2014 NFL mock draft: Panthers get some protection for Newton

It's an unpopular pick in these parts, but a sensible one.

Attention remains locked on Carolina's need for a wide receiver, but Matthew Fairburn of SBNation.com is moving away from skill positions to find a player Panthers fans aren't overjoyed with.

28. Carolina Panthers - Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia

Morgan Moses has a chance to sneak into the first round. He quietly had a strong senior season and grades out in this range of the draft. Considering the current state of the Panthers' offensive line, Moses could be on their radar.

Find any top receiver in the league who thrived when his team didn't have a reliable offensive line -- it's a difficult task. Obviously having a good quarterback is the biggest piece of the puzzle, but protecting him is an entirely different matter. Morgan Moses makes a lot of sense to this end, even if he doesn't move the needle.

Moses met with the Panthers on Friday, indicating there's interest in him. The offensive tackle has the ideal size you're looking for out of a tackle prospect and it's important to realize the team is willing to take a risk on a guy they feel can grow and improve, regardless of whether you think he's the perfect prospect right now.

Carolina will need to take a risk, regardless of which position they select at No.28. They'll be choosing between the third or fourth best player at several positions, putting a premium on the team's ability to see talent that transitions to the NFL.

Remember one thing when looking at prospects for 2014: Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly were considered "reaches" by the masses when they were selected in 2011 and 2012.

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