The Carolina Panthers writing team here at LWOS has decided to collaborate and give you three different mock drafts at three different time periods of the off-season: before free agency, after free agency, and draft week. Through this series, we will be able to see how well each of our Panthers staffers were able to predict the Panthers real life picks and what circumstances may change their predictions. Welcome to mock draft season, 2019. All picks were made using the Draft Network’s mock draft machine, which predicts the draft on a pick-by-pick basis and allows the user to make selections for one or more teams.
ROUND 1: Pick 16
Alvarez: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
The Panthers typically go with the best player available in round one and with the Edge rushers’ stock currently on the rise, Williams may fall into Carolina’s lap. What he lacks in arm length, he makes up for in technique and footwork. Plus, he’s versatile enough to play at either guard position which is something Ron Rivera values.
Wexler: Garrett Bradbury, Center, North Carolina State
In a situation where zero pass rushers survive to pick 16, the Panthers happily take the local product. A day one starter to replace Ryan Kalil at center, Bradbury has real potential to be a perennial All-Pro and locker room leader.
ROUND 2: Pick 15
Alvarez: Chase Winovich, EDGE, Michigan
Winovich was very productive for the Wolverines defense and he plays with an extremely high motor. He may never become a superstar in the NFL, but Winovich feels like a guy who will become a fan favorite and be very productive for a long time.
Wexler: Lonnie Johnson Jr., CB, Kentucky
There are rumors that Carolina really like the 6’3, long-limbed corner out of Kentucky. Missing out on an EDGE hurts, but beefing up the secondary does not.
ROUND 3: Pick 13
Alvarez: Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple
Getting faster in the secondary was a huge emphasis for the Panthers last off-season and they will look to continue building that. Ya-Sin has great ball skills and plays with a swagger similar to Donte Jackson. With Jackson’s ability to play outside, Ya-Sin can slide into the nickel which would make for a very exciting secondary.
Wexler: Darnell Savage, S, Maryland
The Panthers spent two draft picks on former Maryland Terrapins in 2018 and continue this trend here. This safety is on the smaller end but provides speed, range, and instinct to play across from Eric Reid. If the Panthers dip their toes in the rich 2019 safety free agency class, they may look elsewhere here.
ROUND 3: Pick 36 (Compensatory)
Alvarez: Zach Allen, EDGE, Boston College
Smart defensive players out of Boston College seems to be what the Panthers like. Allen may lack a dynamic pass rush but he is a smart and well-coached edge that can come in and help stuff the run. He has the versatility to slide inside and play in different fronts which is what the Panthers want to experiment with next season.
Wexler: Ben Banogu, EDGE, TCU
The Panthers need an EDGE and, unfortunately, couldn’t grab one early on in this scenario. They take Banogu to fill a roster spot and hope for the best here.
ROUND 4: Pick 13
Alvarez: David Sills V, WR, West Virginia
Kelvin Benjamin…bust. Devin Funchess…bust. Hopefully, the third time’s the charm when it comes to the Panthers finding their big-bodied possession receiver.
Wexler: David Sills V, WR, West Virginia
Sills provides Cam Newton with a guy who wins at the release and has a good understanding of the route tree.
ROUND 5: Pick 16
Alvarez: Lukas Denis, S, Boston College
Denis may be a little undersized and struggles to finish tackles but he has great ball skills and can play the single high safety which is a need for the Panthers. Transitioned from corner to safety late in his career so he may need some fine tuning but he could become an impactful starter by year two or three.
Wexler: Trayveon Williams, RB, Texas A&M
Williams led the SEC in rushing yards in 2018, not an easy feat. He provides Christian McCaffrey some sideline time. With a similar play style to CMC, defenses can’t see the Panthers hand.
ROUND 6: Pick 14
Alvarez: Easton Stick, QB, North Dakota State
Rivera said they will look to find their backup quarterback via the draft rather than free agency and Easton Stick would be a great fit. The dual-threat quarterback was a three-time captain at North Dakota State and helped the Bison win two championships. Best believe he will come in and compete to his best ability for a spot on the roster.
Wexler: Gardner Minshew, QB, Washington State
Carolina needs to develop a long term backup quarterback, especially with Cam Newton’s injury history. They take a late round flier on a gunslinger with their final pick.
1: Jonah Williams, OT/OG
2: Chase Winovich, EDGE
3: Rock Ya-Sin, CB
3: Zach Allen, EDGE
4:David Sills V, WR
5: Lukas Denis, S
6: Easton Stick, QB
This is a very deep defensive class and I would not be surprised if the Panthers went defense on six of their seven picks in 2018. I also would not be surprised Carolina gained another mid to late draft pick by trading a guy like Vernon Butler.
1: Garrett Bradbury, C
2:Lonnie Jones Jr, CB
3:Darnell Savage, S
3:Ben Bonagu, EDGE
4:David Sills V, WR
5:Trayveon Williams, RB
6:Gardner Minshew, QB
If the Panthers don’t get an EDGE in the first two rounds, it could spell disaster. They are in a good position to fill some pressing needs in the first four rounds, especially with deep talent at those positions of need.
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