If all goes well, the Panthers could very well be a playoff contender in the near future—maybe even this coming season.
If the Panthers are going to be a consistent playoff contender, they're going to have to draft well and continue to add young and promising talent.
With that being said, in this year's draft, the Panthers hold the No. 9 overall pick, and with that selection they can be sure to add one talented prospect—but who?
Let's take a look at who I have Carolina drafting in my latest mock draft.
No 9. Carolina Panthers: Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State, WR
Some may find this hard to believe, but if everything goes as planned in my latest mock draft, then Justin Blackmon will be a Carolina Panther—and this will be quite the selection.
I don't necessarily believe that Blackmon is the best wide receiver out of this year's draft class, as I see it as a toss-up between him and Michael Floyd, but either way, he'd be quite the addition to Cam Newton's weapon arsenal.
There is no question that Blackmon has tons of talent and was extremely productive while at Oklahoma State—he was nothing short of being a gamer.
Blackmon has all the tools to be a great NFL wide receiver as he has elite hands, excellent athleticism, great body control as well as the strength to beat any physical cornerback lining up against him.
The only two knocks that I have against Blackmon is that he doesn't have the elite speed and doesn't run the neatest routes, which he'll certainly need to work on.
All in all, this would be an ideal situation if they do acquire Blackmon.
Tony Santorsa's 2012 NFL Mock Draft:
1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck
2. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III
3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil
4. Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne
6. St. Louis Rams: Fletcher Cox
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Melvin Ingram
8. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill
9. Carolina Panthers: Justin Blackmon
10. Buffalo Bills: Michael Floyd
11. Kansas City Chiefs: David DeCastro
12. Seattle Seahawks: Luke Kuechly
13. Arizona Cardinals: Jonathan Martin
14. Dallas Cowboys: Quinton Coples
15. Philadelphia Eagles: Michael Brockers
16. New York Jets: Courtney Upshaw
17. Cincinnati Bengals: Dre Kirkpatrick
18. San Diego Chargers: Cordy Glenn
19. Chicago Bears: Nick Perry
20. Tennessee Titans: Stephon Gilmore
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Peter Konz
22. Cleveland Browns: Kendall Wright
23. Detroit Lions: Riley Reiff
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike Adams
25. Denver Broncos: Dontari Poe
26. Houston Texans: Whitney Mercilus
27. New England Patriots: Harrison Smith
28. Green Bay Packers: Jerel Worthy
29. Baltimore Ravens: Dont'a Hightower
30. San Francisco 49ers: Coby Fleener
31. New England Patriots: Devon Still
32. New York Giants: Zach Brown
Be sure to check out Tony Santorsa's blog: PatriotsPlus.