Over the past few months, the Panthers staff here at Last Word on Pro Football has brought multiple perspectives on how the draft could unfold for Carolina. I wanted to take one more look at the trends across each of my mocks before the real teams start picking. All picks were made using the Draft Network’s mock draft machine, which predicts the draft on a pick-by-pick basis and allows the user to make selections for one or more teams.
Roundup for 2019 Carolina Panthers Mock Draft
1: Garrett Bradbury, Center
2: Lonnie Jones Jr, Cornerback
3: Darnell Savage, Safety
3: Ben Banogu, Edge Rusher
4: David Sills V, Wide Receiver
5: Trayveon Williams, Running Back
6: Gardner Minshew, Quarterback
If the Panthers don’t get an EDGE in the first two rounds, it could spell disaster. They are in a good position to fill some pressing needs in the first four rounds, especially with deep talent at those positions of need.
1: Brian Burns, Defensive End
2: Erik McCoy, Center
3: Darnell Savage, Safety
3: Joe Giles-Harris, Linebacker
4: Anthony Ratliff-Williams, Wide Receiver
5: Will Grier, Quarterback
6: Bryce Love, Running Back
The draft falls nicely in this scenario with a great mix of drafting for need while also taking some of the best talent available. I’m not convinced free agency changed anything in regards to draft strategy other than the absolute need to grab a safety as one of their first four picks.
1: Andre Dillard, Offensive Tackle
2: Darnell Savage, Safety
3: Zach Allen, Edge Rusher
3: Will Grier, Quarterback
4: Miles Boykin, Wide Receiver
5: Daylon Mack, Interior Defensive Line
6: Austin Bryant, Edge Rusher
Again, if the Panthers don’t get an edge rusher in the first two rounds, it could spell disaster. They are in a good position to fill some. I’d prefer not to take a quarterback until day three, but if the board falls this way and the Panthers like a guy, they may feel the need to pull the trigger on day two. I’m not convinced free agency changed anything in regards to draft strategy other than the absolute need to grab a safety as one of their first four picks. I would like to not have missed out on a dynamic running back here, but it just wasn’t in the cards.
Players Who Appeared the Most
Darnell Savage (3)
The Panthers need a rangy free safety more badly than the Night King needed an Ice Dragon. Darnell Savage most certainly fits that mold. Maybe we can start calling him “Ice Dragon” if the Panthers draft him. I’m trademarking this now.
Will Grier (2)
Nothing against Will Grier the person, or even Will Grier the player, but taking a quarterback in the second or third round shouldn’t be high on the Panthers list of priorities. It’s starting to sound like this may be the case though, as Joseph Person of The Athletic has reported the Panthers’ interest on numerous occasions. He’s got a shot to be a decent NFL quarterback, but the Panthers can wait on finding depth here and fill other needs with better players on the first two days.
My Favorite Draft: Mock 2.0
This mock reminds me of back when the Panthers weren’t reportedly drafting a quarterback with one of their top four picks. Those were the days, man. Also, Brian Burns was my first pick here so it’s automatically my favorite draft.
Three Players I’d Be Happy Taking at Number 16
This is my hands-down favorite player in the draft for Carolina. It fills a positional need and meets best player available criteria in most cases.
Dillard could be the best tackle in the draft. Extending Cam Newton’s career would be the goal here.
Devin White, Linebacker
No one thought Luke Kuechly was a good pick at number nine in 2012 when the Panthers had other pressing needs. Don’t reach for position, take the best football players you can. Devin White is one of the most sure things in this draft.
Three Players I Wouldn’t Be Happy Taking at Number 16
To be completely honest, each of these guys have their own red flags with major bust potential. Taylor committed 12 offensive penalties last year for the Gators, Gary never lived up to his athletic potential at Michigan, and Ferrell doesn’t seem to fit the defense Ron Rivera is trying to transition to with more stand up 3-4 outside linebacker types off the edge. I would be concerned if the Panthers ended up selecting any of these guys in the first round.
The draft is finally upon us and will slide nicely right into the Battle of Winterfell. We’ve got a fantastic weekend ahead of us and no matter what happens, remember one thing: you don’t know how good (or bad) the draft is until at least three years after it happens. Stay optimistic and enjoy watching these kids’ dreams come true while Mel Kiper raves about tall quarterbacks and yells at Todd McShay.