Yes, the first round of the NFL Draft is finally just hours away. No, that doesn’t mean you have to stop poring over mock drafts before then.
Especially not when the collection of players mocked to the Carolina Panthers is so... diverse. Really, all over the place. Depending on which national outlet you click on, the Panthers’ No. 16 overall pick could be used on anyone from an offensive lineman to a defensive lineman to a... cornerback?
Opinions are split, and for good reason. Carolina has clearly-expressed needs in the trenches, and the team would benefit from adding an immediate starter on either side of the ball. But as the latest collection of mock drafts from various NFL analysts will show, any number of players fit that bill. Here are a few that stand out as the draft rapidly approaches:
▪ Florida State DE/OLB Brian Burns - Albert Breer, Sports Illustrated
▪ Washington CB Byron Murphy - Cris Collinsworth, Pro Football Focus
▪ Alabama OL Jonah Williams - Danny Kelly, The Ringer
▪ Clemson EDGE Clelin Ferrell - Pete Prisco, CBS Sports
▪ Boston College G Chris Lindstrom - Eric Edholm, Yahoo! Sports
▪ Washington State OT Andre Dillard - Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN
▪ Mississippi WR D.K. Metcalf - Connor Orr, Sports Illustrated
▪ Michigan DL Rashan Gary - Todd McShay, ESPN
▪ Florida OT Jawaan Taylor - Matt Miller, Bleacher Report
▪ Mississippi State EDGE Montez Sweat - Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network