most feel Allen is the value here, I can’t say for sure based on his unknown knee status. I like Hopkins a lot as well, but you could argue that might be a reach at 14. Anyways, let’s look towards the Panthers opting to pick a WR in the second round instead…
Teams who could take a WR between pick #15 and #43
– Pick #16 or #22 St. Louis Rams – So far they took a shot at Titus Young on waivers , they signed Jared Cook, and lost Danny Amendola to the Patriots. They clearly want to give Sam Bradford a new weapon, and with 2 picks in the first round, count on them to make this move.
– Pick #17 Pittsburg Steelers – They lost Mike Wallace to the Dolphins and the only FA receiver move they made was signing Plaxico Burress. Even though James Harrison needs a replacement, they could easily take a receiver here instead.
– Pick #23 of #25 Minnesota Vikings – Trading Percy Harvin gave the Vikings 2 first round picks to give Greg Jennings a compliment receiver. With an extra pick to burn and a need to get a legit #2 receiver it's more than likely they choose a WR in the first round.
– Pick #27 Houston Texans – Schaub could easily use another option to throw to. Though this pick may not be a sure thing, I put the Texans up for consideration. Other positions needed: RT, RG, LB
– Pick #36 Detroit Lions – #2 WR Ryan Broyles tore another ACL leaving Megatron as the lone dependable target. They also dumped off Titus Young so they can easily take a WR here.
– Pick #39 New York Jets – They pick ahead of us in the 2nd round and have the ability and possible need to get a WR here. If they chose a WR at #9 for whatever reason than this pick will not happen.
– Pick #41 Buffalo Bills – As previously stated, the Bills want a franchise QB and a no. 2 WR for Stevie Johnson. Whether it’s here or round 1, the Bills are likely to take a WR before us at #44.
Scenarios at pick #44
1. We chose a WR at #14 and can pick BPA in the 2nd round.
2, We missed out on the "Big 4" (Patterson, Austin, Allen, Hopkins) and choose someone in the following group: Quinton Patton, Justin Hunter, Markus Wheaton, Robert Woods, Terrance Williams.
3. Wait to draft a #1 caliber WR in the future
I’ll leave my opinions to the comments section as I want this to lead to an open discussion with everyone. Thanks for reading!