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Mocking the Panthers 9.0

Posted Apr 30, 2014

Panthers.com started its look at mock drafts around the World Wide Web a few days after the NFL Scouting Combine concluded.

Nearly two months later, and about a week away from the NFL Draft, things have changed.

The eight mock drafters featured in the first two installments of Mocking the Panthers all have a different first-round pick forecast for Carolina now. Five of the eight are now predicting that the Panthers will select an offensive tackle, whereas just one thought so in early March. The four mockers that had the Panthers choosing a defensive back are now splitting their guesses evenly between offensive tackle and wide receiver.

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The timing of the shift toward offensive tackle is somewhat surprising because at the time of the earlier mocks, left tackle Jordan Gross had already announced his retirement. On the other hand, a round of roster moves near the start of free agency that dinged Carolina at wide receiver and in the secondary had yet to happen.

Despite the changes, the one constant has been that the large majority of mockers – not just the ones listed below – believe the Panthers will target an offensive lineman, wide receiver or defensive back with 28th overall pick. They just can't agree on which one.

Chris Burke, SI.com
Then: WR Brandin Cooks, Oregon State
Now: OT Morgan Moses, Virginia

Burke now has Cooks off the board when the Panthers pick, going No. 22 to the Philadelphia Eagles (a pretty popular school of thought).

Rob Rang, CBSSports.com
Then: CB Jason Verrett, Texas Christian
Now: OT Morgan Moses, Virginia

Rang still has Verrett on his board when Carolina picks but has shifted to the trendy pick of Moses.

Evan Silva, Rotoworld.com
Then: TE Troy Niklas, Notre Dame
Now: OT Morgan Moses, Virginia

Silva has dropped Niklas to the New York Giants at No. 43. His two-round mock identifies Fresno State wide receiver Davante Adams for the Panthers at No. 60.

Don Banks, SI.com
Then: CB Marcus Roberson, Florida
Now: OT Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama

Banks still seems to think Carolina should take a corner in an ideal world. "Unfortunately for the Panthers, the first-round cornerback market has been picked clean at this point," he writes. But he no longer lists Roberson as a first-rounder and has Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller and Texas Christian corner Jason Verrett going in the three picks before.

Bucky Brooks, NFL.com
Then: OT Morgan Moses, Virginia
Now: OT Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama

The former Panthers scout has been the most consistent in his assessment of Carolina's first choice. After being on wide receiver Brandin Cooks early, Brooks has moved Cooks up the board and has targeted Kouandjio in three of his four mocks since, switching to Moses once right after Kouandjio's shaky combine showing.

Charlie Campbell, WalterFootball.com
Then: WR Odell Beckham, Louisiana State
Now: WR Marqise Lee, Southern California

Campbell is the only other mocker in the group, along with Brooks, to stay consistent with position, but he's moved Beckham way up his board to the New York Jets at No. 18.

Peter Schrager, FoxSports.com
Then: CB Bradley Roby, Ohio State
Now: WR Odell Beckham, LSU

Schrager is in the minority in his thinking that Beckham will last to No. 28. Lee has become the most common first-round type of receiver that mockers still have available come Carolina's turn.

Doug Farrar, SI.com
Then: S Calvin Pryor, Louisville
Now: WR Brandin Cooks, Oregon State

Farrar has moved Pryor up to the Baltimore Ravens at No. 17 and is now among the minority of mockers that have Cooks still as an option when the Panthers are on the clock.