Carolina Panthers

10 players the Panthers should be targeting on second day of NFL draft

Ultra-productive wide receiver Zay Jones of East Carolina could be the guy to stretch the field for Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton.
Ultra-productive wide receiver Zay Jones of East Carolina could be the guy to stretch the field for Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton. AP

The Carolina Panthers picked up a running back/receiver/returner/harmonica player in the first round.

Panthers GM Dave Gettleman seemed spent Thursday night after listening to, and ultimately rejecting, offers for the No. 8 pick and selecting Stanford multi-use back Christian McCaffrey.

But Friday is when Gettleman really has a chance to make hay.

The Panthers have three picks during the second day of the draft – Nos. 40 and 64 (thank Kony Ealy) in the second round and No. 98 in the third (thank Josh Norman).

Those represent an opportunity to address a few of the positions McCaffrey doesn’t play.

Panthers beat reporter Jourdan Rodrigue assesses the Panthers' first-round draft pick, Christian McCaffrey out of Stanford.

A look at 10 potential, second-day targets for the Panthers (listed by position):

Wide receiver

Zay Jones, East Carolina: While McCaffrey should shine in the slot, the Panthers still need a receiver to stretch the field for Newton. Getting the ultra-productive Jones at 40 would be a nice pickup.

Chris Godwin, Penn State: Good-sized (6-1, 209) wideout who’s strong enough to get off press coverage and not afraid to block. Shredded USC in the Rose Bowl (nine catches for 187 yards and 2 TDs) in final college game.

Offensive tackles

Cam Robinson, Alabama: I’m not convinced the Panthers are crazy about Robinson, who had a so-so showing vs. Clemson in the title game and has some off-the-field baggage. Plus, Seattle probably will take him at 34.

Dion Dawkins, Temple: The Panthers love position flexibility (see McCaffrey, Christian). And having a guy who can play guard and tackle could come in handy given Michael Oher’s uncertain status.

David Sharpe, Florida: Huge frame (6-6, 343) but has questions about his strength and commitment after a disappointing effort in the bench press at the combine. Panthers met with him, but would only make sense with the 98th pick.

Edge rushers

Jordan Willis, Kansas State: Lauded for his work ethic and motor, Willis impressed at the Senior Bowl after being named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. Willis won’t last long in the second round.

Tarell Basham, Ohio: Small-school product had a big-time game against Tennessee, finishing with two sacks and a forced fumble.

Tanoh Kpassagnon, Villanova: Would qualify as a project despite winning DPOY honors in the Colonial Athletic Association. But the 6-7, 289-pounder might be worth taking a shot with at 98.


Marcus Maye, Florida: The Panthers worked out the Gators safety, who missed the combine while recovering from a broken arm. Maye turned down an invite to the draft so he could walk at his graduation this weekend.

Josh Jones, N.C. State: Physical player can play both safety spots, but probably best suited to play closer to the line of scrimmage in the NFL. Might be gone by the time the Panthers’ second pick in the second round comes around.

Joseph Person: 704-358-5123, @josephperson