Carolina Panthers: 7-Round NFL Mock Draft Including Trading Steve Smith
It's been all about the draft for the Carolina Panthers for over a month.
As they've locked up the number one pick, the debate whether or not they should go quarterback in round one has heated up.
During that time, Steve Smith has become impatient with the young Jimmy Clausen.
From John Fox starting Brian St. Pierre to Smith angrily telling the media, "He (Clausen) ain't at Notre Dame anymore, that's for sure," the Panthers are spiraling out of control.
In the wake of this implosion, they might as well start from scratch.
First Round: Andrew Luck (QB, Stanford)
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Luck is the top prospect on most draft analysts big boards right now. The Heisman finalist has drawn comparisons to Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers being called, "the surest thing since Peyton Manning."
Those people have to be kidding themselves to make such claims, but just the fact those comparisons, though absurd, are being made shows how much talent Luck has.
If you're a Jimmy Clausen supporter or not, this should be the Panthers selection in April. There's nothing wrong with a little competition.
If Clausen doesn't pan out, it's all good, you have Luck.
If Clausen ends up being a starting caliber quarterback, then they can trade one of the two quarterbacks (see: Philip Rivers and Drew Brees in San Diego).
Second Round (via Steve Smith Trade): Jurrell Casey (DT, USC)
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Casey is a slightly shorter defensive tackle prospect, but very powerful at the same time. He weighs approximately the same weight as Nick Fairley and Casey is three inches shorter.
With his strong stature comes an even stronger pass rush. Most would call his pass rushing ability his greatest strength.
The Panthers desperately need help on the interior defensive line. Casey would be an instant upgrade from what they have right now.
With Steve Smith questioning his own desire to stay in a Panthers' uniform, whatever he decides, you know he's not going to be part of the future.
Carolina should trade him now that they have the chance.
Third Round: DeVier Posey (WR, OSU)
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Posey is a nice big target for Andrew Luck to throw to at 6'3". He has the potential to be a number one wide receiver and that's exactly what the Panthers need.
After trading Steve Smith, the Panthers can't delay upgrading their receiving core any longer. Posey would combine with a developing Brandon Lafell and David Gettis to form a solid young trio of receivers.
Fourth Round: Clint Boling (G, Georgia)
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Boling is an offensive tackle who will have to move inside to guard at the next level. He has a great frame at 6'5".
The Panthers need offensive line help just as much as anywhere else. Unless they want Luck to be on the ground for all of 2011, they better find an upgrade at the guard position.
5th Round: Brandon Hogan (CB/RS, WVU)
Hogan is a cornerback who will fall on draft day after a DUI. The Panthers can't get much worse so a risk on a player like Hogan is worth it.
He can also return kicks which is yet another spot the Panthers need an upgrade at.
Carolina should attempt to upgrade their secondary in the upcoming draft. Cornerback is a position that could use some work.
The fact that Hogan can also return is important as they've been horrible on special teams this season.
6th Round: Jason Pinkston (OT, Pitt)
Pinkston was once a second round prospect before he hurt his knee. The surgery is his only concern and he would definitely be worth the risk in round six.
If the Panthers have injury trouble again like in 2010, they need to have a better second unit. Their line was pathetic after a couple of injuries early in the season.
7th Round: Dan Wenger (C, ND)
Wegner has good size for a center at 6'4". Jimmy Clausen took snaps from him at Notre Dame.
Again, the Panthers need to work on their offensive line depth. They have to have solid players ready to go to prevent another collapse like this season.