Carolina Panthers

NFL draft: Jonathan Jones’ round-by-round projections for the Carolina Panthers

Jonathan Jones’ round-by-round projections for the Carolina Panthers:

1st round (28): Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State: Dave Gettleman has cautioned against drafting a receiver in the first round but he knows it’s a great need for his Panthers, and at 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds, Benjamin could eventually be a home run. Benjamin is raw, but the Panthers aren’t going to pick up the perfect receiver at No. 28. The team was always going to draft a receiver, and that’s why Carolina added quality veterans to the receiving corps to help mold the younger guys. It will be important for the Panthers, and their fans, to manage expectations in Benjamin’s rookie season.

2nd round (60): Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood: The Panthers had dinner with him after his pro day and had a private workout the following day. Desir could go as high as the mid-second round, but he could be there in the late second.

3rd round (92): Paul Richardson, WR, Colorado: A torn ACL his sophomore year would have scared off the Panthers had he not had 1,343 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns last year.

4th round (128): Cameron Fleming, OT, Stanford: At 6-foot-5 and 323 pounds, Fleming is a beast at right tackle. Maybe he won’t convert to left tackle, but he’s smart enough (he was an aeronautics and astronautics major at Stanford) to understand his position.

5th round (168): Brent Urban, DE, Virginia: He’s one of the tallest defensive ends in the draft at 6-foot-7 and had 11.5 tackles for loss last season.

6th round (204): Dakota Dozier, OL, Furman: An AP All-America tackle at the FCS level at Furman, Dozier will likely slide inside to guard with his shorter arms.

7th round (225): Jon Don Duncan, TE, Dixie State: Named a 2013 AP Little All-American, Duncan caught 71 passes for 1,045 yards last season. At 6-foot-3 and 268 pounds, Duncan will contribute to special teams, too.

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