Carolina Panthers 2013 Mock Draft: Predictions for Day 2 & Beyond
Carolina could not ask for a better first round if they had dictated the first 14 picks themselves. When the dust settled on their first-round selection, they had acquired perhaps the best defensive tackle in this year's class in Star Lotulelei. While the Panthers were able to celebrate a small victory, they still have a lot of work ahead of them as they need to fill holes in other parts of the roster.
The best thing about Lotulelei's selection is the Panthers will have options and could use their second pick in a variety of ways. Carolina still faces needs at wide receiver, the secondary and offensive line. Ultimately, their selection could be determined by the best player available.
The following slides will offer a mock draft based on who is still available and who best fits into the Panthers' plans moving forward.
Carolina Panthers Big Board
Here is a list of possible draft prospects the Carolina Panthers could target over the next few rounds based on need. It should be noted that Dave Gettleman could go with the best player available, but for the sake of argument, this list will only cater to the holes present in Carolina's roster.
Keenan Allen, WR/California
Justin Hunter, WR/Tennessee
Robert Woods, WR/USC
Quinton Patton,WR/Louisiana Tech
Terrance Williams, WR/Baylor
Stedman Bailey, WR/West Virginia
Ryan Swope, WR/Texas A&M
Jonathan Cyprien, SS/Florida International
Johnthan Banks, CB/Mississippi State
Jamar Taylor, CB/Boise State
Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB/Connecticut
Tyrann Mathieu, CB/LSU
D.J. Swearinger, FS/South Carolina
Shamarko Thomas, SS/Syracuse
Brian Winters, OG/Kent State
David Quessenberry, OT/San Jose State
Larry Warford, OG/Kentucky
Terron Armstead, OT/Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Dallas Thomas, OT/Tennessee
Oday Aboushi, OT/Virginia
2nd Round, 44th Overall Pick: Quinton Patton, WR/Louisiana Tech
The Carolina Panthers could explore the possibility of drafting a defensive back with this pick. However, unless it's Jonathan Cyprien, chances are they will fill a need on the offensive side of the ball. Since they were interested in a receiving tight end in Round 1, they instead take a wide receiver in the second.
Enter Quinton Patton who is a big, physical receiver who can probably take the mantle of No. 1 wideout on the roster when Steve Smith calls it a career. Patton not only has size but has speed and has the ability to make plays.
He still has a lot of room for improvement in order to become a more polished receiver. By adding him, the Panthers could start Patton and Brandon LaFell on the outside with Smith going to the slot. You can never give a budding star quarterback too many targets, and Cam Newton would greatly benefit by having a big, talented receiver at his disposal.
4th Round, 108th Overall Pick: David Quessenberry, OT/San Jose State
One holdover from the final seven-round mock draft is offensive tackle David Quessenberry. The young lineman from San Jose State could go as early as the third round, but if he slips to the fourth round, the Panthers would be wise to keep an eye on him.
The Carolina offensive line could use a boost as aging veterans and injuries have obliterated the line. Plus, it would be nice to start grooming a possible replacement for Jordan Gross and perhaps replace Byron Bell altogether.
Quessenberry is athletic and has good pop coming off the line. The Panthers can't wait too long to upgrade their line, and if they can find quality pieces to get them through the next season, they can start looking at some of next year's elite crop of tackles and guards.
5th Round, 148th Overall Pick: Cody Davis, FS/Texas Tech
Assuming the Carolina Panthers do not draft a safety or cornerback before the fifth round, look for Cody Davis to be selected to compete for a starting spot within the Carolina secondary. While Davis may be a last-day draft pick, he has one ability that the Panthers struggled against last season—tackling.
Davis is a physical tackler and was probably the lone bright spot on a terrible Texas Tech defense. There seems to be a lot of animosity towards Panther safety Haruki Nakamura as he was not the player many expected him to be last season, and in the end gave up a lot of big plays.
The secondary should be seeing a lot of training-camp battles this summer, and safety is far from being off the hook. Davis could find himself in an ideal situation where he will be able to come in and compete for a job right away. That tends to happen when you bring in a young and hungry player.
6th Round, 182nd Overall Pick: Chris Gragg, TE/Arkansas
The Panthers may have voiced significant interest in tight end Tyler Eifert but in the end, went with best player on the board—Star Lotulelei. However, with their last pick they are determined to find a pass-catching tight end, and they will find that in the form of Chris Gragg.
Gragg is not only a receiving tight end but was a former wide receiver. He does have some health issues but is a proven pass-catcher when healthy. He has the size that is comparable to Eifert measuring in at 6'3" and 244 lbs.
If he can stay healthy and add some bulk to his frame, he has the potential of being the perfect complement to Greg Olsen. Having both of these guys on the field on short-yardage situations or even in the red zone could yield positive results. Ultimately, Gragg's conditioning will play a major role in how he performs at the pro level.