As you've probably heard by now, the Carolina Panthers took Utah DT Star Lotulelei with the 14th overall pick in the first round of the NFL Draft last night. Fans have been overwhelmingly excited about the selection, and with good reason.
The Panthers were able to take advantage of other teams' strange decision to pass on the stud from the Beehive State by getting a top five value at #14 overall, and as a result they solidified their interior defensive line - something they've desperately needed to do for several years.
Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Everyone in Carolina should be giddy about this pick. The Panthers needing a powerhouse defensive tackle was probably the biggest known need in the draft this year. To get Lotulelei, our second-rated player in the draft, with the 14th pick is a coup.
He's absolutely right - we should all be giddy that Star fell into our laps. The A+ grade is definitely deserved for Dave Gettleman for pulling the trigger on the best player available (who happened to be a huge need) instead of overthinking the process and picking someone who wasn't the right fit.
As much fun as it was seeing the Panthers take Star, it's time for the real work to begin for Gettleman, as he has to continue finding the right guys to fit the Panthers's system with the four picks he has left (assuming he doesn't trade any of them, of course).
In their press conference last night, both Rivera and Gettleman hinted that they would be looking at picking for the defense again in the second round, so be on the lookout for possible guys like Jonathan Cyprien, Kawann Short, Tank Carradine, or even Arthur Brown to be taken at #44 overall if they're still on the board.
But as always, don't rule out the smokescreen - Carolina could have their eyes on a wide receiver too; you just never know. Of course, that's what makes this process so much fun.