8. Panthers - DE Takkarist McKinley, 6’2”, 250 lbs, UCLA
Charles Johnson and Julius Peppers won't be around for too long.
This is a strange pick as I see McKinley as a 3-4 OLB in the NFL, not the next JP or CJ for that matter. He would need to put on some weight to be a three down 4-3 DE in this league. Right now he’s a 3rd down specialist.
Looking at the rest of his mock I like many of the picks. The problem is that many of them really don’t fit the Panthers, just like Takk McKinley.
2-14: OT Cam Robinson, Alabama
To land the Outland Trophy winner at #40 is coupe in my view. Best pick in this mock draft. Grade: A+
2-64: RB Joe Mixon, Oklahoma
It’s hard to imagine he is anywhere on the Panthers board due to that disgusting video of him punching a woman, but if we imagine all that didn’t happen, then this is a wonderful pick. If only... Grade: F
3-98: WR Cooper Kupp, E. Washington
Kupp broke all kinds of records and completely looks the part of NFL starter but it will require patience. As far as the Panthers I think they are looking for more speed. Of course they could still draft that receiver later in the draft. Grade: B
Utilized as a slot receiver in college but could transition outside. Produced elite numbers against a lower level of competition but saved a monster game for Washington State early in the season. He is as natural a pass catcher as you will find with desired competitive drive on each snap. His transition to NFL-level cornerbacks will take time, but he has the ability to become an early No. 3 receiver and eventual starter.
4-115: CB Rasul Douglas, WVU
The Panthers could bring in Darryl Worley’s former teammate to challenge at slot CB. In fact, that is who he is being compared to:
Douglas has rare size for the position and his 2016 interception total will add to the level of intrigue for NFL teams. There is no doubting Douglas' ability to make plays on the ball when he's in position, but his lack of long speed and closing burst could make his big senior season an anomaly. Douglas is a zone corner with press and trail ability but needs to run a reasonable time at the combine to solidify his draft slotting.
So we are so enamored with Darryl Worley we want his clone? Well we would be getting Worley’s clone in the fourth round instead of the third like Worley do it must be a good pick right? Grade: C
5-152: Pharaoh Brown, TE, Oregon
This is another head scratcher. Brown has both on and off the field liabilities.
Brown's 2014 leg injury appears to have taken away some of his functional athleticism and separation quickness. Brown has good size, but his poor hands and inconsistencies as a blocker will make it tough for him to stick on a roster unless he gets back to where he was pre-injury.
When I say off the field issues I mean both disciplinary and just sheer bad luck.
Brown has reportedly had multiple off-field issues since arriving in Eugene, including two fights with teammates and a domestic violence incident that did not result in charges because the authorities determined that his girlfriend was the instigator. Brown also nearly had his leg amputated after a horrific leg injury against Utah in November 2014, though after multiple surgeries he managed to get back on the field for the Ducks in 2016, earning first-team All-Pac-12 honors (33-426, five TD in nine games).
I really don’t see how this guy gets drafted really. Grade: F
So I of course have to add my personal re-mock to make it much better and something way more likely the Panthers would execute.
1-8: TE OJ Howard (or S Malik Hooker)
2-40: OT Cam Robinson - I like this pick no doubt
2-64: Justin Evans, S, Texas A&M (or Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA if you prefer Hooker in the 1st)
3-98: Dede Westbrook, WR, Oklahoma
4-115: T Antonio Garcia, Troy (or TE Adam Shaheen if you preferred Hooker in the 1st)
5-152: WR Malachi Dupree, LSU
If my #1 class is too heavy on the offense then the second option adds Hooker but still includes a TE instead of the second OT. I mean, let’s make our biggest weakness last season a strength this season.