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NFL Draft: First Round Composite Mock 1.0

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(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

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Using fifteen mock drafts from around the internet (NFL.com, ESPN, CBSSports, Sporting News, Rotoworld and Sports Illustrated), Danny Guy and Colin Hoggard are trying to get a better idea of who might be available for the Panthers to select with the 28th pick in the first round. Using the average draft position (ADP) of the combined mock drafts (listed at the bottom) as selection order, the Panthers are left with options at multiple different need positions.

Based on ADP, the first selection in the 2014 NFL draft will be JaDeveon Clowney (ADP: 2.2) and there are presently eighteen consensus first round picks:

QB (3): Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles, J. Manziel
OL (4): Greg Robinson, Jake Matthews, Taylor Lewan, Zack Martin
WR (2): Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans
TE (1): Eric Ebron
DT (2): Louis Nix, Timmy Jernigan
Edge Rushers (3): JaDeveon Clowney, Kahlil Mack, Anthony Barr
LB (1): C.J. Mosley
DB (2): Hasean Clinton-Dix, Justin Gilbert
Note: CB Darqueze Dennard (MSU) was included in the top 24 of fourteen mock drafts, but was left out of one (Rotoworld). OL Zack Martin (ND) was the lowest consensus selection at 19th.

ADP draft selections should not be viewed in terms of fit, solely in perceived likelihood of which players would be available at any given pick:
Pick. Team – Player Position – School (ADP)
1. HOU – JaDeveon Clowney DE – SCAR (2.2)
2. STL – Teddy Bridgewater QB – LOU (4.13)
3. JAX – Greg Robinson OT – AUB (4.33)
4. CLE – Blake Bortles QB – UCF (4.8)
5. OAK – Johnny Manziel QB- TAM (5)
6. ATL – Sammy Watkins WR – CLEM (5.73)
7. TB – Jake Matthews OT – TAM (6.33)
8. MIN – Kahlil Mack OLB – BUF (7.07)
9. BUF – Anthony Barr OLB – UCLA (10.47)
10. DET – Mike Evans WR – TAM (12.67) (tie)
11. TEN – Taylor Lewan OT – MICH (12.67) (tie)
12. NYG – C.J. Mosley LB – BAMA (14.8)
13. STL – Darqueze Dennard CB – MSU (15.33)
14. CHI – Eric Ebron TE – UNC (15.4) (tie)
15. PIT – Hasean Clinton-Dix FS – BAMA (15.4) (tie)
16. DAL – Louis Nix DT – ND (18)
17. BAL – Justin Gilbert CB – OKST (18.13)
18. NYJ – Timmy Jernigan DT – FSU (18.67)
19. MIA – Zack Martin OT/OG – ND (19.13)
20. ARI – Marqise Lee WR – USC (20.4)
21. GB – Calvin Pryor FS – LOU (20.8)
22. PHI – Aaron Donald DT – PITT (23.8)
23. KC – Odell Beckham Jr. WR – LSU (24.13)
24. CIN – Cyrus Kouandjio OT – BAMA (24.13)
25. SD – Derek Carr QB – Fresno St. (26.07)
26. CLE – Dee Ford DE – AUB (26.13)
27. NO – Kony Ealy DE – MIZZ (27.33)
28. CAR – Ra’Shede Hageman DT – MINN (27.4)
29. NE – Kelvin Benjamin WR – FSU (27.73)
30. SF – Jason Verrett CB – TCU (28.73)
31. DEN – Bradley Roby CB – OSU (29.13)
32. SEA – Jace Amaro TE – TTU (29.47)
Note: Players not selected in a given mock draft were assigned a pick value of 33

When we did the math, the composite mock had the Carolina Panthers drafting Ra’Shede Hageman. Despite Hageman being a very good interior presence, drafting another Defensive Tackle is a luxury the Panthers just cannot afford.

Picks We Like:
1. CB – Bradley Roby, Ohio State (31 in ADP): Physical Corner who is a junkyard dog in run support. Shows the ability to turn and run with a WR, and reads the Receiver’s body well at times knocking passes down without locating the ball. Tends to be a little too physical downfield at times, and lacks ideal height.
2. TE – Jace Amaro, Texas Tech University (32 in ADP): Athletic Tight End with exceptional size. Creates mismatches in the Defensive Backfield, and competes at the catch point better than most. Is Jimmy Graham like when the ball is in the air.
3. WR – Brandin Cooks, Oregon State (33 in ADP): Explosive WR, who can play both in the slot and on the boundaries. More physical than some give him credit for after the catch, showing the ability to run through arm tackles. Lacks ideal size to be a “special” WR, and not as competitive at the catch point as you would like.

Picks We Don’t Like:
1. WR – Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State (29 in ADP): Benjamin’s size is intriguing, and Wide Receiver is a huge need for the Panthers. That said, the fact that he’s still raw at 23, and he has questionable hands and route running ability convinced us he wasn’t a good fit for a team that needs sustained success.
2. CB – Jason Verrett, Texas Christian (30 in ADP): This was the hardest cut from the final three. Verrett is a fluid athlete with good change of direction ability and instincts. He’s a good fit for Carolina, but we preferred Roby’s size over Verrett’s.
3. OT – Morgan Moses, Virginia (34 in ADP): Moses to the Panthers has gained some traction in the last few weeks, but ultimately we felt Moses is a second round player. A general rule is don’t over draft based on need, so we looked elsewhere.

The Pick: This was a very tough decision between Cooks and Amaro. Cooks fills an obvious need, with an explosive playmaker drawing comparisons to the greatest player in the history of the Panthers. In the end though we went with size, and the player who offensive coordinator Mike Shula can create mismatches with, Tight End Jace Amaro. Amaro has a good understanding for where the holes in a zone are, and is a well-rounded route runner. He comes in and out of breaks smoothly, and has the ability to create separation with his routes. He has natural hands catching ability, and is a physical ball carrier after the catch. The biggest question with Amaro is his ability to play as an inline blocker. The Red Raiders rarely used him in these situations, and he will need to prove he can succeed here to become an all-around TE in the NFL. In the meantime, he’ll be a huge weapon in a passing game that hasn’t looked the same since Jeremy Shockey left town.

Don’t book the trip to New York…
(Players who are included on three or less mocks)
Lamarcus Joyner, Ryan Shazier, Davante Adams, Carlos Hyde, Jimmy Ward, Stephon Tuitt, Jarvis Landry, Loucheiz Purifoy, Antonio “Tiny” Richardson, Jordan Matthews, Jeremiah Attaochu, Tre Mason, Bashaud Breeland, Kyle Van Noy, Xavier Su’a-Filo, Allen Robinson, David Yankey

Go ahead and order your jersey…
(Players who were mocked to the same team at least seven times)
ATL-Greg Robinson, OAK-Sammy Watkins,TB-Khalil Mack, PIT-Louis Nix III, CHI-Timmy Jernigan, MIA-Zack Martin, KC-Odell Beckham Jr.

The following mock drafts were used for this piece (and most recent update):
Rob Rang (CBS) Mar. 4
Dane Brugler (CBS) Mar. 4
Pete Prisco (CBS) Mar. 4
Pat Kirwan (CBS) Mar. 4
Bucky Brooks (NFL) Mar. 4
Will Brinson (CBS) Feb. 28
Charles Davis (NFL) Feb. 27
Daniel Jeremiah (NFL) Feb. 27
Eric Galko (Sporting News/Optimum Scouting) Feb. 26
Chris Burke (SI) Feb. 26
Don Banks (SI) Feb. 19
Josh Norris (Rotoworld) Feb. 17
Todd McShay (ESPN Insider) Feb. 6
Mel Kiper (ESPN Insider) Feb. 6
Doug Farrar (SI) Feb. 6

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