Carolina Panthers Free Agency: Tracking 2012 Signings, Targets and Rumors

Tyler HornerCorrespondent IIFebruary 22, 2012

Carolina Panthers Free Agency: Tracking 2012 Signings, Targets and Rumors

0 of 12

    Following a rejuvenating season for the direction of the Panthers franchise, they'll be looking to carry their momentum from a strong finish into the offseason and compete for an NFC South title next year. 

    In the midst of all the offseason hoopla, it sometimes gets difficult to follow your favorite team's every move; that's where the Carolina Panthers Free Agency Tracker comes in. 

    Here, you'll be able to follow the team's every signing, keep up with its projected salary cap room, and evaluate its biggest weaknesses. You'll also find the Panthers' 2012 free agents and a projection on whether or not they'll be able to re-sign those players. 

    Also included in the Free Agency Tracker is a look at which free agents the team should target and how those players will fit into the cap situation. 

    Don't think we've forgotten about the draft though. You'll find draft prospect profiles and how Carolina should fill their holes through the NFL Draft. 

Tracking Free-Agent Signings, Re-Signings and Roster Moves

1 of 12

    Apr. 10, 2012: ProFootballTalk is reporting the Panthers have completed a 4 year contract extension with WR Steve Smith.

    Apr. 4, 2012: ProFootballTalk is reporting that the Panthers have signed S Reggie Smith.

    Mar. 30, 2012: Jason La Canfora of NFL.com is reporting that the Raiders have traded T Bruce Campbell to the Panthers for RB Mike Goodson.

    Mar. 19, 2012: NFL.com's Jason La Canfora is reporting that the Pathers have signed RB Mike Tolbert to a 4 year deal.

    Mar. 16, 2012: Jason La Canfora of NFL.com is reporting the Panthers agree to a three year deal with linebacker Kenny Onatolu.

    Mar. 14, 2012: The Associated Press via the Washington Post is reporting the Panthers have re-signed backup quarterback Derek Anderson to a one-year deal.

    Mar. 13, 2012: Jason La Canfora is reporting that the Panthers have signed C Geoff Hangartner to a 3 year deal.

    Panthers have agreed to restructure Thomas Davis' contract saving the team $3.8 million dollars in cap space.

    Feb. 16, 2012: The Panthers signed free agent defensive end Jyles Tucker, formerly of the San Diego Chargers, to a one-year contract. Tucker played under Ron Rivera during his time there and was heavily relied on to fill in for Shawne Merriman when the star linebacker missed nearly the entire 2008 season. 

    In 12 starts, Tucker compiled 5.5 sacks and stuck out as a very good, young player with some obvious upside. However, he was plagued by injuries in 2009 and 2010, leading to his release last season. In Carolina, he gets a second chance at becoming the player Rivera had faith he could become in San Diego. 

    Feb. 8, 2012: The Panthers extended the contract of long snapper J.J. Jansen. Jansen was rarely in the news—a good sign for a long snapper—and an active special teams player in the punt game, notching two tackles and participating in multiple downed punts. 

    Feb. 1, 2012: The Panthers extended the contract of linebacker Jason Phillips. Phillips was forced into the starting lineup after a slew of injuries depleted the Panthers' roster. He did not play extraordinarily well, but the team needs as much depth as it can get at the position to ensure that 2011's problems don't reoccur. 

Salary Cap Status

2 of 12

    Cap Room

    According to Spotrac, the Panthers currently have $117.7 million worth of contracts, leaving them with little room to work under the current cap of $120.4 million. With a projected 2012 salary cap of $125 million, the Panthers will have just over $7 million to work with this offseason. 

    That makes Carolina one of the most cap restricted teams in the NFL right now and the most restricted in its division. While the team lacks big-time free agent departures, you'd still like a lot more than $7 million heading into an important offseason in determining the future of your franchise. 

    Cap Hits

    Surprisingly, the Panthers' most detrimental cap hit comes from linebacker Thomas Davis, who's hardly played a down for the team in three years. He's scheduled to make nearly $12 million in 2012; a figure that is certain to be restructured. 

    Another undeserving player making big-time money is guard Travelle Wharton, who's currently set to make nearly $8 million in 2012. The aging lineman is considered one of the weakpoints on the offensive line and a restructuring for his contract is in order as well. 

    Value Contracts

    Although Jon Beason missed almost the entire 2011 season, he's still considered one of the premier linebackers in the league. However, he's only set to make $5 million next season, setting the bar for lesser players like Davis who are making far more. 

    Multiple other starters are playing for a bargain as well; free safety Sherrod Martin, receiver Brandon LaFell, and defensive end Greg Hardy are all in the range of $800k to $500k. All are young, but have proven to be beyond deserving of their current contracts. 

    Other Cap Questions

    Tight end Jeremy Shockey and inside linebacker Dan Connor are the team's only free agents that will demand a healthy hit to the team's cap room. Shockey is aging, but a great red-zone target and veteran leader while Connor showed flashes and is great insurance for Jon Beason. 

    Re-signing both could account for a few million against the cap and the Panthers can't afford that. One of them will likely have to walk so the team will have to evaluate which one is more replaceable; or if both are. 

2011's Holes

3 of 12

    OFFENSE: 

    Wide Receiver - The Panthers have a lead man with star Steve Smith, but after that, things get a little cloudy. Brandon LaFell and David Gettis are talented in their own ways and will be in only their third professional seasons. Both will be in a fight for the starting spot opposite Smith if the team doesn't bring in more competition. 

    LaFell is a great blocker and a solid all-around player. He has just enough speed and his hands have steadily improved over his first two seasons. Gettis is arguably more talented than his teammate. He is taller—6'3"—and more athletic. However, his season ending knee injury before the 2011 season has slowed his development. 

    The Panthers need to add a physical receiver to their roster if they are to add one. We all remember the success of Muhsin Muhammad in Carolina and with three speed oriented receivers at the top of the depth chart, the franchise would do well to add a possession-type prospect. 

    Right Tackle - The Panthers have two of the most talented tackles in the league, but Jeff Otah is never on the field. The mauling right tackle stands at 6'6" 330 lbs, but his talent hasn't been able to be put to use in years, after minor injuries have developed into major inconveniences for Carolina. Otah's been noted for an awful work ethic, and it's time to begin looking for his replacement. 

    Byron Bell replaced Otah last season, but was often abused. The Panthers need to find a young athletic tackle who can protect a quarterback who scrambles as frequently as Cam Newton does. 

    Guard - Travelle Wharton has been solid his entire career, but he's baying drastically overpaid and the team may part ways with him if he doesn't restructure. The front office would be smart to begin looking for a developmental player to sit behind Wharton if he does remain on the team. 

    At right guard, the team is looking to re-sign Geoff Hangartner, Mackenzy Bernadeau or Geoff Schwartz to start next season. Hangartner is the most consistent of all three, but also the oldest by three and four years, respectively. He's a heady player, much like the man to his left, center Ryan Kalil, and relies on his understanding of the scheme to perform as well as he has. 

    The best decision may be to let all three go and look to the draft to get cheaper talent. Neither is exceptionally talented, so it may be a smarter long term move to look for a youngster to plug in as early as next season. 

    DEFENSE:

    Defensive Tackle - This was another position that was hurt heavily by injury, as an injury to 2011 free agent signee Ron Edwards forced two rookies—Sione Fua and Terrell McClain—into the starting lineup.

    It wasn't until both were injured that the Panthers began to get some production out of the position. Jason Shirley, Frank Kearse and Andre Neblett all played well as the team's rush defense quickly improved. 

    Carolina isn't necessarily looking for a great interior pass rusher; they should look for a run stuffing tackle through the draft and use the remaining talent on the roster as situational players.

    Cornerback - The Panthers currently have a shutdown corner—Chris Gamble—and a handful of nickel backs on the roster. Captain Munnerlyn and Darius Butler both have their mental and physical limitations and both were surpassed by rookie Brandon Hogan late in the season. 

    Hogan is more talented than both Butler and Munnerlyn and his upside urged Ron Rivera to give him a shot—he played well, but being a rookie, he clearly has room to grow. 

    The Panthers played mainly zone coverage, but began mixing in much more man coverage as the season progressed. They should look for an athletic player who isn't afraid to step up in help in the run game, as the perimeter rush defense really hurt the defense last season. 

    Safety - Charles Godfrey isn't great in coverage, but his Troy Polamalu-like explosiveness as a run defender means he has a safe job at strong safety. Sorrily, I cannot say the same for fellow safety, Sherrod Martin. 

    As a free safety, Martin should be quick and intelligent. However, his mental lapses and inability to make an open field tackle have resulted in a lot of lost confidence in the young safety. He's a decent player, but his progression has slowed and he doesn't look like he'll ever be a reliable starter. 

    To replace Martin, the team should look for a pure coverage safety. They need someone who doesn't just cover a deep fourth, but who can cover a deep half. They should look for a playmaker who has great range and will not be taken advantage of by any receiver over 6'0". 

Panthers' 2012 Free Agents

4 of 12

    The following are all of the Panthers' 2012 free agents. Unrestricted Free Agents are free to sign with any team and Restricted Free Agents receive qualifying offers from their original club before they can negotiate with other teams. 

    Sorted by projected priority. 

    Unrestricted Free Agents (UFA's): 

    Tight End, Jeremy Shockey

    Middle Linebacker, Dan Connor

    Mar 15: ProFootballTalk is reporting the Cowboys have agreed to a contract with LB Dan Connor.

    Guard, Geoff Hangartner

    Mar. 13, 2012: Jason La Canfora is reporting that the Panthers have signed C Geoff Hangartner to a 3 year deal.

    Outside Linebacker, Omar Gaither

    Guard, Mackenzy Bernadeau

    Quarterback, Derek Anderson Update: The Associated Press via the Washington Post is reporting the Panthers have re-signed backup quarterback Derek Anderson to a one-year deal.

    Wide Receiver, Legedu Naanee

    Defensive Tackle, DeMario Pressley

    Restricted Free Agents (RFA's):

    Offensive Tackle/Guard, Geoff Schwartz

    Defensive Tackle, Frank Kearse

    Outside Linebacker, Thomas Williams

    Cornerback, R.J. Stanford

    Fullback/Tight End, Rickie Brockel

    Wide Receiver, Seji Ajirotutu

Determining Contract Value and Worth for Every Carolina Free Agent

5 of 12

    Every player has his worth to the franchise, and while it's not always a perfect indicator of how well they've played, it is a figure that estimates how much that player can contribute to the franchise for the length of their contract. The following figures are estimations of the per year value that each of the Panthers' 2012 free agents has earned. 

    Jeremy Shockey: $2.2 million (estimated)

    Shockey earned $3.8 million in 2011, but at the age of 31, his time is running out. He's already appeared to have lost a step in recent years and is second on the depth chart to Greg Olsen. The Panthers have enough talent behind Shockey—specifically Gary Barnidge—to risk letting him walk if he asks for more than this number. 

    Dan Connor: $2 million (estimated)

    Connor is one of the best backup linebackers in the NFL, but that doesn't earn you a starter's salary. He's talented and young, but hasn't proven himself. He'd be best off signing a short deal and looking to earn more money, because his performance in 2011 was underwhelming enough to force the Panthers to be stingy with his contract numbers. 

    Mar 15: ProFootballTalk is reporting the Cowboys have agreed to a contract with LB Dan Connor.

    Geoff Hangartner: $1.8 million (estimated) 

    Hangartner is a heady player who would be hard to immediately replace. He does everything well and still has a few years left on his body. However, he's just not physically dominant enough to spend big money on, as evidenced by a pretty average contract offer. 

    Mar. 13, 2012: Jason La Canfora is reporting that the Panthers have signed C Geoff Hangartner to a 3 year deal.

    Omar Gaither: $1.1 million (estimated) 

    After earning just over one million per season in his last two contracts, Gaither hasn't done much to earn any more or less than that once again. He was serviceable when injected into the starting lineup due to injury, but not irreplaceable. 

    Mackenzy Bernadeau: $950k (estimated) 

    Bernadeau is a one dimensional run blocker who doesn't offer great upside either. He's been a solid backup for the franchise in recent years though, and this contract reflects that description. 

    Derek Anderson: Update: The Associated Press via the Washington Post is reporting the Panthers have re-signed backup quarterback Derek Anderson to a one-year deal.

    Legedu Naanee: $850k (estimated)

    Naanee was signed due to his connection with Ron Rivera in San Diego and shouldn't be retained by the team. He is a possession receiver with questionable catching ability—those two descriptions don't fit together. That figure would put him right around the average salary for a third string receiver. 

    DeMario Pressley: $540k (estimated)

    Pressley could likely get more elsewhere, but he would be buried on the depth chart in Carolina, making him worth little to this franchise. 

    Geoff Schwartz (RFA): $927k, Seventh round tender

    Schwartz is more valuable due to his versatility as a tackle or guard. He may easily be scooped up by another team with a seventh round tender, but the extra half a million isn't worth it for the team. This offer makes the most sense to maintain quality depth on the offensive line while also spending smart. 

    Frank Kearse (RFA): $927k, Seventh round tender 

    Kearse was a valuable player down the stretch, but with the amount of players that the Panthers currently have on the roster at this position, it would be a waste of $490k to put the second round tender on him. 

    Thomas Williams (RFA): $927k, Fifth round tender 

    Williams was another backup who stepped up due to injury, and he might have earned himself a higher tender or an extension had he not suffered a season ending injury himself in late October. He'll mainly be a special teams player if he does return. 

    R.J. Stanford, Seji Ajirotutu, Richie Brockel: No tender

    None have been particularly effective and are at a position where there is too much talent ahead of them to earn a $927k qualifying offer. 

Projecting Which Free Agents the Panthers Will Re-Sign, Which Will Walk

6 of 12

    Now that we're done talking what figures the Panthers' free agents deserve, let's move on to something more practical; what they will get, if anything at all. 

    The team obviously won't be spending top dollar for this year's bunch, but every dollar counts when you're pressed by the cap as Carolina is this offseason. 

    Jeremy Shockey: Re-Signed (Two years, $4.5 million)

    There isn't a high demand for a tight end like Shockey in the NFL, so he'd likely be better off staying in Carolina, who could use his veteran presence for another two years. He wasn't incredibly productive in 2011, but he performed well enough to make the Panthers boast one of the top tight end tandems in the league. 

    Dan Connor: Released 

    Connor played well considering the situation, but the team hoped he could be an eventual starter for them, not just good insurance for Jon Beason. He may very well ask for too much money for the Panthers to shell out for a backup, making him probable to bolt for a potential starting job. 

    Mar 15: ProFootballTalk is reporting the Cowboys have agreed to a contract with LB Dan Connor.

    Geoff Hangartner: Re-Signed (Four years, $6.9 million)

    Hangartner ends up being the most cost efficient option for the Panthers. Had he been left to the open market, the Panthers would either: A) Pay more for him in the end, or B) Pay more for a player who doesn't fit the system as well as "Hangman." 

    Mar. 13, 2012: Jason La Canfora is reporting that the Panthers have signed C Geoff Hangartner to a 3 year deal.

    Omar Gaither: Re-Signed (Four years, $4.8 million) 

    With Connor gone, the Panthers have to hang on to as much linebacker depth as possible. Gaither fits that role and shouldn't ask for nearly as much as Connor. He's better than Connor in coverage and plays with his head as well, avoiding mistakes that other replacements consistently made throughout the season. 

    Mackenzy Bernadeau: Re-Signed (Three years, $2.6 million) 

    Bernadeau remains one of the better run blockers on this team and if not for his glaring deficiency as a pass blocker, he might just be a starter. Whatever the case, he's young enough that the Panthers should keep him on the roster and hope that he continues to develop. 

    Derek Anderson: Update: The Associated Press via the Washington Post is reporting the Panthers have re-signed backup quarterback Derek Anderson to a one-year deal.

    Legedu Naanee: $850k (estimated)

    Legedu Naanee: Released 

    Naanee was awfully disappointing in 2011. He was brought in to compete for a starting job, but was practically handed for reasons I cannot comprehend. He proceeded to make some untimely drops and never developed great timing with Newton. There's little reason to keep him around. 

    DeMario Pressley: Released

    The Panthers are too tight on cap room to keep a guy who will be buried more than five deep on the depth chart. It's better for both sides that he look for a job elsewhere. 

Available Cap Space After Re-Signings

7 of 12

    Projected Salary Cap: $125 million

    Projected Cap Space: $9.5 million

    Before you wonder how the Panthers gained cap room after re-signings, let me remind you that they will also be looking to restructure the contracts of a few veterans—mainly the vastly overpaid Travelle Wharton and Thomas Davis, who are on track to count for nearly $20 million against the cap next season. 

    Davis has stated that he's willing to take a big pay cut from his $12 million salary in 2012 to remain with the team and Wharton could simply take the pay cut to avoid being released. Combined, I wouldn't be surprised if they shaved nearly $10 million off their salaries alone. Add that to the $250k in projected cap space following UFA and RFA signings and you have a little under $10 million to spend this offseason. 

Biggest Needs After Re-Signings

8 of 12

    OFFENSE: 

    Wide Receiver - Receiver remains a need after the Panthers wisely chose to let Legedu Naanee walk. They need a lengthy, possession-type receiver to complement the current talent on the roster. 

    Right Tackle - The Panthers need to focus on moving on from Jeff Otah and finding a tackle who is athletic enough to play on the left side, but who can play on the right until Jordan Gross retires. Right tackle is currently the weak link on the entire offense, so it's the primary need currently. 

    DEFENSE: 

    Defensive Tackle - The Panthers are loaded on defensive tackles, but none of them are particularly better than the others. They need to add a player who they're confident can come in and make a difference; not a player who is a decent pass rusher and can hold up against the run. They must find either a run stuffer or a pass rusher so they can find complementing players to build the defensive line around. 

    Cornerback - Here's another position where the Panthers don't need to add depth. They have plenty, but need a talented player that can start now or in the near future. They brought in Darius Butler and drafted players like Captain Munnerlyn and Robert McClain, but all have failed to make a name for themselves as anything other than nickel and dime backs. 

    Free Safety - This is a tough position to address because good safety's are hard to find in the draft, and it's even more difficult to project their success. This likely isn't the season to add a safety because there isn't enough cap room to add one through free agency and there isn't much talent at the position in this draft class. 

Identifying Potential Free Agents the Panthers Could Sign

9 of 12

    Wide Receiver 

    Dwayne Bowe and Marques Colston certainly stick out as UFA's that woulds strike the Panthers' interest, but they're both likely out of the franchise's price range. Two players who are realistic possibilities are Robert Meachem and Braylon Edwards. Both—particularly Edwards—could be brought in for a relatively low figure. 

    Right Tackle 

    If the Panthers are truly concerned with the right tackle position, they could pursue Brandon Keith or Barry Richardson to shore the position up, but they would have to shell out a few million per year to do so. King Dunlap of the Eagles would be a much more realistic option; he's young at 26 years old and physically talented. 

    Defensive Tackle 

    One interesting option for the Panthers is Denver's Brodrick Bunkley. He's an excellent player whose been underpaid his entire career. If the team can get him on the cheap, they'd have a steal who can instantly start for them and is in the prime of his career. 

    Cornerback 

    This is a position where the Panthers should go big or not go at all. They don't need any more depth so if they make a move, they'll sign a definite starter. Two guys who fit the mold are Brandon Carr and Tracy Porter. Both are UFA's who are 25 years of age and can be had for a relatively low salary. 

    Free Safety 

    Update: The 49ers have given Dashon Goldson the Franchise Tag.

    Two players who intrigue me most are Reggie Nelson and Dashon Goldson. Goldson is a rising star, and I believe he can be one of the best safeties in the NFL given time. He's a free safety who plays with a strong safety's mentality, but still has great ability in coverage—which is what the team needs. 

Projecting Contract Values for Panthers' Free-Agent Targets

10 of 12

    After listing a few of the potential difference makers the Panthers can bring in through Free Agency, let's examine what type of contracts those players might demand. Keep in mind that few, if any, of these players will actually be signed to the Panthers roster. 

    WR Braylon Edwards: Two Years, $4.8 million 

    Edwards was too picky when searching for a team in 2011 and hopefully learned his lesson. He ended up signing a one year, one million dollar contract with the 49ers and had a disappointing season in a run heavy offense before falling to an injury and then being released. He remains a great talent and could resurface in Carolina's offense. 

    OT King Dunlap: Four Years, $8.5 million 

    Dunlap progressed nicely for Philadelphia last season but is still a bit raw. At 6'9" 330 lbs, he has an excellent frame to work with and can be a serviceable starter. He's athletic enough to play in Carolina's offense and the upside is there to warrant a four-year contract. 

    DT Brodrick Bunkley: Five Years, $13 million 

    Bunkley still has a lot of miles left in the tank at age 28, and his stellar play for the Broncos last season should earn him by far his biggest contract yet. He's been an incredibly consistent player, but is just undervalued time after time. I see him taking this contract offer because he could come here and start next to another run stuffer, Ron Edwards. 

    CB Brandon Carr: Four Years, $15 million 

    Carr could viably ask for more, but there are a lot of cornerbacks on the market this season, and I think that will decrease the market for a player like Carr, who is less proven than the others. He is a great coverage corner and playmaker, but not worth the huge contract some are suggesting. I think Carolina could stick to this offer and potentially reach an agreement if the market is not there for the cornerback

Analyzing the Panthers' Draft Strategy, Positions of Need

11 of 12

    Now that we know what's available to the Panthers in free agency, let's look at who they can target through the draft. Thanks to the new rookie salary cap, the franchise will be able to find great young talent while spending cautiously. Here's what Carolina should be looking to do with its six picks. 

    First Round Pick: No. 8 Overall 

    Here, the Panthers could look for a cornerback if either Morris Claiborne slips to them or defensive tackle Michael Brockers is off the board. If that's the case, they'd likely look to Dre Kirkpatrick, who is undeniably talented, but has some character concerns. Another potential option in that scenario would be guard David DeCastro out of Stanford. 

    Second Round Pick: No. 42 Overall 

    This is Carolina's backup option for whichever position of need—cornerback or defensive tackle—is not addressed in round one. If Brockers is taken, they'll likely look for a player like Jayron Hosley, Chase Minnifield or Janoris Jenkins here.

    If a cornerback is taken in the first round, defensive tackles like Fletcher Cox, Dontari Poe, Jerel Worthy and Brandon Thompson could all be available in a very deep class of interior defensive linemen. 

    Fourth Round Pick: No. 103 Overall 

    Here's where the focus switches to adding depth on offense. A talented receiver like Jeff Fuller, Tommy Streeter or T.J. Graham could be added here or an offensive lineman such as Auburn's Brandon Mosley or Washington's Senio Kelemete. 

    However, both linemen could be available in the fifth round, which makes taking a receiver in the fourth a much more likely and advisable decision. 

    Fifth Round Pick: No. 137 Overall 

    Again, this pick is reliant on the choice that Carolina makes in the fourth round. If a receiver is taken there, the focus switches to offensive line and vice versa. 

    If both aforementioned offensive line are off the board to other teams, they could go back to the defensive side of the ball and add depth; two players I like are NC State outside linebacker Terrell Manning and LSU safety Brandon Taylor. 

    Sixth Round Pick (No. 168 Overall) and Seventh Round Pick (No. 198 Overall)

    If a talented lineman like current Panther Geoff Shwartz's brother Mitchell is available here, they should go that route. If not, it comes down to best player available or possibly a special teams player who can contribute like Georgia punter Drew Butler. 

Draft Names to Keep an Eye on

12 of 12

    Wide Receivers 

    Michael Floyd, Notre Dame (Round 1)

    Mohamed Sanu, Rutgers (Round 2)

    Jeff Fuller, Texas A&M (Round 4)

    Joe Adams, Arkansas (Round 4-5)

    Tommy Streeter, Miami (Round 4-5)

    T.J. Graham, NC State (Round 5-6)

    Jordan White, Western Michigan (Round 6-7)

    Offensive Guards

    David DeCastro, Stanford (Round 1)

    Kelechi Osemele, Iowa State (Round 2)

    Senio Kelemete, Washington (Round 5-6)

    Offensive Tackles

    Brandon Mosley, Auburn (Round 5)

    Mitchell Schwartz, Cal (Round 5-6)

    Jeff Adams, Columbia (Round 7)

    Defensive Tackles

    Michael Brockers, LSU (Round 1)

    Dontari Poe, Memphis (Round 2)

    Jerel Worthy, Michigan State (Round 2)

    Fletcher Cox, Mississippi State (Round 2)

    Alameda Ta'amu, Washington (Round 2)

    Brandon Thompson, Clemson (Round 2)

    Josh Chapman, Alabama (Round 4)

    Linebackers

    Terrell Manning, NC State (Round 5-6)

    Tank Carder, TCU (Round 5-6)

    Cornerbacks

    Morris Claiborne, LSU (Round 1)

    Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama (Round 1)

    Janoris Jenkins, N. Alabama (Round 2)

    Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech (Round 2)

    Chase Minnifield, Virginia (Round 2)

    Cliff Harris, Oregon (Round 4)

    Charles Brown, North Carolina (Round 5-6)  

    Janzen Jackson, McNeese State (Round 6-7)

    Safety's

    Harrison Smith, Notre Dame (Round 4)

    Brandon Taylor, LSU (Round 5-6)

    Matt Daniels, Duke (Round 5-6)

    Blake Gideon, Texas (Round 5-6)