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The following players would be draft targets for the Panthers, but will most likely be unavailable as the ninth overall selection:
Matt Kalil, OT, USC Projected Draft Selection: No. 2 to No. 3
Brother of Panthers center Ryan Kalil, Matt Kalil is another one of those surefire prospects. He is far and above the best offensive lineman in this draft. Unfortunately for Carolina, Kalil will most likely get snatched up by the St. Louis Rams at No. 2. If not, there's no way the Minnesota Vikings will pass up on him with the very next pick.
Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State Projected Draft Selection: No. 2 to No. 7
Even before his monstrous Fiesta Bowl performance, we all knew Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon was the best wide receiver in college football. There are few, if any, weaknesses to his game, and he has exhibited many skills necessary to succeed at the next level. Many compare him to Terrell Owens minus the off-field baggage.
Blackmon, however, will most likely be taken before the Panthers' spot comes up. His possible destinations include St. Louis, Minnesota, Cleveland, Tampa Bay, Washington and Jacksonville.
Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU Projected Draft Selection: No. 3 to No. 5
LSU's Morris Claiborne looks to be the next biggest shutdown corner coming into the NFL. He has nice size, good length and excellent speed. In addition, Claiborne is great in man-to-man coverage and is a four-down player. He is undoubtedly the best defensive prospect in this draft.
Given their shaky defense, Carolina would drool over the opportunity of selecting Claiborne. Simply put, this is the guy for this team. Unfortunately, it'll take quite a few unexpected events in order for him to drop down to them. Claiborne will most likely land in Minnesota and definitely would not last to the Panthers if Tampa Bay gets a crack at him.