Bleacher Report's Jimmy Grappone taking in a Spring Training game between the Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees in Tampa, Fla.
As a die-hard football fan and a Bleacher Report Featured Columnist covering the Carolina Panthers, I do not necessarily consider myself an NFL Draft expert on the level of Kiper, McShay or Miller.
However, I have read, watched and written enough to be a very interested and opinionated participant in the 2012 NFL Draft debate, at the least.
After having written and reviewed a handful of 2012 NFL Mock Drafts and analyzing potential draft selections for the Carolina Panthers this offseason, and I am firm in my belief that the Panthers need to select a defensive tackle with their first pick.
One thing I have learned from my readers, though, is that there is no consensus among fans or experts on who will or should be the Panthers' first-round draft choice with the No. 9 selection on April 26.
In my initial mock draft, I projected LSU's defensive tackle, Michael Brockers, to be selected with the Panthers' first pick.
However, I later suggested that Carolina trade up in the draft by shipping contract-year running back Jonathan Stewart and the No. 9 overall pick to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for the fourth overall pick and a third-round pick so the Panthers could select another Bayou Bengal, cornerback Morris Claiborne.
That trade does not look likely though, so I am sticking with my initial call that defensive tackle is the Panthers' greatest need in the 2012 NFL Draft. I am however changing my choice for the Panthers' first pick at the nine-slot to Mississippi State's Fletcher Cox.
In the film and highlight reels I have seen, Cox appears to be the most physically dominant player in the group and he is the only player who does not get pushed around and washed out of plays.
Cox will make the most immediate impact on Carolina's defensive line and if the Panthers make him their number one pick, I will be the first in line at Bank of America Stadium's team store to buy his jersey.
You can follow Jimmy Grappone on Twitter @imapone24. Also, check out Jimmy's new Writer Fan Page on facebook.com and be sure to "like me."
Jimmy welcomes your comments and he has a thick skin, so he can handle your abuse. I am Jimmy.
Recent articles by Jimmy Grappone:
Panthers Should Dangle Stewart
Full 7-Round Draft Prediction for Panthers
Why Cam Will Lead Panthers to NFC South Title in 2012