Carolina Panthers Mock Draft 3.0
By this time next week, the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft will be in the books and everyone will be wondering who their favorite team will be taking the rest of the way.
Here is who I have the Carolina Panthers taking not just in the first round, but the rest of the way as well:
First Round – Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia
I had Moses being drafted by the Panthers in my first mock draft and he has since become a popular pick for Carolina among mock draft experts. Moses has shot up draft boards in recent weeks, but the Panthers still have a nice shot at getting him with the 28th overall pick. WR is a huge question mark right now for the Panthers, but protecting Cam Newton has to be the top priority. Moses would be set to take over for Jordan Gross, who retired earlier this offseason. He is still considered raw, but could become a solid LT if coached right. Moses made the shift from RT to LT his senior year and did extremely well with the transition.
Second Round – Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State
Adams is easily my favorite wide out - if not player - of this year’s draft. When watching highlights of Adams, he makes the game of football look easy. He plays extremely fluid and places the defender right where he wants him with his body movement just before hauling in a catch. Adams is flying far too low under the radar right now and I fully expect the Panthers to make every other team pay for passing on him. Look for QB Derrick Carr to struggle in the NFL without Adams there to secure his underthrown and errant throws. Newton could have a top rookie WR to throw to next year if the Panthers are able to pull the trigger on Adams in the second round.
Third Round – Jarvis Landry, WR, LSU
The talent of the Panthers WR corps was completely wiped out this offseason. Doubling up on the position in the early rounds is a very likely scenario for Carolina. Odell Beckham Jr. received all of the hype coming into the draft, but Landry could easily wind up being the better option out of LSU. Landry is extremely tough and elusive. He can either run a would-be tackler over after a catch or leave him grabbing at air. Landry is not afraid to run routes in the middle of the field and could be utilized in the slot when needed. His experience on special teams can't be overlooked either.
Fourth Round – Victor Hampton, CB, South Carolina
Hampton is an extremely physical cornerback. He could come in and take over for the recently released Captain Munnerlyn, who was an equally aggressive defender. The Seattle Seahawks showed what a physical secondary can do to the morale of a team when they owned Denver’s wideouts in the Super Bowl. Carolina had a dominate defense as well last year and I look for the team to seek out aggressive players to continue the trend. Hampton was involved in a night club altercation this offseason, but it became recently known that he would not be charged. I look for the incident to drop his stock slightly, but the Panthers should not hesitate on taking him.
Fifth Round – Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech
With Cam Newton coming off of ankle surgery, a reliable backup QB must become a priority. Thomas is a physical marvel just like Newton, and a nearly identical offense could be run with either under center. Thomas never reached his true potential at Virginia Tech, but he could bring real versatility to the Panthers offense. Thomas could have the ability make some hard runs and give Newton a break on the sideline or could even line up along with Cam in the backfield. The possibilities of an offense consisting of both Newton and Thomas could be too hard to pass up in the draft.
Sixth Round – Blake Annen, TE, Cincinnati
Two tight end sets are becoming the norm in the NFL. Annen is solid TE with the added bonus of being extremely fast for his size. Greg Olsen and Annen on the field at the same time could become a nightmare for defenses. Both can block, both can catch, and both can really make you pay if you don’t have the proper personnel to stop them.
Seventh Round – Tony Washington, WR, Appalachian State
When looking into the seventh round, teams are looking for a player who can contribute on special teams. Washington is the man who sticks out as having a real chance to be a special player at fielding kickoffs and punts. He will come into the NFL with a ton of experience on special teams from his time in college and that will set him apart in training camp. When a player is comfortable fielding punts and kickoffs, he is able to relax and focus on making a play.
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