Carolina Panthers

NFL draft: Joseph Person’s round-by-round Panthers projections

An injury-plagued college career means there’s lots of tread left on Georgia running back Keith Marshall, who was a scouting combine star.
An injury-plagued college career means there’s lots of tread left on Georgia running back Keith Marshall, who was a scouting combine star. AP

Projecting the Carolina Panthers’ 2016 NFL draft picks, round-by-round:

Round 1, pick 30

Louisiana Tech DT Vernon Butler: Extremely athletic for his size (6-4, 323), Butler can play nose tackle or the 3-technique, where Kawann Short lines up. Only 21, Butler is only going to get better when immersed in an NFL weight training program.

Round 2, pick 62

Virginia Tech CB Kendall Fuller: Projected first-rounder until he tore his meniscus before last season and underwent microfracture surgery. Had eight career INTs; would be a steal if he’s still available late in the second round.

Round 3, pick 93

Boise State S Darian Thompson: Thompson (6-2, 208) is a good hitter and understands how to go after receivers under control. Broke Eric Weddle’s Mountain West Conference record with 19 career INTs.

Round 4, pick 129

Oklahoma CB Zack Sanchez: Ballhawk who had 13 interceptions his final two seasons for the Sooners. Not quite as big (5-11, 185) as Panthers like their CBs and has to improve as a tackler.

Round 5, pick 168

Mississippi WR Cody Core: Played in the shadows of Laquon Treadwell, but caught 37 passes for 644 yards and four TDs in the slot last season. Built a bit like Jerricho Cotchery at 6-3 and 205 pounds, and ran the 40 in 4.42 seconds.

Round 7, pick 262

Georgia RB Keith Marshall: A lot of tread left on the tires after an injury-plagued college career. Marshall was the star of the combine with the fastest 40 time (4.33) and banged out 25 reps on the pro bench (225 pounds).

Joseph Person: 704-358-5123, @josephperson

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