One of the best things about the period between the end of the NFL season and the draft is the ongoing debate about which player a team will draft first. Understandably, the teams picking in the top five have more reason to be more enthusiastic than most, but a lot of fans look forward to the draft as a way to fill a pressing need with a player who may grow into a star.
The Carolina Panthers have the 28th overall pick and, like every team in the league, football experts everywhere have made their predictions about who will be the first selection. Carolina's needs are obvious at offensive tackle and wide receiver, but there have been predictions regarding other positions as well.
One must be careful not take too much stock into a projected draft and take the predictions to heart. Sometimes, they pan out, while others are just another list of projected players that missed the mark.
The next few slides will discuss the predictions that draft experts and analysts have made for the Panthers in the first round and whether it is a sound judgment based on the team's needs.
Sources for mock drafts include the Charlotte Observer, ESPN, CBS Sports, Bleacher Report and Sports Illustrated. Projections on this list have been made in the month of February unless otherwise noted. Stats courtesy of Sports-Reference.com and scouting reports provided by CBSSports.com.