Carolina Panthers: 5 Possibilities for the Second-Round Pick
The Carolina Panthers selected Luke Kuechly from Boston College with the ninth overall selection in the 2012 NFL draft, but Panthers coach Ron Rivera and general manager Marty Hurney have their work cut out for them heading into Day 2 of the draft.
The Panthers still have glaring needs at cornerback and defensive tackle, and Cam Newton would like to get a shiny, new wideout before they are all picked over and become everyone else's scraps
Carolina gave up its third-round pick when it traded for Chicago's Greg Olsen in the 2010-11 offseason, so they will only have a second-round pick on Day 2 of the draft barring a trade.
However, there is plenty of talent and value still to be found beyond the first round, and the Carolina Panthers should be able to find another starter with the No. 40 overall pick.
Here is a look at five of the guys who could be wearing a flat-brimmed Panthers cap at the end of Day 2 of the 2012 NFL draft.
Devon Still, DE, Penn State
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
The Carolina Panthers' biggest positional need is at defensive tackle where they were one of the softest teams in the NFL in 2011, and Devon Still is a guy who can step right in as an opening day starter and make a difference.
Devon Still, the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Year in 2011, had a tremendous senior season with 17 tackles for loss at Penn State, and he will quickly assure any team that selects him in the second round that he was not a one-year wonder.
After passing on Fletcher Cox, Dontari Poe and Michael Brockers in the first round, the Panthers must feel confident they can find value at the tackle position on the second or third day of the draft, and Devon Still could be their guy.
Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
Janoris Jenkins at the 2012 NFL Combine.
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
The Panthers' second-greatest need is at cornerback where they could use a physical, athletic cornerback to play opposite Chris Gamble.
Janoris Jenkins is an elite cover cornerback with first-round talent and a history of getting into trouble off the field, which is how he ended up playing at Division II North Alabama after being asked to leave the University of Florida for his off-the-field actions.
Then again, Panthers fans and supporters of Cam Newton know how well Florida's castaways can turn out in the end.
Jenkins is considered one of the most talented cornerbacks in the draft and could be a steal if he falls to the Panthers.
As an added bonus, Jenkins could step in for Armanti Edwards as the Panthers' punt returner on the first day of camp.
Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Cam Newton needs a new toy, and Alshon Jeffery is ready to play.
Jeffery is a big, fast, athletic receiver whose NFL draft stock dropped after a big slip in production in 2011, though his numbers can be largely attributed to a dysfunctional quarterback play from Stephen Garcia and Connor Shaw.
Jeffery has the body, the athleticism and the ball skills to be the Panthers' No. 2 receiver as soon as he steps on the field, and he is my favorite receiver in the draft behind Justin Blackmon.
If he becomes a Carolina Panther, Jeffery has the talent to eventually become Steve Smith's successor as Cam Newton's top target in a few years.
Rueben Randle, WR, LSU
Rueben Randle lays out for a catch against the Razorbacks.
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
If Alshon Jeffery is off the board at No. 40, do not rule out the chances of Carolina picking a new target for Cam Newton with their second pick.
LSU's Rueben Randle has good size at 6'3" and 210 pounds, though their have been mixed reviews about his speed.
The first-team All-SEC receiver is not going to run away from most secondaries with the 4.55 speed he displayed at the NFL combine, though he did clock as low as 4.42 at his pro day.
Carolina already has one LSU Tiger at wide receiver in Brandon LaFell, who improved a great deal over the course of the season in 2011.
Randle would provide Newton with another solid, if not spectacular, wide receiver to target.
Kendall Reyes, DT, Connecticut
Kenall Reyes (99)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
If the Carolina Panthers decide to pick a defensive tackle with the No. 40 overall pick and Devon Still is no longer on the board, Kendall Reyes is the next best option.
Reyes does not put up big numbers in terms of sacks and tackles for loss, however, he uses his strength and close-quarter maneuvering to collapse the pocket across from him. He is also an effective run-stopper.
The Panthers did the right thing by not using their first-round pick on a defensive tackle, though they will find some value in Reyes or Still if they decide to address their biggest need in the second round.
You can follow Jimmy Grappone on Twitter @imapone24.
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