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Former Alabama Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick relaxes before the 2012 NFL draft.
There is no doubt that the Panthers need some defensive help.
Last year their weak defense allowed 46 touchdowns, had a mere 31 sacks, an embarrassing 14 interceptions and they finished in the middle of the pack in terms of tackles.
While these three players are not yet elite players, all are considered to be solid picks at this point in the draft. Kirkpatrick may be a bit of a reach, but I believe his potential is incredible. He played for one of the best defenses in the NCAA and can be the centerpiece of the Panthers defense.
I believe Kirkpatrick is the best choice in terms of the Panthers current needs. Their secondary would begin to take the shape of a playoff-worthy, pass-denying force.
The other two players are similar in an odd way. Both Cox and Ingram can anchor the Panthers defensive line, in an attempt to replace the once formidable Kris Jenkins and Julius Peppers.
Many analysts place Cox as the optimal choice for the Panthers. But his quick rise to the top concerns me. Melvin Ingram has always been a top pick. I am fine with either pick, but would favor Ingram.
Thomas Davis and Jon Beason should be at full health. If Charles Johnson can continue his quick climb to all-pro caliber, a defensive line draft pick could create an excellent run-stopping force.