The Carolina Panthers want to upgrade their offensive line, receiving corps and secondary, and they’ll get a good look at all three positions this week at the Senior Bowl.
This year’s draft class is once again deep at receiver, while some of the top offensive tackles in college football from this season will be on display in Mobile, Ala.
In the defensive backfield, scouts will have their choice of cornerbacks and safeties. As general manager Dave Gettleman pointed out, he likes his pass rushers, and there are a number of those this week.
From the big names to local names and everything in between, here’s what you can expect this week in our coverage of the 2015 Senior Bowl.
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Florida State’s Cameron Erving: His versatility ranks him high on many scouts’ lists. He was a defensive tackle when he went to Tallahassee, then moved to left tackle where he was one of the best in the country for the national champs. This season he slid inside to center after injuries forced coach Jimbo Fisher to move him from tackle.
Other tackles: Colorado State’s Ty Sambrallo, Louisiana State’s La’el Collins, Pittsburgh’s T.J. Clemmings and Oregon’s Jake Fisher
East Carolina’s Justin Hardy: He became the all-time leading receiver in FBS history this season with the Pirates, and he’ll be one of the receivers to watch this week. His numbers are eye-popping: 387 career receptions for 4,541 yards and 35 touchdowns. At 6-foot, he’s not going to be a team’s No. 1 receiver, but his hands would make him an enticing No. 2 option. Plus, he’ll have the advantage of having his college quarterback, Shane Carden, on his South team.
Other receivers: Auburn’s Sammie Coates, Kansas State’s Tyler Lockett, FSU’s Rashad Greene, Nevada-Las Vegas’ Devante Davis, Stanford’s Ty Montgomery, Washington State’s Vince Mayle.
Mississippi safety Cody Prewitt: A two-time All-America selection, Prewitt has ideal size for the kind of safety NFL teams covet in 2015. At 6-2 and 217 pounds, he can do battle with big receivers and pass-catching tight ends. He totaled eight interceptions in his final two seasons with the Rebels.
Other defensive backs: Mississippi’s Senquez Golson, Miami’s Ladarius Gunter, Florida Atlantic’s D’Joun Smith, Wake Forest’s Kevin Johnson, Virginia’s Anthony Harris and Fresno State’s Derron Smith.
Louisville’s Lorenzo Mauldin: At 6-4, 245 pounds, Mauldin can be a defensive end or linebacker, and he showed that versatility while leading the Cardinals’ front seven the past two seasons. His numbers took a slight step back in 2014, but his size and speed fit well for the NFL.
Other pass rushers: Kentucky’s Bud Depree, Arkansas’ Trey Flowers, Mississippi State’s Preston Smith, Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom, Utah’s Nate Orchard, Missouri’s Markus Golden and UCLA’s Owamagbe Odighizuwa.
Duke receiver Jamison Crowder: He had three impressive seasons at Duke, registering more than 1,000 yards in each. He also showed ability at punt returner where he averaged 13.4 yards per return in his career. Crowder is projected as a second- or third-round pick, and he could be a solid tunnel screen or third-down target in the pros.
Other locals: ECU quarterback Shane Carden, Clemson inside linebacker Stephone Anthony and Duke offensive guard Laken Tomlinson.