Ed note: With the rapid rise of former Mac Attack Intern turned NFL draft savant Josh “Casper” Norris, we’re at it again. This time, former Mac Attack intern/draftnik Danny Guy will be covering the lead up to the NFL Draft for the show here on WFNZ.com, with a focus on the Panthers specific needs and breaking down the draft class by position. Have any questions, ask in the comments or interact with Danny on twitter: @danny_g13]
Mock Draft (Day 2 Revision)
The unthinkable happened and after thirteen long, anxious picks, Star Lotulelei is the newest member of our Carolina Panthers.
Star Lotulelei – 6’3” 311 lbs – Utah
- Anchor: Absolute space eater, commands double teams on a regular basis.
- Athletic: Surprisingly nimble and quick for a player of his size. Is able to get to ball carriers in a hurry.
- Scheme Diverse: Has the size and frame to play Nose Tackle in a 4-3, or move out to End in a 3-4 front.
- First Step: Explosive off the ball, getting into the backfield with ease at times.
- Strength: Possesses exceptional strength allowing him to dictate where opposing lineman go.
- Pursuit: Good lateral pursuit, and a sound tackler. Plays the gaps well.
- Inconsistent: Does not maintain same level of play throughout games.
- Technique: Unrefined technique, relying on physical ability too often.
- Pass Rush: Does not have dominant pass rushing moves, and will be more of a run stopper at the next level.
Why Star? This was a bit of a no brainer in my opinion, but David Gettleman should still be commended for making the correct pick. Lotulelei is a space eater who can occupy multiple offensive lineman and free up things for Kuechly and the other Linebackers. He also has incredible athleticism for a man of his size, possessing the ability to close on ball carriers, and slide through running lanes. He has an explosive first step that will help him create leverage off the snap, and shows exceptional strength to move lineman into the backfield. He not only fills the biggest need the Panthers had of Nose Tackle, but he will also make things that much easier for everyone around him. He shouldn’t have been on the board at 14, but he was and the Panthers will be rewarded for years for their luck.
Pick #44 – My Top Three For The Choice
- Justin Hunter: Wide Receiver – 6’4” – 196 lbs – Tennessee
- Markus Wheaton: Wide Receiver – 5’11” – 189 lbs – Oregon State
- Keenan Allen: Wide Receiver – 6’2” – 206 lbs – California
And the choice is…
Markus Wheaton: Wide Receiver – 5’11” – 189 lbs – Oregon State
Why Wheaton? While I would love to see the Receiver that has the most physical tools in the Draft fall, I just don’t see lightning striking twice for the Panthers. However, Wheaton is a nice consolation prize. Wheaton is a Wide Receiver I’ve been enamored with since the Draft process started. He’s a player who can not only take the top off a defense, but also make catches in tight windows. He can be moved around to exploit the defense, and has a solid level of elusiveness after the catch. I feel like he can push LaFell for the number two job, and is a potential heir apparent to Steve Smith.
Pick #108 – My top Three For The Pick
- Shawn Williams: Safety – 6’0” – 213 lbs – Georgia
- Shamarko Thomas: Safety – 5’9” – 213 lbs – Syracuse
- Logan Ryan: Cornerback – 5’11” – 191 lbs – Rutgers
And the choice is…
Shamarko Thomas: Safety – 5’9” – 213 lbs – Syracuse
Why Thomas? Thomas is a perfect fit at Safety for the Panthers, and landing him in the fourth round makes it that much sweeter. He’s a hard hitting enforcer in the defensive backfield, who has the speed to cover a lot of field in a hurry. He closes on ball carriers extremely well, and has great lateral agility in coverage. He’s aggressive and plays with a little bit of reckless abandon, which is something the Panthers could surely use in their secondary.
Pick #148 – My Top Three For The Pick
- Sanders Comings: Cornerback – 6’0” – 216 lbs – Georgia
- Tharold Simon: Cornerback – 6’2” – 202 lbs – LSU
- Brandon McGee: Cornerback – 5’11” – 193 lbs – Miami
And the choice is…
Sanders Commings: Cornerback – 6’0” – 216 lbs – Georgia
Why Commings? Much like Josh Norman last year, the Panthers get a late round Corner with potential starter ability down the line. He’s an athletic physical Corner with great size and speed, and decent ball skills. He will probably be relegated to Special Teams in year one, but getting a future starter down the line is just about the best you can hope for in the fifth round.
Pick #182 – Caleb Sturgis: Kicker – 5’10” – 188 lbs – Florida
Why Sturgis? While I hate to pick a Kicker in a draft with so few picks, I also hate having to worry about extra points and field goals from inside of thirty yards being converted. Sturgis fixes that, as he’s a highly accurate kicker with a big leg. In the seventh round the Panthers get in my opinion the best Kicker in the draft and most reliable in Charlotte since John Kasay left town.