2013 NFL Draft: Critiquing The Carolina Panthers Draft

USA TODAY Sports

Now that the draft is over and I've had some time to step away from my initial reactions, I still can't shake the concern I have with what unfolded this past weekend. Let me explain.

If the term "hog molly" is new to you at this point, then you haven't been paying attention. Shortly before the draft, our new GM, Dave Gettleman, used this expression to describe the type of behemoth players he wanted his Panthers to field in the trenches, and he wasn't kidding. In fact, his first three picks in the 2013 draft are a testament to how serious he actually was about adding girth to this roster.

I get it. Gettleman believes you must have "hog mollies" to compete in this league, and I agree. Just look at the beefy lines that were represented in the league's most recent Super Bowl. Both the 49ers and Ravens were littered with run stopping, gap penetrating defensive tackles and powerful, road grading interior offensive lineman.

Although this is certainly true, I still keep asking myself the following question: Did Gettleman overdo his philosophy in his very first draft? In reality, the answer may be several years away, but that won't stop me from revealing the direction I would have taken had I been in his shoes this past weekend.

As you analyze my draft redo, keep in mind that I am completely aware of how insignificant my opinion is in light of the fact that I am merely a novice talent evaluator. I also understand that my viewpoint is skewed by an incomplete picture of these prospects. Gettleman had the luxury of conducting interviews and viewing college film that was extremely valuable in determining who would best fit this team, while I did not.

Even so, this does not rule out the possibility that the best vantage point can occasionally and ironically come from those who are on the outside looking in. After all, how can any of us forget some of the obvious missteps of the previous administration? The 2009-2011 drafts were rife with head-scratching decisions that we are still recovering from to this day, and these were moves that many of us would never have made. Of course, hindsight is always better than foresight. With that being said, shall we begin?

1st Round

Panthers Pick: DT Star Lotulelei

Derek's Pick: Same

A falling Star was the perfect confluence of need and serendipity. Enough said.

2nd Round

Panthers Pick: DT Kawann Short

Derek's Pick: OLB Arthur Brown

Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of pairing Short and Lotulelei together for the next decade. However, the best player available on my board was Arthur Brown, and I don't deviate from my board.

4th Round

Panthers Pick: OG Edmund Kugbila

Derek's Pick: WR Quinton Patton

Sometimes the answer is directly in front of our face. Gettleman's insistence on getting three "hog mollies" in a row could pay off big or cost him dearly. All I know is that a project guard was taken over a pro ready potential number one receiver. I honestly hope I'm wrong, because time is running short on finding a replacement for an aging Smitty, and the answer sure isn't on this roster.

5th Round

Panthers Pick: LB A.J. Klein

Derek's Pick: SS Cooper Taylor

After taking the best 4-3 linebacker in the draft in the second round, there was very little value in taking a lesser one in the 5th round. If we we were going to take a small school project, Cooper Taylor should have been the guy. Gettleman could especially regret passing on this dynamic safety if he goes on to excel with the Giants, his former employer.

6th Round

Panthers Pick: RB Kenjon Barner

Derek's Pick: OG Eric Herman

I like Barner, but it isn't like we need him. Sure, this could be D-Will's last season, but we already have other options beyond Stewart on this team. Besides, serviceable running backs can be had in the later rounds of any draft these days. By my estimation, this would have been a better place to pick a project at right guard, and Herman would have been a perfect fit. He and Kugbila had very similar overall testing numbers, except in one particular area: Bench Press. Herman put up 36 reps while Kugbila managed 24. In fact, strength is where I believe our actual pick will struggle the most. As always, it's difficult to question the validity of any low risk 6th rounder.

Panthers Picks Derek's Picks
1st Round DT Star Lotulelei DT Star Lotulelei
2nd Round DT Kawann Short OLB Arthur Brown
4th Round OG Edmund Kugbila WR Quinton Patton
5th Round ILB A.J. Klein SS Cooper Taylor
6th Round RB Kenjon Barner OG Eric Herman

What do you think, CSR? Don't forget to vote before we discuss it further in the comment section that follows.


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