The new calender year of the NFL season has begun and with it so have the signings of some of the game's biggest names. The Carolina Panthers have been mostly quiet, signing cornerback Drayton Florence and re-signing backup quarterback Derek Anderson this past week.
Given the lack of signings thus far for the Panthers, the front office is shifting its focus to the draft and which players can make immediate impacts. It wouldn't hurt finding a diamond in the rough, either, as some players have broken onto the professional stage as under-the-radar studs.
Carolina will be hoping that April's draft produces a home-run pick in the first round and perhaps gives the Panthers a solid late pick who can make a difference on game day.
They have a lot of needs to address and, as of now, only five picks with which to address them. The 2013 NFL draft will be an important one, as it will set the tone for general manager Dave Gettleman, who will be making key decisions on the players who will be the Panthers' future.
One thing to take away from this mock draft is that it is very defense heavy. The reason behind this has to do with the amount of points Carolina gave up early on in the season. Even when they had some struggles on offense, they were still able to put points on the board.
If the Panthers are to be successful in 2013, they need to correct the things that cost them in 2012.