Now that free agency is pretty much over, the draft is where all the attention is. The Panthers attention will be focused on their seven draft picks. They lost players like future Hall of Famer, Julius Peppers, and center, Ryan Khalil. They also let longtime linebacker, Thomas Davis and wide receiver, Devin Funchess walk. They will be looking to fill those position with this draft ahead of us.
Round 1-Pick 16
Montez Sweat/Defensive End/Mississippi St.
Montez Sweat is an athletic freak when it comes to rushing the passer. Sweat came in as the fastest defensive lineman at the combine running a 4.41 40-yard dash time. A big concern for the edge rusher is a heart condition that was found at the combine. With that, I think he will fall a bit and end up into the Panthers lap.
Round 2-Pick 47
A few months ago, Deionte Thompson was recognized as the best safety in the draft. While he dropped quite a bit, it won’t stop him from still being one of the best safeties in the draft. Thompson has a great ratio of height, weight, and speed that very few safeties have. Unfortunately, he is not great with technique and tackling.
Round 3-Pick 77
Greg Little/Offensive/Tackle Ole Miss
Another player that has dropped quite a bit is an offensive lineman, Greg Little. Little has great footwork and mobility which helps for edge pass rushing. He needs to use a little more power and muscle in the rush game. He also is not great when a pass rusher attacks the inside which does not help and might give Little problems.
Round 3-Pick 100
Maxx Crosby/Defensive End/Eastern Michigan
Maxx Crosby comes from a smaller school than many other people in the draft. Even though he went to a smaller school, he still showed that he could play edge rusher very well. Crosby was very effective at Eastern Michigan with 18.5 sacks in his last two seasons. It will be very interesting if he can keep the same dominance when playing against better competition.
Round 4-Pick 115
Will Grier/Quarterback/West Virginia
To clarify, Cam Newton is quarterback without any doubt. But with his shoulder surgery, we will be looking to take a little bit of the hits off of him. That’s where Grier comes in. Panthers have met and scouted with Will Grier and seem to be very interested in him. Grier accuracy is great almost always hitting his target. But his arm strength is not the best in this draft class and also is not great under pressure.
Round 5-Pick 154
Anthony Johnson/Wide Receiver/Buffalo
Anthony Johnson is one of the prospects that went under the radar this draft. He was the number one target for 6-foot 8-inch tall quarterback Tyree Jackson. Johnson is a great deep threat that is great at coming up with the contested catches and also has excellent after catch ability. He shows everything you would want in a wide receiver, but he seemed to struggle without his quarterback, Tyree Jackson which is a concern.
Round 6-Pick 187
With the Panthers final pick in the draft, they choose a linebacker. With Thomas Davis leaving, we need someone to replace him. Even though this might be late to pick up a linebacker to fill a starting position, Tre Lamar can fill that patch. Lamar is the “stuff the line” linebacker that any team would like. His pass coverage is something he will need to develop, but if he can do that, he can be a great linebacker that offensives try to avoid.