• 1st round: Traded to San Francisco for the right to draft Everette Brown in last year's draft.
• 2nd round: Brandon LaFell WR, LSU
Carolina's biggest concern in the offseason is upgrading the wide receiver corps. Steve Smith is the only proven wide receiver, and he's constantly double and triple teamed. For Matt Moore to be successful, somebody needs to step up oppostie Smith. And Dwayne Jarrett, although displaying flashes of brilliance, hasn't shown that he can consistantly get open in the NFL.
• 3rd round: Geno Atkins DT, Georgia
Ed Johnson and Leonard Louis are starting. And Corvey Irvin, Nick Hayden, and Tank Tyler are backups. The Panthers are in need of some serious help after surrendering their third worst season average for rushing yards per game. 1st and 2nd are 2001 and 1998...the Panthers totaled five wins in those two seasons (and they have been the only two seasons in which the Panthers didn't win at least 7 games). Atkins, although small, is very strong. And he stood out at Senior Week.
• 4th round: Daniel Te'o-Nesheim DE, Washington
He's a bit undersized for a typical 4-3 defensive end, but Ron Meeks likes the smaller and faster defensive players. His philosphy: The quicker you can get a bunch of players around the ball, the better your chances are of a stop or a turnover. Te'o-Nesheim's high motor would fit right into Meeks system. He also had an outstanding Combine.
• 5th round: Traded to Cleveland for DT Leonard Louis last season.
• 6th round: Traded to Miami for the right to move up and draft Geno Atkins in this mock draft.
With Cleveland, Jacksonville, and Chicago in front of me all needing help at defensive tackle, I got kinda worried that Atkins (and Alualu) might not be there at #78. As it turned out, Tyson Alualu went off the board at #77 to Cleveland. But none of the other GMs between #72 and #78 pursued a tackle in the third, and I would've been happy with either Atkins or Alualu. My drafting inexperience got the better of me this time.
• 6th round compensatory: Kyle Williams WR/KR Arizona State
The Panthers have not had a kick (kickoff or punt) return for a touchdown since 2003. Since 2003, they have given up 4 punt returns and a kickoff return for a touchdown. The coverage teams have been improved with the signings of coverage standouts: Aaron Fransisco, Marcus Hudson, and Wallace Wright. The drafting of Williams, gives them another option to return kicks. He has also shown improvement in the offense.
• 6th round compensatory: Zac Robinson QB Oklahoma State
Drafted as a project quarterback in case Matt Moore isn't the long term answer.
• 7th round: Rafael Priest CB, TCU
Drafted for depth in the secondary, and could possibly be a "sleeper in the seventh" like Captain Munnerlyn was last season.
• 7th round compensatory: Perry Riley OLB, LSU
Highest rated player left on my board. There's always room on the roster for linebacker depth.
• Signed undrafted-free agent Garrett Lindholm, place kicker from Tarleton State
Will replace Rhys Llyod in the kickoff duties, and hopefully replace the 40 year old John Kasay, who has lost a little leg of late.