A way-too-early positional mock draft predicting where the Carolina Panthers will go with their 2018 draft picks.
As of Tuesday, the Carolina Panthers own nine draft picks in the 2018 NFL draft.
- First Round: Pick #24
- Second Round: Pick #55
- Third Round: Pick #85 and Pick #88
- Fourth Round: No Picks
- Fifth Round: Pick #152
- Sixth Round: Pick #183
- Seventh Round: Pick #208, Pick #213, and Pick #216
- With the 24th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers should select the fastest wide receiver available. The Panthers selecting a field-stretching wide receiver with blazing speed in the first round would open up the offense. Additionally, this would help Norv Turner open up Cam Newton’s incredible long ball skills.
- With the 55th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers should select the largest offensive lineman available. Linemen are becoming a scarcer commodity in the NFL today. With rushers becoming more dominant in the NFC South, a versatile, intelligent lineman will go a long way, particularly if Andrew Norwell walks in free agency.
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- With the 85th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers should select a heavy built back with a little bit of speed. While this description is extremely narrow, a back with more size than speed would go a long way in the backfield of Carolina.
A modern recreation of “Smash and Dash” would allow Cam to get the ball out of his hands quickly either by handing the ball off, throwing screens, or dumping the ball off. Also, Norv Turner has to be salivating at the options he has with a backfield consisting of both Christian McCaffrey and a big-bodied back (kinda like Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram).
- With the 88th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers should select a free safety. The release of Kurt Coleman opens up a big hole in the secondary. With Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, and Jameis Winston in the division, the deep ball is a threat, and the Panthers’ defense will get exposed without a good safety. Also, this safety should be able to slide down and cover slot receivers, but that might be too much to ask this low in the draft.
Withstanding a trade, the Carolina Panthers do not currently own a fourth-round pick, nor is there any reason to suspect that they will own one. However, anything can happen on draft day.
- With the 152nd pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers should select an edge rusher. The Panthers’ defensive line is often highly praised; it should be. However, the line is quickly aging. A look at the Panthers’ depth chart will show age all over the defensive line. Mario Addison is 30. Wes Horton is 28. Kawaan Short is 29. Kyle Love is 31. Julius Peppers is 38. Also, Charles Johnson was just released, and Star Lotulelei is likely to walk in free agency. While there are young, rising stars behind the older stars, another young edge threat would be welcomed.
- With the 183rd pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers should select a quarterback project. The key word here is “project.” This is a player that will be drafted to back up Cam, but not compete for the starting job. Perhaps this player will become a future trade asset much like AJ McCarron or Nick Foles.
Projecting the positions that the Panthers should draft in the seventh round is impossible. The Panthers really should just draft BPA (Best Player Available) with picks #208, #213, and #216, or trade these picks away to move up in the draft.