The Carolina Panthers entered the fourth round of the 2013 NFL draft having used their first two picks on defensive tackles. While they did not pick a player on the defensive line with the 108th overall pick, they did switch to the other side of the ball and select offensive guard Edmund Kugbila out of Valdosta State.
Many felt the Panthers would use this pick to address the secondary, but once again the Carolina front office surprised a lot of people.
Carolina does need a lot of help on the offensive line but Kugbila's selection could be considered a reach by the Panthers as he was listed as a seventh round selection to a possible undrafted free agent at CBSSports.com. Further justifying the pick as a reach is the fact that Kugbila's grade at NFL.com is 52.0. If there was ever a pick that will need to play hard in 2013, it will be this young man.
The jury is still out on Amini Silatolu, who was another draft pick from a small school, and while he was a second-round pick, there were times where he looked lost on the field. Carolina fans cannot stomach another drafted lineman repeating Silatolu's rookie campaign and Kugbila will be under a lot of scrutiny from the start.
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However, the Panthers did address a need, and it seems as though their focus is beefing up the lines on both sides of the ball. Kugbila is a big man standing at 6'4" and weighing 317 lbs. So, he does fit the "big hog mollies" profile that general manager Dave Gettleman suggested prior to the draft.
Unless Kugbila plays his heart out and turns some head in Carolina, he looks to be backing up Silatolu and and Geoff Hangartner.
The Panthers draft so far has received a fair amount of criticism, and it seems that trend will continue unless they can find a late-round steal with their final two picks.