Conventional wisdom might suggest the best potential trade scenario would involve exchanging our 14th pick for the 49ers late first(31) and early second(34). I don't see it that way. If we're going to move that far back, then why not attempt to acquire as many picks as we possibly can? If I were the acting GM and the 49ers gave me a call, then I would ask for their 34(2nd), 61(2nd), 74(3rd), and 131(4th). Nothing complicated. In fact, this trade would be considered fair according to the current draft value charts.
Of course, a bold trade like this begs the following question: Would you rather have the one first round pick at 14 or two second rounders, one third rounder, and one fourth rounder? If your on the verge of winning a Super Bowl and only have a couple of glaring holes like the 49ers, then the higher selection makes more sense. Conversely, if you have more than a handful of roster weaknesses like the Panthers, then the more logical move would be to collect additional picks. In short, this trade works for both parties.
Before some of you begin entertaining the subtraction by addition argument, consider the fact that this draft isn't particularly top heavy. In other words, there may not be a great deal of talent separation between the 14th and 44th picks, whereas the 2014 draft seemingly looks to have a greater degree of high end talent throughout the entire first round. In that case, the Panthers, like most teams, would probably be much less willing to trade back from the middle part of the 1st round next year.
Ultimately, this is all speculation and conjecture. So let's just have some fun and forget all the minutia for a few moments. It's time to enjoy my final 2013 mock draft for what it truly is: A work of art.
** 34 ** WR Keenan Allen
The Panthers get a steal with their first pick. There will be at least one team who will end up regretting the fact that they moved Allen down their draft board based largely on a forty that was run at less than full strength. Here's to hoping that one of those teams isn't actually the Panthers.
44 DT Kawann Short
The former two-time team captain at Purdue would be a welcome addition to an interior defensive line that lacks depth and play-makers. Short isn't the perfect prospect by any means, but his weaknesses can be easily corrected with some quality coaching.
** 61 ** WR Quinton Patton
Like it or not, this pick could represent the best player available. Patton and Allen would give Cam a potentially potent tandem to grow with for the remainder of his career. As we all know, Steve Smith isn't getting any younger, and Lafell could be lost to free agency next season. Drafting two promising wide receivers in this draft would go a long way toward remedying these realities.
** 74 ** TE Gavin Escobar
This draft is starting to look very similar to the 2012 Colts draft when they did everything possible to immediately surround Andrew Luck with weapons for the long term. Can you imagine Cam's reaction following the completion of the first three rounds? Let's just say that he would be grinning from ear to ear.
108 OT Brennan Williams
I finally took an opportunity to address the offensive line, and for good reason. Williams would most likely be an upgrade at the right tackle spot, and that isn't too shabby for a 4th rounder.
** 148 ** OG Alvin Bailey
Bailey is a bit raw, but you could go ahead and pencil him in as the first string road grading right guard our running game has been needing for quite some time. The Panthers were able to completely overhaul the right side of the offensive line in only one round. Not bad. Now it's time to address the other side of the ball.
5th Round: SS Duke Williams
This hard hitting standout from Nevada is another prospect who could find himself making his presence felt in training camp. The Panthers may have passed on some of the upper tier safeties in the earlier rounds, but Williams has the upside to match many of his more highly regarded peers.
6th Round: DE David Bass
This small school standout is just too good to pass up at this point in the draft. Bass and Alexander could fight over a starting gig if the Panthers decide that signing Hardy to a long term contract isn't in their best interest following the 2013 season.
There you have it my CSR friends. I did my best to overhaul some weak areas on offense and fill a couple of glaring holes on defense.
Here are 3 questions to consider while you discuss this draft. (Thanks for the idea BW):
Which one of these picks do you believe was the biggest steal?
Which one of these picks do you believe was the biggest reach?
Do you believe this draft is good enough to catapult the Panthers into the 2013 playoffs?