Most mock drafts have the Carolina Panthers taking Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson with the 14th pick in Thursday's NFL draft.
But most NFL general managers mock mock drafts.
Carolina's Dave Gettleman strikes me as a general manager who will take a big guy such as the 294-pound Richardson.
But I hope he gives his first draft as the lead play-caller a jolt by taking West Virginia receiver Tavon Austin.
Austin is 5-9 and 174 pounds. He's small. So is Panther receiver Steve Smith, although he doesn't play like it.
I'd love to see the Panthers scare opposing defensive coordinators by lining a fast and elusive receiver (Austin has run a 4.28 40) next to Smith. Put Austin in the slot, put Smith there, it doesn't matter.
What matters is, in a quarterback's league, giving the quarterback two first-class targets.Of course the Panthers need a defensive tackle, and a safety and probably a cornerback. But you have to have the confidence to dare.
Austin is a daring pick. If he's there -- and he ought to be -- take him.