Due to popular demand we are putting out C3 Mock 2.0. This version takes into account the first full week of Free Agency and there has been some movement. Smokewagon is back making his picks along with me in the First Round. We each give insight as to why we think each one makes sense. And as usual, we look at some of these selections from a Panthers Fan point of view, but no matter who you are a fan of, take a look and let us know your thoughts. You can follow me on twitter at @PanthersDrafter and Smokewagon at @SamSslater96
Mel Mayock's Picks
The Panthers have their pick of Ereck Flowers, DJ Humphries, and Jake Fisher. I had hometown standout out DJ Humprhries here in our previous Mock and that would still be a great pick. But think about this: this Draft is so deep at Tackle and so thin at Safety that if the #1 Safety in the draft is there, he will be the pick. Roman Harper is not getting any younger and this week’s signing of Kurt Coleman is more about Special Teams and depth than finding a top-flight Safety. Collins would be the long term solution and would be a great compliment to Sticki Wiki, Josh Norman and Tre Boston. I can only imagine how Panther Nation will react, but Collins is the Top 10 talent that fell on Draft Day. Want more on Collins? Read more here: Landon Collins Profile
Picks from C3 Staff
There are bigger needs than running back they will say. This team needs a franchise left tackle they will say. A complimentary receiver to go with Benjamin would be more valuable given Stewart’s resurgence they will say. Passing on Gurley, however, for need defies Gettleman’s sworn BPA formula. Guys like Gurley simply don’t come along often. He’s explosive, electric, and from his reports can run a sub 4.35 40-yd dash. He returns kicks, has power, great vision, and can block. He does it all. Had it not been for his knee injury, he would have been a Top 10 overall pick. If his knee checks out, bring this Backyard Baller home. Carolina can only count on Stewart for so much and never for long.
With Torrey Smith gone to San Francisco for $9M per year and with the ageless Steve Smith getting one year older, this pick makes too much sense. Flacco needs receiving options and Coates is one of my favorite options. Plus it will be fun to watch Smitty stare down Coates after one of his drops. Coates may bench press him. (he benches 400 lbs.)
What do you do when you let the NFL’s leading-rusher walk across to the Division to arguably your biggest rival? You sign the next big thing and thank God that he is still there at Pick 23. I truly believe that a healthy Gurley behind that Offensive Line and he will reach 1,500 yards and will be my #1 Pick in Fantasy Football this year.
The Broncos are looking to retool their Offensive Line where the word is they may be looking for as many as three new starters. It is an absolute gift for Humprhries to still be there at 28. He will look good protecting Peyton Manning and Panther fans will be moaning.
Though the Colts really need Oline help as Luck saw way too much pressure. He was sacked 41 times while the Colts only totalled 29 sacks themselves. But nothing helps a Quarterback like a good running-game and the Colts signing Frank Gore is huge. As is the signing of Andre Johnson. They don’t want to waste the short window that Gore has with a subpar Offensive LIne.
The Packers ranked 23rd against the rush and that is one area that has to be addressed. Jordan Phillips is the guy to do just that. At 6’5/ 329 lbs., he will clog up the middle and allow Clay Matthews to roam and make even more plays. They spent a lot of money keeping Randall Cobb, so a pick on the Defense makes sense here.
The Saints get this pick from the Saints and are looking to beef up their O-line move more to a running team. Devin Smith is tempting here as they could use speed after losing Kenny Stills in FA, but adding a mauler like Flowers will add to what they do on Offense. Flowers fits the mold of being tougher and will fit well with Max Unger. Mark Ingram and Drew Brees are loving this pick.
After losing both starting CBs in Brown and Revis, the defending Super Bowl Champs are in the market for a Corner. Jalen has all the measuables: 6’1/ 203 lbs. and ran a 4.48 40. Kevin Johnson and Marcus Peters are in play here too.
The OT position is the number one priority for Carolina in this draft. If the team wants the offense to perform better and protect the franchise in Cam Newton this must happen early for the offensive tackle spot is a premium position in which premium talent needs to be allocated for it. Humphries the superb OT from Florida, so far has been the one player of all the prospects that Carolina has vetted the most. This is simple…...follow the breadcrumbs on this one, no rocket scientist needed.
Pick from C3 Staff
that Freak'n Puerto Rican
The most glaring weakness on offense last season was the play of the offensive line. In particular the poor play of the left tackle. The position must be addressed this offseason and this is the draft to do it in. One of the deeper positions in this draft is the OT position. Gettleman loves his “Hog Mollies” and this year he has plenty to choose from. If he is available at pick #25 I really like Ereck Flowers. Flowers has everything you look for in a LT. Size, quickness, and balance. He has a wide base that can be used to help fend off pass rushers. His size makes him an effective run blocker and his quickness allows him to work to the second level. He would be a HUGE addition to the run game and a significant improvement in pass protection, but there are some kinks in his game that would have to be coached up. If this behemoth is there at pick #25 Carolina must pick Flowers.
With Torrey Smith gone due to free agency and with Steve Smith going on 36 years old, Baltimore GM Ozzie Newsome will need to bring in youth movement to the position that can stretch the field so the team can get the most out of Joe Flacco’s big arm. Devin Smith is a vertical speed demon that can completely take the top off of any defense at the next level. Many have compared him to Dolphins WR Mike Wallace but Smith is a better prospect than what Wallace was when he came out of Ole Miss. He will slide right in nicely in the role vacated by the aforementioned Torrey Smith next season.
Dallas needs help on defense first and foremost. Yes, they lost DeMarco Murray to FA but with that offensive line that resides there again RB can be found later and still produce. The defense on the other hand is a wreck with guys from the YMCA manning some of the positions. Landon Collins could start ASAP and become the leader in the secondary and call the defenses for the group. Dallas needs to add as much talent to that side of the ball and adding Collins would be a good start.
With Terrance Knighton a FA and Denver going towards a true ¾ defense under the direction of Wade Phillips a new nose tackle will be a must get for GM John Elway. Phillips is a load to handle coming in at 6’ 6” weighing in at 324 lbs. He also shown flashes of being able to rush the passer while he was anchoring that defensive line for the Sooners. For a ¾ defense to be effective it must start up front with a big body to hold down the middle and this is where Phillips comes into play.
After coming to terms with Frank Gore and Andre Johnson, Indy can devote this pick to the defensive side of the ball. It would be valuable at this spot to look for Robert Mathis’s replacement as the focal pass rusher for the Colt’s defense. Mathis is coming of an Achilles tear at 34 years old. This is not good for any player much less an undersized pass rusher that relies on speed more than power. The team takes Harold here hoping to replace Mathis for his time in the NFL is near an end.
With the Green Bay releasing A.J. Hawk, Julius Peppers (35), and Clay Matthews (always seeming to miss time due to injury), adding some youth to the linebacking core makes sense drafting this late in the first round. Anthony had an eye opening performance at the Senior Bowl and his combine continued that trend with his stokkkkck soaring by the minute within the scouting ranks. This would just end up being one of those sound Ted Thompson picks that when looked back on in ten years will have made a ton of sense.
With New Orleans in the “moving forwards” mode taking a future LT in Ereck Flowers would allow them to move on from Zach Strief’s contract after this season. It is going to take more than one offseason to get the teams cap situation into something even manageable for the future. Letting Strief go as a June 1st designation next offseason will be another step taken, so having his replacement already on the roster is the way to go. For those saying “what about Terron Armstead?” Well here is my reply to that, “what about him.” Start Flowers at RT and let Armstead watch from the bench as a swing tackle.
New England fresh coming of a victory in Super Bowl 49 is going to be in the process of having to replace some of the players that got them there the season. Looking at where the key losses could come from is in the secondary. Darrelle Revis is going to be hard to afford and UFA safety Devin McCourty is looking to cash in as the number one ranked safety on the market. Drafting the smooth as silk corner out of Wake Forest will help fill the void left by “Revis Island.” The Pat’s have recent history in taking DB’s in the end of the first round with Patrick Chung in 2009 and the mentioned McCourty in 2010 respectfully.