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February 15, 2012

Mike Mayock likes LSU DT for Panthers

To hear Mike Mayock describe it, the Panthers' coin flip with Miami at the combine could be as important as any evaluations the Panthers do next week in Indianapolis.

A coin flip on Feb. 24 will determine the 8th and 9th picks between Carolina and Miami, which finished with 6-10 records and an identical .504 strength-of-schedule percentage.

I think the first seven or eight picks are pretty solid, then after that there's questions,” Mayock said today during a teleconference with the NFL Network analyst. “So they're right on the cusp of that with that coin flip.”

Mayock – like ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper – thinks the Panthers could take LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers in the first round. The Panthers took a pair of DTs in the third round last year – Sione Fua and Terrell McClain – but had trouble getting penetration and a pass rush from the interior in 2011.

I think he's a potential top-10 pick, and I think he's a logical guy who could play even outside if you needed him to,” Mayock said of Brockers. “He's a really explosive, 6-foot-5, 300-pound defensive tackle. So I think Brockers is real logical for them right there.”

With LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne likely off the board when the Panthers pick, he said Carolina would be taking the second- or third-best corner if it goes that route.

And that's probably (Alabama's) Dre' Kirkpatrick,” Mayock said. “He's big and he's long. I'm not sure what he's going to run (in the 40). Some people might even think he could convert to safety down the road.

He's a kid I really like a lot, but is that too high for him? Because sitting there at 8 or 9, you've got to get the best football player on the board.”

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on February 15, 2012 at 04:52 PM | Permalink


Unless one of three players fall to us, I believe the pick that makes the most sense is Courtney Upshaw. Connor most likely will depart & who knows about Davis these days, so let's stick with a sure thing. Brockers may end up being a great DT, but he'll take some time. We need someone who can make a difference now. Reiff & Martin are both OT who can contribute immediately. We'll get our CB in the 2nd round and our #2 WR in FA.

Posted by: Mo | Feb 15, 2012 5:11:07 PM

Totally agree with logic on Upshaw. One other name to consider is David DeCastro. Think about potentially having 4 Pro Bowlers on your O line. Wow. And I think DeCastro is a Pro Bowler first year. Hurney has always believed in feeding your strengths, and Upshaw an and DeCastro fill that bill.

Posted by: PantherHead | Feb 15, 2012 5:21:53 PM

As much as I'd love some more protection for Cam and blocking for Double Trouble, we need too much defensive help to go offense in the first round. Unless Matt Kalil is there, which he won't be, we have to go defensive line or cornerback.

Posted by: J | Feb 15, 2012 5:35:48 PM

I would like the Panthers to trade back if possible. If they are stuck I hope they take Mark Barron the SS from Alabama. They could plug him in immediately & then let Godfrey & Martin battle it out for the FS spot. Barron is the best Safety in this draft, can cover & he can tackle. I am sick of watching our safeties miss tackles & give up big plays.

Posted by: Mtnh2o | Feb 15, 2012 6:05:29 PM

the panthers need to draft this kid or the dt from mich state. If you dont get any pass rush a qb will pick you apart, esp in the nfc south

Posted by: panther2012 | Feb 15, 2012 6:09:29 PM

Having the best line in the league isn't as necessary when you have a QB who can extend a play like Cam can. Do you think our line was better than in 2010, or do you think Cam made them look better because of his personal skill set combined with the revamped play calls? Maybe both, but I'm leaning towards the later. That said, to me going O-line seems like a bit of a luxury pick for a team with clear needs at DT, CB, and FS, just for starters. If you re-sign Hangartner, I think you've got a line that's good enough to win with now, and you shore up your more immediate defensive needs this year and worry about adding to the O-line next year when you have more picks to devote towards improving what's already decent, rather than fixing what is completely broken, which is what we need to do this year. You could argue that an O-lineman might be BPA at our pick, and I might agree, but in that case I would argue we would probably be better served by trying to trade down. Then again, I wouldn't be completely shocked if they drafted an O-lineman anyway.

Posted by: OBXsurfer4 | Feb 15, 2012 6:21:32 PM

Why would we need a linebacker in upshaw given our needs at other positions?

Posted by: J | Feb 15, 2012 6:37:12 PM

Good comments. If Claiborne is gone (most likely), I like Upshaw on defense at 8/9. If Panthers trade down to and get another draft pick and save some $$ I like Barron. If things go haywire and Panthers go OL, I like DeCastro, but agree with previous post that an OL choice in the first round is a luxury considering defensive needs. One thought, convert Otah to DT!

Posted by: landmerchant | Feb 15, 2012 6:37:43 PM

Man, we're gonna be fine.I just want the draft to HAPPEN !!!

Posted by: nasty704 | Feb 15, 2012 6:47:51 PM

Need on Defense and being tight on the cap makes O-line or (as some have previously pushed) WR is CLEARLY way too much of a luxury. We need to either improve the pass rush or get a shutdown corner. I'd even support trading UP if we can get Claiborne.

Anything else is a wasted pick.

Posted by: John | Feb 15, 2012 7:02:39 PM

I like Upshaw and Barron as players, but I don't think the Panthers would take either at 8/9. I know it's not necessarily an immediate need, but if the pick is between Brockers or Reiff, then I take Reiff. He could help when Otah gets hurt again this year, he could replace him next year, and potentially take over for Gross. I would hate to see the team get a few years down the line and realize they have nothing left on the o-line like they did with the d- line. They're having a tough time getting the d-line back to a dominate level, but they just used up 2 picks and a FA on the interior, and I'm not sure another rookie DT not named Suh would make that much more of an impact. Reef would be a longer term investment, but that's not a bad thing when you trying to keep your best player upright.

Posted by: Phillip | Feb 15, 2012 7:12:20 PM

LB is a need. Beason coming back will help. But Connor may not return and is not a starter anyway. Anderson is solid, but slow. We need another stud out there. Especially with McDermott's blitz happy scheme.

Posted by: joel | Feb 15, 2012 8:30:16 PM

Brockers is terrible.. I don't know why everyone is hyping him up.. Just because we need a defensive tackle doesn't mean we should take him 10 to 20 picks to early. I've watched multiple highlight films on Brockers and it doesn't show any reason why we should take him with our 8/9th pick in the first round and I would be scared to take him in the 2nd round. What you need is a pass rusher. Mercilus Whitney .. Can't believe there are no articles about this guy..http://espn.go.com/college-football/player/gamelog/_/id/377718/whitney-mercilus


Mike Martin Dt should be our 2nd round

And we should get a corner in free agency..

Posted by: steve | Feb 15, 2012 10:37:09 PM

I agree with someone who is going to be a pass rushing force. I think we need to get couples if he falls to us which is a good possibility. He will be good and he can play inside at the dt if need be. Giants have a great d line and it can make your secondary look so much better. Go corner in second rd, and draft dwight jones in the fourth.

Posted by: Dustin Gossage | Feb 15, 2012 11:11:24 PM

Upshaw plays like Beason! Tag Team of Terror!

Posted by: joe cool | Feb 15, 2012 11:47:55 PM

If Rivera plans on using a lot more 3-4 then Upshaw makes sense. At 6'1" 273 he's a premier 3-4 OLB. However, if he plans on sticking mostly with the 4-3, as I'm assuming he will be, Brockers makes a lot more sense to me. Teams could run up the middle all day on us last season, and Brockers is a run-stuffer. He'll also take blockers off of Beason to let him do his thing.

Posted by: Kevin | Feb 16, 2012 12:16:14 AM

Talking about the NFL Draft in Feb. before the 'Combine', is strickly Fantasy football. Once the 'Combine' is done, and the real stats are put out there. Then, the Panthers will hava a better idea of what rookies are legit. Plus, Free Agency will fill several key holes. So the draft in 2012, isn't as critical as it was in 2011.

Posted by: Catsnmbr1Fan | Feb 16, 2012 12:16:52 AM

I don't know about you guys, but I'm pretty worried about our ability to draft the past couple years with Hurney. Other than Cam (who I doubt Hurney would have taken without Richardson breathing down his neck), our draft last year looks like a bust. Fua and McClain both looked extremely average, pretty disappointing, Hogan made zero impact, we released a couple of our other picks, and the rest barely played. Throw in Edwards, who was basically our 33rd overall pick last year, and those are some terrible results...

Posted by: Josh | Feb 16, 2012 1:22:10 AM

I think Hurney has drafted well in every round except the 2nd round. I think it is hard to argue with his success in the 1st round in particular. Peppers, Gross, Gamble, TD, DeAngelo, Beason, Stewart & Otah, Cam. Are any of these guys bad players? Some have struggled with injuries but that is football. He has also drafted some good players in the 3rd round like Charles Johnson, James Anderson, Conner. He got Kalil in the 2nd round but other than Kalil that has been the round the Panthers have struggled in. Jarrett, Shelton, Edwards (even though he was picked in the 3rd), Everette Brown, Clausen have all been 2nd round busts.

Posted by: Mtn H2O | Feb 16, 2012 9:40:02 AM

What was genius Mayock's evaluation of Cam Newton prior to last years draft?

Posted by: dardjohn | Feb 16, 2012 9:47:51 AM

Brockers is terrible. Look at the film. He only seems to play when he wants. I looked at highlights of the game LSU play Miss. State. The MSU O-line had no problems with Brockers.

Posted by: Justin B | Feb 16, 2012 10:16:54 AM

Get a kicker with your pick panthers, do the right thing here.

Posted by: Aston Villa | Feb 21, 2012 6:09:56 PM

Justin Blackmon may be available at 8 if Minnesota goes a different route. We simply can't pass a skill player of this magnitude. Assuming Claiborne is gone we trade down. We could have 2 first round picks between 18-23 for the 8/9 pick. That will get us Dre Kirkpatrick and Alshon Jeffrey. We get our DT in the second round or FA. Be smart Polian. Please.

Posted by: deepenwide | Feb 24, 2012 5:39:39 AM

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