Needs meet BPA mock draft

The Panthers have far more needs than they have draft picks, and all their needs can't be filled with the draft, so they have to prioritze their draft. I'll use 3 levels of need.

1. Priority Needs - These 3 "must haves" are RG, NT, and S.

2. Secondary Needs - A pass rushing UT, OT, and a backup receiving TE.

3. Want's (needed, but not enough picks) - WR, OLB, DE, a 2nd S, CB, K, P, and backup OG.

With only 5 draft picks, one of their secondary needs will have to go unfilled, unless they can trade to get an extra pick, and that's probably the bacup receiving TE. More good backup receiving TE's are likely to go undrafted than good pass rushing UT's or OT's. In fact, the Panthers signing of quality UDFA's will be critical for their rookie class success.

Now let's get to the draft:

The Panthers 1st and 2nd round picks, and probably their 4th round pick as well will be devoted to their "Priority Needs". The way I see things, only 3 OG's are surefire quality rookie starters, while some of the rest might be rookie starters as well, they won't be quality starters. Two of these OG's, Cooper and Warmack may even be gone before the Panthers make their first pick at 14. So, that leaves the Panthers puting all their egga in Larry Warford's basket, in hopes he falls to their #44 pick, if they pass over the top 2 OG's at #14, or they are gone by then. While some have Warford falling as far as the early 3rd round, I believe it's more likely that he will go before the Panthers 44th pick (see, I don't have anything against slow players, just the ones who are overrated or can't play, Warford ran an "official" Combine 5.58-40).

The NT's are deeper, but most have at least one questionable issue. The only NT worthy of the 14th pick is Star Lotulelei, but he's not perfect. He's clearly the best NT, but he lost around 10 pounds for his Pro Day (probably so he could run faster), only to run 5.31 and 5.36-40's, with a 1.89-10, not bad for a player in the 330's, but weighed only 311 pounds. So do you just hope that was because his heart scare kept him from working hard for his Pro Day, or move on to another NT? The latest word on the next NT, Sylvester Williams is that he will go to the Cowboys at #18. Williams isn't a great run stopper, but he has a pass rush, and great speed for a NT (an "official" 5.03-40, "unofficially" a 4.93-40, with a 1.72-10). The Panthers could trade back with the Rams (they like Varccaro and Hopkins) at 16, draft Williams, and gain a 3rd or 4th round pick (they could use it to trade up in the 2nd round to be sure they get Warford, or keep it). If not, then they will probably have to reach for a NT (Jesse Williams, Brandon Williams, John Jenkins, etc.) in the 2nd round, unless they have added a 3rd round pick.

The S class is the deepest of the 3 "Priority Needs", with the quality extending through the 5th round, with the later S's having better speed than the top 2 or 3 S's. So, I lean toward selecting a S in the 4th or 5th round.

Now onto the "Secondary Needs":

The Panthers to develop a pass rushing UT behind Dwan Edwards over the next 2 seasons, but they also need to draft a good OT, because next year Gross will be a URFA, and the other starting OT Bell will be a RFA. Which position to pick in the 5th and 6th rounds largely depends upon how far they think OT Chris Faulk will fall, nfldraftscout/cbssports have dropped his ranking to #257. DT Nick Williams (6'4 1/2", 309, 34 1/8" arms, 10 1/4" hands, an "official" Combine 4.94-40, "unofficially" a 4.84-40,with a 1.65-10) is raw, and from a small school, so will need to learn behind Edwards, but he had 8 sacks in 2012

The Dream Needs Meets BPA Mock Draft (including a fallback option, if the first choice is gone):

14th pick - NT Star Lotulelei (NT Sylvester Williams, perhaps trading back to 16-25)

44th pick - RG Larry Warford (OT Terron Armstead, RT in 2013, starting LT in 2014)

108th pick - S Earl Wolff (SS Shamarko Thomas, or S Duke Williams)

148th pick - DT Nick Williams (DT Akeem Spence)

182nd pick - OT Chris Faulk (OG Edmund Kugbila)

I really wish I had 1 more pick (6th or 7th round), so I could include OLB Eric Martin (6'0 3/4", 237, 32 3/4" arms, 9 7/8" hands, a 4.53-40, with a 1.61-10, with WR like 6.63 3-cone drill, and a 3.97-20 yard shuttle). He's a DE conversion, who had 17 TFL's and 8.5 sacks for Nebraska in 2012, so he could likely also be used as a undersized situational pass rusher as a rookie.

This draft doesn't come close to filling all the Panthers needs, so the rest of their draft needs will have to be filled with UDFA's. The Panthers have the salary cap room ($5.8 million) to hand out good signing bonuses ($20K to $25K), and they shouldn't be shy about offering these big signing bonuses to get the top UDFA talent.

My Prefered UDFA Signings (NFLDraftScout/CBSSports rankings):

Secondary Need, a backup receiving TE (Need 1):

(#284) Lucus Reed (6'6", 247, 35 1/4" arms, 10 1/2" hands) at his Pro Day ran a 4.65-40, with a 1.61-10, 27 bench reps, a 37" vertical, a 10'2" broad jump, a 6.97 3-cone drill, and a 4.08-20 yard shuttle. His problem is that his catches declined from a career high in 2010, to 22 in 2011, and 5 in 2012. He's also the brother of Texans OLB Brooks Reed, so they will probably have to buy him out of his desire to play with his brother.

(#321) Luke Wilson (6'5 3/8", 251, 32 1/4" arms, 9 1/2" hands) had a great Pro Day, running a 4.46-40, with a 1.53-10, 23 bench reps, 38" vertical, 10'2" broad jump, a 7.04 3-cone drill, and a 4.28-20 yard shuttle. His problem is sort of like Reed's, he was stuck behind likely 2nd or 3rd round pick Vance McDonals, and as a result had only 9 catches in 2012, but he had 33 catches in 2010, and 29 in 2011.

Panthers "Want's":

WR's (need McGuffie, Reed, & maybe Goard):

(#393) Sam McGuffie (5'10 1/4", 201, 28 7/8" arms, 9 3/8" hands) of Rice had a fantastic Pro Day, running a 4.36-40, with a 1,45-10, 26 bench reps, 40.5" vertical, 11'2" broad jump, a 6.57 3-cone drill, and a 3.93-20 yard shuttle. Except for being 2/100ths of a second slower in the 40, all his workout numbers were much better than Tavon Austin's, and he's 27 pounds heavier. He has the size to be that Sproles like RB that Austin doesn't, or a starting WR (54 catches in 2012), having both rushed for over 1,000 yards, and caught passes for over 1,000 yards, in his 2 seasons at Rice.

(#249) Kyler Reed (6'2 1/8", 225, 31 1/8" arms, 10 1/4" hands) played TE for Nebraska, but in the NFL he looks like a big WR, FB, H-Back, or "Flex" TE, because he would need another 25 pounds to play TE. Reed also had a great Pro Day, running a 4.43-40, with a 1.52-40, 19 bench reps, 41" vertical, 10'7" broad jump, 6.62 3-cone drill, and a 4.00-20 yard shuttle, these last 2 numbers would have ranked 2nd among all WR's. He has very good hands, but only had 25 catches in 2012. CBSSports/NFLDraftScout currently ranks him at #249, so he may not make it out of the draft.

I also liked Charles Johnson, but he's moved up into draft range (#230) in the last week (checkout Derek's post from yesterday). The Panthers have had Tyrone Goard (6'3 3/4", 205, 34" arms, but small 8 3/4" hands, an "official" Combine 4.50, "unofficially" a 4.44-40, with a 1.49-10) in for a visit, and is likely to be a UDFA (#324).

DE (Need Foster and 1 more):

(#381) DT/DE Glenn Foster (6'3 5/8", 286) had a great Pro Day, running a 4.78-40, with a 1.62-10, 29 bench reps, 39.5" vertical, 10'9" broad jump, 7.09 3-cone drill, and a 4.45-20 yard shuttle, as the Panthers watched. His 2012 production (31 tackles, 5.5 TFL's, and 2.5 sacks) didn't live up to his workout numbers, so he's still learning.

(#328) DE/OLB Troy Davis (6'1 3/4", 251, 4.65-40, 1.58-10)

(#733)DE Kentrall Harris (6'3 3/4", 263, 34 1/2" arms, 9 1/2" hands, 4.63-40, 1.68-10) #.

OG (Need 1):

(#272) Edmund Kugbila (6'4 3/8", 319, 34 7/8" arms, 10 1/4" hands,5.13-40, with a 1.75-10) of Valdosta St. The Panthers attended his Pro Day.

(#247) OT LaAdrian Waddle (6'6", 321, 36" arms, 11 1/8" hands, 5.37-40, 1.81-10), most experts don't think he's quick enough to play OT in the NFL, but I think those long arms, and huge hands could make him a good OG.

OLB (Need 1, maybe 2:

(#460) Jeremah Green (6'1 1/8", 245) of Nevada, ran a Pro Day 4.49-40, with a 1.55-10, 39.5" vertical, 10'1" broad jump, 6.91 3-cone drill, and a 4.28-20 yard shuttle.

(#288) Brandon Hepburn (6'2 1/2", 240, 32 1/2" arms) ran a Pro Day 4.54-40, 1.63-10, 36" vertical, 10'4" broad jump) has visited the Panthers.

CB (Need 1, maybe 2 for camp):

(#228) Demetrius McCray (6'0 3/8", 187, 33 7/8" arms) of App St., ran a Pro Day 4.47-40, a 40.5" vertical, 11'0" broad jump. and a 4.21-20 yard shuttle, with Combine numbers of a 1.50-10, and a 7.17 3-cone drill.

(#356) Marcus Cooper (6'2", 190, 32 3/4" arms, 9 1/4" hands, 4.46-40, 39" vertical, 10'9" broad jump)

(#364) Sheldon Price (6'2", 189, 4.42-40, 39" vertical, 10'6" broad jump)

(#524) C. J. Wilson (5'11". 195) of NC St., ran a Pro Day 4.34-40, 17 bench reps, 37" vertical. 10'6" broad jump, 6.90 3-cone drill, and a 4.19-20 yard shuttle) of NC St.

S (Need 1):

(#275) SS Cooper Tayler (6'4 3/4", 228, 4.49-40, 1.60-10, 23 bench reps, 36.5" vertical, 10'7" broad jump, 6.96 3-cone drill, 4.29-20 yard shuttle) may be too tall for a DB, so I think he would be a great OLB conversion, being a combo OLB/SS.

FS Ray Polk (6'0 3/4", 219) of Coloardo ran a Pro Day 4.40-40, 19 bench reps, 39" vertical, and a 10'6" broad jump.

P and K (1 of each):

P/K - (#211) Quinn Sharp (50 of 59 FG's and 46.3 over his last 3 years)

P/K - (#256) Brett Maher (20 of 27 FG's and a 42 yard average)

P - (#259) Brad Wing, 45 yard average in 2012

K - (#329) Josh Brown (I think he's changed his last name to Rivera), 17 of 18 in 2012

An Extra Camp QB arm (Need 1):

(#276) Sean Renfree (6'3 1/8", 219, 32" arm, and 9" hands)

(#468) Robert Marve (6'1 1/8", 211, 31 1/2" arms, and 9 7/8" hands)

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