A pick-by-pick projection of the players the Carolina Panthers will take in the 2017 NFL draft:
Round 1, Pick 8
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford: I’ve been on the Leonard Fournette bandwagon from the beginning, but he’s not going to be available. McCaffrey is an exciting, versatile player for an evolving offense.
Round 2, Pick 40
Zay Jones, WR, East Carolina: Son of ex-Cowboys LB Robert Jones was an incredibly productive receiver for Pirates, and brings experience in the slot.
Round 2, Pick 64
Josh Jones, S, N.C. State: Big (6-2, 220), physical hitter will add valuable depth in secondary and be the long-term answer at strong safety.
Round 3, Pick 98
Tanoh Kpassagnon, DE, Villanova: Some will consider this a reach because of his raw ability, but Kpassagnon is huge (6-7, 289) and has drawn comparisons to Julius Peppers.
Round 4, Pick 115
David Sharpe, OT, Florida: And here’s Dave Gettleman’s hog molly – a 6-foot-6, 343-pounder who underachieved for Gators but is necessary insurance for Michael Oher.
Round 5, Pick 152
Tanner Vallejo, LB, Boise State: Gettleman likes taking linebackers in the fifth round (A.J. Klein, David Mayo) to help immediately on special teams and add to defensive depth.
Round 6, Pick 192
Channing Stribling, CB, Michigan: Grew up in military family (Ron Rivera’s kind of player), played at Butler High and has the length (6-1) Carolina likes in its cornerbacks.
Round 7, Pick 233
Eric Saubert, TE, Drake: Panthers again take a chance on a 7th-round tight end, this one a sure-handed product of a non-scholarship FCS program in Iowa.