The Carolina Panthers have the No. 9 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft next week, but head coach Ron Rivera and general manager Marty Hurney have not agreed publicly on who they will take with the Panthers first selection just yet.
Rivera wants a player who can play from day one, and he has not yet said which position the Panthers will fill with their first pick. Rivera said, "We're not taking a guy early to have him develop. We're taking a guy early to put him on the field and have him help us right away. That's what the expectation is."
Hurney, on the other hand, has indicated that the Panthers are willing to talk to other NFL teams with picks in the middle of the first-round who may want to trade up to get a particular player with the ninth selection.
Said Hurney, “You want to make sure that if you’re sitting at No. 9, there is a player you’re comfortable with if you decide to use the pick.”
Or if you decide to trade down.
The jury is still out on who the Carolina Panthers will select with their first pick, and we may not know until Roger Goodell walks to the podium with the Panthers' selection card.
Here is a look at four defensive players the Panthers could select with their first pick on Thursday, April 26, complete with video highlights.