I usually hate to look back at the picks I've made for the Panthers in prior mock drafts but 2013 was the exception. In the 2013 mock DT Star Lotulelei did slide out of the top 10 but not as far as #14, so I instead went with another hog mollie:
2013 NFL mock draft: Lane Johnson to Carolina Panthers - SBNation.com
Jaxon: "Though selecting a tackle was not high on the needs list for the Panthers, Johnson is the best player on the board and the perfect replacement for the guy Dan Kadar compares him to: Jordan Gross. Gross might have been a cap casualty this season if the Panthers had anyone that could play left tackle. That changes with the selection of Johnson. The Panthers have the luxury of starting Johnson on the right side until Gross is ready to retire, or they could go ahead and cut the biggest salary on the offense. New GM Dave Gettleman is looking at the long term, and first and foremost he needs to make sure his quarterback’s blind side is protected for the long term. He would consider himself very fortunate to land a tackle like Johnson at No. 14."
I wouldn't trade Star for anybody right now but getting Lane Johnson would have been fantastic given our dilemma after Jordon Gross retired. Let's hope Gettleman truly is concerned about Newton's blind side and gets that LT in this draft.
In the second round I did something I have never done before in one of these mocks, I got a pick right (and that includes 2011):
Jaxon: "In the virtual version of running to the podium, the Panthers select 6'3", 305-pound defensive tackle Kawann Short to address arguably the Panthers' biggest need for the past two seasons. Short is a stout, strong DT who can not only hold the point of attack but also make plays in the backfield. He uses his 35-inch arms well, executing rip moves, occasionally batting down passes and even blocking a few kicks on special teams. Short has the versatility to play either DT spot in the Panthers' 4-3, and could be an immediate starter. Finally, Short is also a Ron Rivera type of player - a two-year team captain said to be very coachable and a team leader. I think the Panthers would be very happy to land Kawann Short at No. 44."
Short played well as a rookie though it may not have justified my excitement at the time. I think we will see more out of him this year as he finally gets his feet under him. I'm thinking 5-8 sacks this year.
Picking at #28 and #60 this year will make it much harder to predict who the Panthers will select. At least that is what I try to do, pick who I think they would pick in the given scenario. Plus I have found that bloggers tend go for the 'need' or flashy picks versus that ends up playing out on draft day. Plus we know the trades that are sure to happen will screw everything up within the first hour of the draft starting.
BTW, I know who the first few picks are already and I must say....no I can't. Sorry!