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April 26, 2013

The Panthers' pick at No. 44: Some options

The Carolina Panthers have the 12th pick of Friday's second round of the NFL draft, No. 44 overall, and after the first round we have a clearer picture of who might be available.

The top three remaining players on The Observer's Top 100 are all quarterbacks, No. 10 Geno Smith of West Virginia, No. 20 Matt Barkley of Southern Cal, and No. 22 Ryan Nassib of Syracuse. The Panthers don't need a quarterback, but Smith would be interesting as a backup to Cam Newton, given his ability to run the read-option and his speed. But, nah.

Next on the list is No. 23, Florida International safety Jonathan Cyprien, a big hitter who seemed to be climbing draft boards. Odds are he will be gone before the Panthers can take him at No. 44.

No. 24 on our list is Eddy Lacy, the Alabama running back. But with Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams on the Panthers' roster, and taking up a big chunk of salary cap space, Lacy is unlikely.

Greensboro product and Cal wide receiver Keenan Allen is at No. 27, and could be a possibility for Carolina if he's available. The Panthers need an eventual successor to Steve Smith, but questions about Allen's character could scare teams off, including Carolina.

Also available but unlikely for the Panthers are No. 30 Margus Hunt, a defensive end from SMU, No. 31 Manti Te'o, the Notre Dame linebacker, and Stanford tight end Zach Ertz, who is slightly more likely given Cam Newton's success in two tight end sets in his rookie season in 2011.

That brings us to the range where the Panthers could be picking. A look, individually, at the next group of players:

No. 34, Darius Slay, CB, Mississippi State: A position of need for the Panthers, but his torn meniscus could be a deterrent.

No. 35, Robert Woods, WR, Southern Cal: Have you seen enough of Southern Cal wide receivers on the Panthers roster?

No. 37, Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU: With Luke Kuechly on the Carolina roster, not a priority.

No. 40, Cornellius Carradine, DE, Florida State: Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy make him an unlikely choice.

No. 41, Monte Ball, RB, Wisconsin: Another area where the Panthers are set.

No. 42, Arthur Brown, OLB, Kansas State: Undersized LB not an area of need.

No. 43. Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State: A hog molly in Round 2, anyone?

No. 44, Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee: A big enough need for the 44th pick?

No. 47, Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA: Not an area of need, for reasons discussed above.

No. 48, Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State: Playmaker had four interceptions as a senior.

No. 50, Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State: Filled this need in the first round. Among those in the next group who could be interesting and play a position of need for Carolina:

No. 51 Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State; No. 53 Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas-Pine Bluff; No. 57 David Amerson, CB, N.C. State.

Also, don't be surprised if Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman goes for an offensive lineman, possibly a guard. The top guards on our list? No. 61 Larry Warford of Kentucky, who has weight problems, and No. 83 Brian Winters of Kent State. 

So, who do you like at No. 44?

Posted by Observer Sports on April 26, 2013 at 11:50 AM | Permalink


Gavin Escobar is one to keep your eye on.

Posted by: PantherHead | Apr 26, 2013 11:58:11 AM

I'd be pleased with any of the following: Darius Slay, Menelik Watson, Justin Hunter, Jamar Taylor, Jonathan Banks, David Amerson or the Honey Badger.

Posted by: Marty Hurney | Apr 26, 2013 12:15:44 PM

Trade down, take a later 2nd round pick, get their third round also.

Posted by: Wayne | Apr 26, 2013 12:43:15 PM

trade sorenson and our 2nd round pick for tavon

Posted by: big gulps | Apr 26, 2013 12:46:57 PM


Posted by: Gut | Apr 26, 2013 12:59:25 PM

Am I the only one waiting to hear that Williams had been traded for a late number one to get Honey Badger?

Posted by: ShoNuff | Apr 26, 2013 1:01:35 PM

Robert Woods. he's not like Jarrett and Keyshawn as he's smaller, so i'm not worried about him busting like the others. he would be the perfect guy to learn from Smith as he's similar in size and with the way he plays. if not him, Keenan Allen. it's time to get some help for Cam who's young. Smith wont be here forever.

Posted by: mitchell | Apr 26, 2013 1:05:37 PM

Rambo from Georgia in Round 4!

Posted by: joe cool | Apr 26, 2013 1:09:12 PM

Watson or Hunter would be nice additions.

Posted by: Beachbum | Apr 26, 2013 1:10:38 PM

Unless we get another gift to fall into our lap (Ciprien or Slay), I'd trade back in the round and try to get a 3rd round pick, even if we have to give up a 6th or 7th to make it happen.

Posted by: Authority | Apr 26, 2013 1:15:07 PM

Cyprian, Swearinger and Menelik Watson would be solid choices.

I do think a Margus Hunt can be highly attractive in a rotation of Johnson, Hardy, and Alexander... similar to what the giants do. Keep them fresh and exhaust the opposing OL but continued no plays off pressure on the outside edge. I realize it is a luxury but if our middle is now solidified and we have extensive weakness in our secondary, why not go after the QB constantly. An uptempo pressure and make our defense to worry about.
Plus look who we play against next year. Ryan x 2, Brees x 2, Wilson, Kaepernick, Freeman x 2, Manning and Brady.
Those QBs will kill us if we give them time. Let's make sure we have an awesome rush to limit their read options. That is the best support possible for a weak DB class... no matter who we get in the succeeding rounds.

Posted by: Tyler Kadison | Apr 26, 2013 1:15:19 PM

I love the shouts for the "Honey Badger". Does any Panther fan REALLY think this organization would draft a kid like that, REALLY? Forget the fact that he has been sitting on a couch getting high and playing Call of Duty over the past year.

My guess would be Cyprien if he's still on the board or Ertz. I don't think they're looking for a WR in this draft, we have a handful already and nobody in this draft is primed to take 89's spot. They're looking for STARTERS, not someone that's gonna take a year to get on the field.

Posted by: Swizzle52 | Apr 26, 2013 1:17:23 PM

DJ SWEARINGER! If he's there it would be a mistake not to pick him

Posted by: MRM | Apr 26, 2013 1:19:53 PM

I'd like to get Cyprien if available, and even think about trading up to get him if we dont have to give up too much. Or Taylor from Boise State. I don't want to trade back, we need a starter now in the DB

Posted by: Panthers 24 | Apr 26, 2013 1:21:31 PM

Jonathan Cyprien would be fun. Be nice to have a hard hitter like Mike Minter back in the day.

Posted by: Trey Griffin | Apr 26, 2013 1:27:33 PM

d.j. swearinger!

Posted by: t bottomsides | Apr 26, 2013 1:37:18 PM

Agree with DJ Swearinger. With star, we would have intimidators at every level.

Posted by: Gerbs | Apr 26, 2013 1:56:18 PM

Take Honeybadger and Shawn Williams in the 4th

Posted by: NeedACorner | Apr 26, 2013 2:12:38 PM

you guys enamored with "honey badger" are hopefully all 14 year olds.

He is an absolute ball hawk and a solid return man.......but he's horrible on ball, a mediocre tackler, and an absolute question mark mentally. you don't use number ones on that kind of guy. or the type that have imaginary girlfriends.

safety, safety, safety. corner is far less of a need than something we want to upgrade. we have starters but they aren't elite. we don't have a 2nd starting safety. it's the only hole left on the team, everything else is looking to upgrade or add depth.

lot of people talking about how lotulelei isn't a pass rusher......that's actually a good thing. that means we'll have johnson, hardy, alexander and edwards as our 3rd down unit more than likely. that worked out great last year.

Posted by: charlottean | Apr 26, 2013 2:12:46 PM

is stedman bailey out of the picture completely now?

Posted by: hugo | Apr 26, 2013 2:25:52 PM

USA Today's projection:

44. Carolina Panthers — S Johnathan Cyprien, Florida International: Ss Haruki Nakamura and Charles Godfrey both struggled on the back end for Carolina a year ago, not very reassuring given the frequent air raids in the NFC South.

or other secondary help.

Posted by: Bill | Apr 26, 2013 2:40:21 PM

I take the Honeybadger. I know he has issues with smoking weed but honestly he would have been the number one over all pick this year had he played. He is the best CB I've seen since Deon Sanders and I think CB is the Panthers biggest need after watching them get burned time and time again last year. We are in a division with Matt Ryan and his pro bowl receivers/TEs and Drew Brees with the same.

Posted by: Scott | Apr 26, 2013 2:45:09 PM

"Honeybadger" is undersized for what our needs are in the secondary, even if he were clean. His chronic drug problem signals a serious mental issue IMO.

Posted by: Bill | Apr 26, 2013 2:47:32 PM

D.J. Swearinger!! or J. Cyprien but I would be really happy if we get D.J.

Posted by: jklswag | Apr 26, 2013 3:11:57 PM

If Cyprien falls to the Panthers, that's another Star-sized gift in their lap. They'll rush that pick to the podium as well.

As for those of you against taking Mathieu this high, depending on who's left, he might be the pick. He's the type of player that's always on the ball, very instinctive. That stuff can't be taught. Kuechly has it too.

Janoris Jenkins was a huge question mark last year for his past, and he had a great year for a rookie. Mathieu will be the same, write it down.

Posted by: Marty Hurney | Apr 26, 2013 3:19:37 PM

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