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April 23, 2012

Kuechly goes to Panthers in Sporting News mock

Had a chance to play Panthers GM Marty Hurney last week in The Sporting News' mock draft among team correspondents.

We weren't given the choice to trade down, which appears to be the Panthers' preference.

North Carolina DE Quinton Coples was off the board in this mock, having been snatched up by Miami at No. 8 rather than Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill, the popular pick for the Dolphins in most mocks.

WIth the 9th pick, I could have gone with Mississippi State DT Fletcher Cox, a huge interior presence who -- unlike Memphis DT Dontari Poe -- has actually produced at a high level in a good conference (the best conference, actually).

But I went with Boston College Luke Kuechly, the country's top tackler each of the past two seasons. I like Kuechly's makeup, his athleticism -- his combine 40 time was faster than those of both Thomas Davis and Jon Beason when they came out -- and his production.

Kuechly also provides protection should Davis fail to overcome the odds and make it back from his third ACL surgery, or if Beason hits a hiccup in his return from Achilles surgery.

If both Davis and Beason are back at 100 percent, then the Panthers have a surplus of linebackers -- as they do at running back. There are worse problems to have.

Could the Panthers pick Cox or Coples? Of course.

I don't think they'll take Poe, LSU DT Michael Brockers or South Carolina CB Stephon Gilmore -- not at 9, anyway. I'm told they view South Carolina DE Melvin Ingram as more of 3-4 outside linebacker.

Heck, I might take Cox in tomorrow's mock with the Pro Football Writers Association. Picking ninth, the Panthers know they have to be flexible.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on April 23, 2012 at 03:13 PM | Permalink


Poe all the way!!!!!! Draft Poe. Don't make the mistake and not draft him.

Posted by: Ryan | Apr 23, 2012 3:27:31 PM

you didn't trade up and pick an app state guy?

Posted by: slim shady | Apr 23, 2012 3:28:32 PM

That's funny about the App guy...terrible...Just terrible. App guys can't play in the NFL...either will UNCC guys...Lol

Posted by: Bubba Sparx | Apr 23, 2012 3:37:35 PM

You are exactly right, App guys can't play.

Dj Smith was embarrassing actually starting for the Packers last year. It stinks that Corey Lynch has only averaged 2 ints/year.
Jason Hunter must suck since he plays for the awful Denver defense. Dexter Coakley was way too short to be a 10 time pro bowler. He only got to go a few times and settled for winning rings.

But, to your point, Brian Quick at 6'4" and 4.4 speed, will never be as good as Jerry Rice. I think he would be a good get as a free agent after the draft.

You are a joke.

Posted by: E.F. Yough | Apr 23, 2012 3:47:21 PM

One more thing...Don't let Coples brand poke your eye out.

Posted by: E.F. Yough | Apr 23, 2012 3:49:01 PM

Not the best player on the board

Posted by: fred | Apr 23, 2012 3:57:19 PM

I love watching all the experts fight about who the pick is/should be. There are alot of GM's living in Charlotte now days!

Posted by: Mike P | Apr 23, 2012 4:11:10 PM

My preference would be to trade down and pick up additional draft picks. However if the right deal doesn't come along, I say draft Kuechly and be set at LB for the next 5-8 years with him and Beason.

As much as we would love for TDavis to be able to play again, history suggests otherwise. When Beason and Davis were out last year, teams ran down the middle of the field. I have to think that you get stronger up the middle. LB and DT.

Just my .02

Posted by: Mike | Apr 23, 2012 4:18:53 PM

I'm still laughing at the App thing... too funny. Coples will be the pick. Watch and see...UNC baby!

Posted by: Bubba Sparx | Apr 23, 2012 4:19:04 PM

Bubba-Unfortunately I don't think Rivera is cool with Hurney trying to just sell tickets. We all saw how good that plan worked out 2 years ago. I don't think that guy has dressed a total of 6 games.

Posted by: Mike P | Apr 23, 2012 4:31:26 PM

Cox is the pick, unless the staff doesn't see that Davis will be back...

Posted by: JAR | Apr 23, 2012 4:31:48 PM

I guess the LB pick makes sense. Davis is done. Good player, but injury prone. Reminds me of Dan Morgan. High motor, but injuries will prevent him from going to good to great.

Posted by: Bubba Sparx | Apr 23, 2012 4:43:02 PM

Yeah EF, Armanti Edwards and Dexter Jackson turned out to be NFL superstars. Totally. Definitely need to pick an App guy.

Posted by: Bro Jackson | Apr 23, 2012 4:43:36 PM

Dre Kirkpatrick. Melvin Ingram or Fletcher Cox will be our 9th pick.

Posted by: Jellybean | Apr 23, 2012 4:50:25 PM

I still say u take Kueckly at 9 and slide Beason back to WILL LB where he was drafted to play in the 1st place. Bring Davis back as the 4 behind Anderson and Beason. Senn #5. Bring Davis back as a 3 down starter then he won't make it to week 6. Those LB's right there alone will improve our run defense drastically. Then go best CB or DL left on the board in the 2nd.

Posted by: bb1130 | Apr 23, 2012 5:26:23 PM

Glad to see my boyz Bubba Sparx and Slim Shady hating on App State. Wiggers

Posted by: Vanilla Ice | Apr 23, 2012 5:26:54 PM

It's amazing that no has added James Anderson in there conversation. He didn't do anything but break the all time tackle record without playing on the goal line defense. That's what happen when the fans only see the two LB'ers versus three. It's hard to play a 4-3 defense without having three LB'ers. Wow!!!!

Posted by: Doc | Apr 23, 2012 5:31:28 PM

I can live with Kuechly but I would take the best CB available. That is the Panthers biggest need by a lot.

Posted by: Mtnh2o | Apr 23, 2012 5:37:54 PM

starting to think Poe will drop to second round! Kuechly is the next Urlacher! Impact player! Frees Beason up to play all over field!

Posted by: joe cool | Apr 23, 2012 5:40:49 PM

A MOCK draft. HOW EXCITING!!! Please, please, please, give us more more more of nothing.

Posted by: Ben | Apr 23, 2012 6:24:25 PM

In that slot, with Tannehill sitting there, no way the Panthers don't trade back. Somebody's going to want him.

Posted by: Bull City Dog | Apr 23, 2012 6:32:10 PM

It's Claiborne, Ingram or Gilmore. If they are all gone, it'll be BPA and that could Kalil or Floyd.

Posted by: qdog112 | Apr 23, 2012 6:43:40 PM

I say we pick Cox, line backers cant do much with no line penetration.

Posted by: Snow (informer) | Apr 23, 2012 7:00:00 PM

My first choice would be Cox if he is on the board. Second choice would be to trade down and pick up another second rounder or third rounder. There is some depth in the draft - and we should be able to add a good DT in the mid to late first round and then a solid CB in the second. There is some talent at LB that can be found in the third round (NCSU'S Cole) and WR Dwight Jones (UNC) should be on the board in the 4th.

People forget about the two huge DTs we got near the end of last season. Shirley and Kearse both played well - and are young. We also get Edwards back and have three other young DTs who have potential in Fua, McClain and Nesbet. The Panthers plugged the leak late in the season and that is why they won more games near the end of the year. Check the stats - in the last six games the Panthers only had two RBs pass 100 yards against them and finshed 4-2.

Posted by: Dom | Apr 23, 2012 7:24:04 PM

I think picking a LB at 9 is a bad idea. Why? Beason and Anderson will dominate next year. The Cats also have some depth if they resign a few guys. Davis is done - anything from him is a bonus at this point. I would cut him as soon as possible. Nothing personal and he did make a lot of money so he shouldn't be upset about it. Kuechly's numbers were inflated since he played for a really bad team and he was the only guy making tackles. I think he will be good but not great in the NFL. Maybe worth a mid first round pick but not a top ten pick.

Posted by: Dom | Apr 23, 2012 7:29:54 PM

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