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Home Stretch 2 round NFL mock (plus rest of Panthers picks)

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It's about crunch time, and the process is almost over. Hopefully I'll do one final mock before the real draft:

1. Houston: J Clowney, DE/OLB
Got to go with the freak of nature, can easily get a decent QB at 33

2. (trade) Philadelphia from St. Louis: Sammy Watkins, WR
Someone is going to move up for Watkins in this draft, Julio Jones style. Chip had a plan this entire time. Nasty fit and a signature move for him

3. (trade) Minnesota from Jacksonville: Blake Bortles, QB
With a new coach in place, Minny moves up to get a guy they believe in

4. Cleveland: Johnny Manziel, QB
I still believe Jimmy Haslam wants a "signature move" that gives the Browns national attention (see firing Chud and going after Harbaugh). This is it.

5. Oakland: Khalil Mack, OLB
Add some bite to the defense

6. Atlanta: Greg Robinson, OT
They get lucky and catch a stud at a need spot

7. Tampa Bay: Teddy Bridewater, QB
New Coach + new GM = New QB

8. Jacksonville from Minnesota: Mike Evans, WR
Add punch to the offense, and get extra picks to rebuild. Henne was signed to keep them from reaching early, and defensive moves were made in free agency

9. Buffalo: Jake Matthews, OT
It’s all about protecting Manuel. Too much value to pass here

10 Detroit: Taylor Lewan, OT
Again too much value here to not help protect Stafford. Allow Caldwell to call those deep routes for Megatron and Tate

11 Tennessee: Derek Carr, QB
Wisenhunt gets his own QB to go with Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter. Locker has had his shots.

12 New York Giants: Zach Martin, G/OT
If Pugh worked out, then Martin should be even better (and go earlier)

13. St. Louis: H. Clinton-Dix, S
This is the pick everyone makes…

14: Chicago: Aaron Donald, DT
Houston and Allen replace Peppers. WR is set. With Melton gone this pick makes too much sense

15. Pittsburgh: Odell Beckham, Jr, WR
He’s a top player in this draft, and can refuel Ben’s offense

16. Dallas: Anthony Barr, OLB
They get lucky and add fresh young talent for their pass rush

17. (trade) San Francisco from Baltimore: Kelvin Benjamin, WR
Whether it’s Watkins, Benjamin, or Dee Ford; I think San Fran uses their ammo to move up for somebody (just like last year)

18. New York Jets: Eric Ebron, TE
He slides after being over-rated, and it works out well for Geno…who I still believe has a very bright future

19. Miami: Xavier Su’a-Filo, OG
He’s just a shade below Johnathon Cooper, who went top 10 in last year. He should be getting more love. Need meets value for the woeful Dolphin O-line

20. Arizona: Dee Ford, DE/OLB
I think they follow the status quo for the NFC West to keep that defensive front 7 vicious

21. Green Bay: Ryan Shazier, ILB/OLB
Could really help seal that defense with his instincts, athleticism, and versatility. Get a safety later.

22. (traded) St. Louis from Philadelphia: Morgan Moses, OT
They get an OT with potential at a more comfortable spot for them. And more picks.

23. Kansas City: D. Dennard, CB
The CBs have been over-rated some. KC would squeal for the chance to nab Dennard here

24. Cincinnati: Kony Ealy, DE
With few holes and the top QB’s gone, I lean with continuing to restock at DE. Could be a nice tandem with Hunt

25. San Diego: Justin Gilbert, CB
Another guy over-rated after a big Combine, but San Diego should leap for joy here

26. Cleveland: Carlos Hyde, RB
Good value spot for him despite what you might think about the position overall. Use a nearby product to add stability to the offense and help out your new QB

27. New Orleans: CJ Mosely, LB
They should be pumped if he slides this far. Other LBs go first due to being better athletes

28. Carolina: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama (6-7, 322)

The Panthers want to be big up front and pound the ball. Kouandjio helps with that if he’s here. Get a WR later, the OT class falls off faster. There was an Alabama tackle last year who was a mauler in the run game but suspect against speed rushers...and he's worked out pretty well so far.

29. New England: R. Hageman, DE/DT
Gives more teeth to the D up front, and provides stability

30. (traded) Baltimore from San Francisco: Calvin Pryor, S
I think he’s been pushed up a little too much, but could be a nasty pairing with Elam here. Ozzie doesn’t mind trading back for more picks.

31. Denver: Davante Adams, WR
Big outside WR with A++ ball skills? Sounds perfect for Peyton to replace Decker

32. Seattle: Stephon Tuitt, DE/DT
A huge, versatile defensive lineman? Sounds like a Seahawk to me.

Round 2
33. Houston: Zach Mettenberger, QB
34. Washington: Joel Bitonio, OT/G
35. Cleveland: Bradley Roby, CB
36. Oakland: Marqise Lee, WR
37. Atlanta: DeMarcus Lawrence, DE/OLB
38. Tampa Bay: Brandin Cooks, WR
39. Jacksonville: J. Garaoppolo, QB
40. (traded) Jacksonville from Minnesota: J. Attaochou, DE/OLB
41 Buffalo: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE
42. Tennessee: Scott Chrichton, DE
43. New York Giants: L. Nix, DT
44. St. Louis: Kyle Fuller, CB
45. Detroit: Jason Verrett, CB
46. Pittsburgh: Jimmie Ward, S
47. Dallas: T. Jernigan, DT
48. Baltimore: JaWuwan James, OT
49. New York Jets: LaMarcus Joyner, CB/S
50. Miami: Antonio Richardson, OT
51. Chicago: Kareem Martin, DE
52. Arizona: Tom Savage, QB
53. Green Bay: Jace Amaro, TE
54.(traded) St. Louis from Philadelphia: Kyle Van Noy, OLB
55. Cincinnati: D. Easley, DT
56. (traded) Baltimore from San Francisco: Gabe Jackson, OG
57. San Diego: Ego Ferguson, DT
58. New Orleans: Allen Robinson, WR
59. Indianapolis: Deonne Buccanon, S

60. Carolina: Cody Latimer, WR (6-3, 214, 4.44)

He's got size, he's got speed, and we seem to really be trying to get to know him. He's an athletic former basketball player who can get after the ball, and seems to have a lot of potential. He's also a great blocking wideout.

61. San Francisco: Marcus Smith, DE/OLB
62. New England: Troy Niklas, TE
63. Denver: David Yankey, OG/OT
64. Seattle: Jordan Matthews, WR

My current take home predictions for the draft overall:

  • No QB goes super early, but several will still go in the first half of the first round
  • Derek Carr goes earlier than anticipated
  • Tampa takes a QB early again this year (got that one right last year)
  • Someone trades up for Sammy Watkins
  • The top OT talent goes even earlier than anticipated
  • One guard and one RB go in the first round
  • Odell Beckham Jr goes in the first half of the first round
  • Kelvin Benjamin goes earlier than expected
  • Anthony Barr drops as far as Jarvis Jones last year
  • Joe Bitonio doesn’t make it out of the top 40 picks
  • Jordan Matthews drops to the end of the 2nd round

And for the rest of the Panthers draft:

1.28: Cyrus Kouandijo, OT Alabama (6-7, 322)

2.60: Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana (6-3, 214, 4.44)

3.92. Telvin Smith, OLB/S, Florida St. (6-3, 218, 4.52)

The more you watch Telvin the more you like him. He attacks gaps and gets to the ball carrier. Probably has underrated blitzing skills. We could use him as a weakside linebacker or in the box safety. Passionate player that took to Twitter to state how much he loved the organization after his visit. Robert Herron and Cameron Flemming are my back-up picks here.

4.128: Walt Aikens, CB, Liberty (6-1, 205, 4.49)

The Charlotte native has size, speed, and some grit. He has some press man experience too. Could pay dividends down the road after a year of training. He fits the mold of the big style of CB that Gettlevera covets. I could see Brock Vereen in this spot too.

5.168: Kevin Norwood, WR, Alabama (6-2, 198, 4.48)

Another solid guy with good size to compete at the wideout spot. Not spectacular in any one area, but he is experienced, intelligent, and reliable. Interestingly, he worked mainly from the slot at Alabama.

6.204: Isaiah Crowell, RB Alabama St/ Georgia (5-11, 224, 4.57)

The former 5 star recruit and SEC freshman of the year seems to have matured by many accounts since being released from Georgia. Good balance of power, speed, and agility. Experience running from the read-option. The Panthers need effective runners for their run-based offense, and Crowell is great value here.

7.225: Robert Thomas, DT, Arkansas (6-1, 327)

I don't see us going the entire draft without a pick for the defensive line. Thomas is a versatile guy who can hold the point of attack as a 1 tech, or attack a gap and penetrate the backfield as a 3 technique. Another high character leadership guy, that drops after breaking his leg in October.

Your thoughts on the Panthers draft, and overall?

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