Carolina Panthers mock drafts have the team targeting one of two positions with its first pick.
Barring a trade the Carolina Panthers own overall pick No. 16 in this year’s NFL Draft. After starting last year, winning six of their first eight games, it appeared the team was in line for a return to the playoffs but a second half collapse left Carolina with a handful of concerns this offseason.
A once dominant pass rush became non-existent in 2018 and the health of quarterback Cam Newton remains an issue. Unable to perform at 100-percent due to a nagging shoulder injury, Newton was shut down for the final two games of the regular season as an inability to protect his position became even more apparent when two backups had to be removed with injuries of their own.
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For these reasons, the latest round of NFL mock drafts has the team selecting players from one of two different positions – offensive tackle or defensive end. While the outlets may not agree on which player exactly will become the newest member of the Panthers, the need for help at either of these positions is apparent.
On defense, losing future Hall of Fame candidate Julius Peppers to retirement not only hurts on the field but in the locker room. A veteran presence, his leadership and production will be sorely missed but general manager Marty Hurney has already made an attempt by signing free agent Bruce Irvin.
At tackle, the Panthers appear to have a star on the rise in Taylor Moton and electing to re-sign Daryl Williams would create some stiff competition if another is selected in the draft. Even so, last year was a clear indication that the depth of talent along an offensive line is critical to a team’s success and the more competition available the better.
Stay tuned to see who Hurney and the Panthers select when first on the clock for the NFL Draft in Nashville on April 25.