2012 Carolina Panthers NFL Mock Draft | Two Rounds
Just over a week ago we previewed some of the biggest options for the Carolina Panthers to target with the 8th/9th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. (Coin flip with Miami determines pick)
Guys like Dre Kirkpatrick, Devon Still, and Quinton Coples were options for Carolina, but we want to discuss more than just the first round post-Senior Bowl.
Carolina unveiling their sweet new logo and uniform ideas has given us more motivation to project what Carolina could do in April.
We’re going to preview what the first two picks for the Panthers could look like, one in the first and another in the second round with pick 40/41.
There are some slight changes to be made to 2012 NFL Draft rankings that will be out in just another day or so, but for now, let’s see what the Carolina Panthers’ first two pick could look like in April’s Draft.
Pick 8/9 Overall
Option #1: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
I’m a big fan of Kirkpatrick, and I know that this pick doesn’t change from a bit over a week ago, but I feel that it is the most wise selection.
Even with the marijuana arrest, Kirkpatrick is still a Top 10-15 talent. His game play is very similar to Chris Gamble, being fast and physical, not afraid to go in and make a tackle.
Kirkpatrick excels in press coverage, and has the recovery speed to play in zone coverage. He’s extremely well rounded, and with Gamble playing well, he could start at #2 and grasp the NFL speed before being rushed into guarding guys like Calvin Johnson.
Option #2: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
Travelle Wharton is absolutely terrible and frustrating to watch at guard. David DeCastro is not.
DeCastro is a mauler that also plays light on his feet and will block well in pass protection.
A great well to help DeAngelo Williams surge back in 2012 would be to get him a better offensive line to run behind, and DeCastro would be a significant upgrade over Wharton.
Sure taking a guard in the Top 10 is as un-sexy as it gets, but it would be quite beneficial.
Option #3: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
Brockers is a mammoth of a defensive tackle and is going to shoot up NFL team draft boards much like Tyson Alualu did for the Jaguars in recent memory.
Brocks is this, strong, and can stuff the run, which is something that the Panthers desperately need, despite them drafting two defensive tackles in the 2011 NFL Draft.
He has big size and may be a better 3-4 end, but he will still do just fine as a one gap tackle.
Pick 40/41 Overall
Option #1: Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers
There’s a very good chance that Sanu is gone by this pick, but if he’s available, he needs to be the selection.
Sanu has been under the radar as a receiver with speed enough to stretch the field, but most importantly is his ability to create separation.
He will catch a lot of short passes in which he will turn up the field for a 10-12 yard gain consistently.
With Steve Smith aging and the lack of overall depth at receiver for the Panthers, you’ll think that upgrading that position in the draft will be crucial.
Option #2: Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State
Burfict has Top 15 talent, easily. But his constant penalties and on-field behavior really takes a lot of steam out of what he brings to the table.
He was benched, not starting in the bowl game against Boise State after not listening to coaching and reports of him changing up plays in the huddle surfaced.
But he’s loaded with talent and could fall because of the attitude issues. Dan Connor is an adequate linebacker, but he doesn’t have the physical ability of Burfict, and getting a player with this skillset in the second round could be huge.
Option #3: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
The more likely of situations in the second round for the Panthers is Gilmore who is another physical corner who can run with most receivers.
Gilmore is versatile, having played corner and both safety positions at times for the Gamecocks.
Of course, if Dre Kirkpatrick is drafted in the first, then he won’t be the second round selection, but if they opt to go for another position, the Panthers will be looking to upgrade the cornerback spot with one of the next draft picks.
Keet Bailey heads the NFL Draft division of NFL Soup. Bailey's 2012 NFL Mock Draft scored 12th overall among 112 participants according to The Huddle Report's Annual Mock Draft scoring contest. An avid Cleveland Browns fan, Keet hails from and resides in Ohio. Follow Keet on Twitter @NFLSoupKeet