As many of you know, aside from my passion of being a part of CatChronicles, I am also the Panthers’ Draft Analyst for DraftTek. I have produced a write up for each result almost weekly for the past several months and this week’s 7-Round Mock Draft was especially pleasing to me and I wanted to share how it came about.
Understanding How DraftTek Works:
DraftTek is an amazing website and I'm honored to represent Panther Nation as the Panthers Analyst. As Analysts, (there are 32 of us) it is our jobs to rank the Panthers team needs by position. DraftTek also has experts that watch film of every single Draft Prospect and rank them from 1-500. Check out the amazing Big Board here.
When our team is “on the clock” the team-needs converge with the Big Board ranking. For example, if I set the team needs as really desperate for a Offensive Tackle, the simulation will find the next best Tackle while perhaps skipping over a lot of other better players at different positions. Curious to see how I ranked the Panthers team needs? I set it as such that the Panthers would never reach out of desperation for a player at anyone position. I did however put preferences to several positions such as CB, S, DE, WR and of course OT. Click here to see the full explanation and my inputs.
We also employ a concept called “Grabs.” As local Analysts that follow our respective teams closely, we know who the team is visiting with. Click here to see the list of who the Panthers have met with, and you’ll see that they have met with all three of my first three picks. So I do actually have grabs on all three of these players just in case the Big Board guys did not agree with me.
The Perfect Fit: Landon Collins at Pick 25
In this specific Simulation, Landon Collins from Alabama fell all the way to 25 and I could not have been more thrilled. Collins is someone that I would consider in the Top 10. He is a rare difference-maker that would both set an aggressive tone in the Secondary and has the God-given ability to flat out make plays. He was the best Defensive Player for Alabama and Alabama was probably better than 2-5 Professional Defenses (maybe two or three in the NFC South). He was a First-Team All-American and would fit in so well with our Defense.
Why is he such a good fit for Carolina? He is a Strong Safety that would be able come down in the box like a Linebacker and really help shut down the run. He sniffs out plays well and takes quick angles to the ball, so he is going to play like an extension of Luke Kuechly. Although I would not want him guarding Julio Jones or Vincent Jackson, I do like him matching up with Running Backs out of the backfield better than having a Linebacker do it. So this gives us the flexibility to take a Linebacker off the field on third down and bring in an additional DB. This takes away the opposing teams option of spreading us out and dumping things off to a Running back who is one-on-one with a Linebacker. Philadelphia did that to us non-stop last year, and we are currently vulnerable to that. So that is why I’m especially excited to see Collins fall to us at Pick 25.
Defensive Top-Popping Phillip Dorsett at Pick 57
At Pick 57, I had a few choices here as I could have gone with a Hog-Mollie, but the highest rated one available was Ty Sambraillo. I like him, but not that high. I could have gone with a RB since I know that is on the radar. Tevin Coleman was available and the Panthers have met with him. Jay Ajayi was there, and I really like him. But at the end of the day, the Panthers can’t pass on 4.33 speed and the ability to play both outside and in the slot. I like Dorsett because he is more than just a burner. He is not afraid to play all over the field. But as I pointed out in my DraftTek wright-up, he is a big-play receiver that is sorely lacking in Carolina.
No Panther Averaged more than 14.1 yards per reception last year, while Dorsett averaged 25 over that last three seasons at the University of Miami. Miami had a very run-heavy offense featuring Duke Robinson and it showed in Dorsett’s opportunities. He only had 36 receptions, but 10 of those went for touchdowns. I think I would find ways to get him the ball. Perhaps no player in the draft could impact what the Panthers want to do on Offense more than Phillip Dorsett.
Athletic Hog-Mollie Cedric Ogbuehi at Pick 89
And to complete the hat-trick, in the third round, I found a guy that just three months ago was considered a Top 10 lock. Ogbuehi tore his ACL in Texas A & M's Bowl game and his stock plummeted. It is difficult for a big Hog-Mollie to bounce back from an ACL. Also, Big Ced took a lot of heat for being switched to the Right side of the line last season before his injury. He did give up seven sacks last season in 13 starts. However, I see a guy that has all the tools and made the switch at the request of his coach and for the betterment of his team. He Looks to be in great physical condition and says he will be a full go come Training Camp.
Even if he is not ready in July, we have Michael Oher protecting Cam’s blindside. We can allow Ogbuehi time to heal and learn. He can work his way into the lineup and he can be an elite Tackle one day with the proper coaching.
This is probably my favorite DraftTek simulation to date and I think you can see why. Leave a comment below to tell me if you agree and would be excited with this outcome.