Carolina Panthers' Top Needs and Fits in the 2014 Draft

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Carolina Panthers' Top Needs and Fits in the 2014 Draft
MIKE MCCARN/Associated Press

The Carolina Panthers have a few needs going into the offseason, and three of them are quite obvious.

Carolina is expected to draft or sign free agents who can play wide receiver, offensive line or defensive back. Some of those needs can be addressed simply by re-signing some of their free agents.  However, the team would like to get a playmaker at one or two of those positions.

Given the limited cap room and the need to extend Cam Newton to a new deal, finding such a player in free agency may be difficult to do.  Couple that with the big contract (or franchise tag) defensive end Greg Hardy expects, and the Panthers' financial room becomes much smaller.

This is why drafting well is important for the Panthers.

A solid draft class can set them up for an extended period of success, while a poor class can set them back a season or two.  Bringing in a crop of new and talented players can mean the difference in another winning season or a mediocre one.

Here is a look at five positions that make up the Carolina Panthers' top needs and the best players who may be an ideal fit to help push the team to the next level.

Stats courtesy of Sports-Reference.com.

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