Carolina Panthers: 7-Round Mock Draft Concludes with Day Three

Carolina Panthers: 7-Round Mock Draft Concludes with Day Three

by April 5, 2019 0 comments

The 2018 Panthers started the year on a tear, rushing out to a 6-2 record before injuries exposed their weaknesses resulting in a dismal 7-9 final record, and the 16th spot in the first round of the 2019 draft.

With those weaknesses exposed for all to see, they attack the NFL Draft with a hands-on approach to building for the present and the future, and coming away much stronger as a result.

Day One and Two Recap

You can find the Day One and Two Mock Draft here.

When we last saw the Carolina Panthers, they had decided to make a concerted effort to repair their weaknesses at multiple positions. To improve their pass rush, they took the fallen star Montez Sweat with the 16th overall pick. With their next selection, they addressed their secondary weakness by giving Eric Reid a great partner in Juan Thornhill. Then, in the third round, they addressed their offense by adding one of the top-ranked offensive linemen in Yodny Cajuste, and improving their return game as well as giving Cam Newton a dynamic speed threat by taking Mecole Hardman at pick No. 100.

What will they do in day three?


With the 115th pick (fourth round) in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers select Jonathan “Bryce” Love, Running Back, Stanford.

The Carolina Panthers made Christian McCaffrey their top draft pick in 2017 and haven’t looked back since. He was slow to start as a rookie but he took off near the end of his first year. Then, in his second campaign, with new offensive coordinator Norv Turner, McCaffrey exploded as a dual-threat weapon. Meanwhile, back at Stanford, his replacement, Bryce Love, would take the reins as their top halfback.

Love earned a trip to New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist, ranking second in the nation with 2,118 rushing yards, fourth with 8.1 yards per carry, and fifth with 19 rushing touchdowns. He also set an FBS record with 15 straight games with a rush of 30-plus yards, earning the Doak Walker Award and the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year Award in the process. Unfortunately for him (and perhaps fortunately for the Panthers), his 2018 season was plagued with injuries that kept getting re-aggravated and that is what allows this marriage to occur. Without those injuries, he is a Day Two selection and likely a starter on a running back-needy team instead of a one-two punch with McCaffrey.

What will he bring to the Carolina Panthers? He possesses speed, intelligence, high-quality character, workhorse mentality, and a shared trait with Christian McCaffrey, the coveted and deadly ability to take a simple six-yard swing pass and turn it into a 50-yard touchdown. Also, if McCaffrey needs a break, now he can be pulled off the field without the Panthers’ offense losing its explosiveness. Lastly, just imagine both Love and McCaffrey on the field with Cam Newton at the same time! Prepare for the next edition of “Double Trouble.”


With the 154th pick (fifth round) in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers select Jimmy Moreland, Cornerback, James Madison.

This next pick didn’t get a combine invite and is considered by many to be the biggest snub of the NFL Combine. Due to his attending a small college, several people don’t even know who he is. Trust me, you will.

Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way. Moreland was one of three JMU players kicked off the team for petty larceny of less than $200 (not from a person), a misdemeanor in 2015 as result of an incident from one month prior. He returned on a trial basis in the 2016 season and never looked back, showing tremendous growth, humility, and maturity in bouncing back from what could have been a career-ending mistake.

There are understandable reservations about Moreland’s size, with the small-school cover guy measuring in at nearly 5-foot-10 and 179 pounds at the Senior Bowl. On the other hand, just last year, Pittsburgh cornerback Avonte Maddox was selected in the fourth round by the Philadelphia Eagles with a similar physical profile.

Moreland is a ball-hawk who finished his college career with 45 pass breakups and 18 interceptions, six of which were returned for touchdowns. Any concerns about the FCS level of competition should have been alleviated by his impressive performances at both the East/West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl. Moreland is more quick than fast but is very aggressive with the burst to close in a hurry. The feisty Moreland also plays bigger than his dimensions would lead one to believe and is a willing, semi-effective tackler. Lastly, he has a nose for the big play and a penchant for pick-sixes. All of those traits are welcome and he would be a valuable contributor in the Panthers’ secondary.


With the 187th pick (sixth round) in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers select Trysten Hill, Defensive Tackle, Central Florida.

It’s late in the draft for the Carolina Panthers, who have just one pick left. They are considering drafting a quarterback here when they see that somehow nose tackle Trysten Hill has tumbled this far. NFL.com rankings say he has “a chance to be an NFL starter.” This is a player who should have been gone early in day 3. His slide ends. I run to the podium and draft him knowing that, yes, he does bring some risks. But as a very late draft pick, those risks are minimal and the rewards can be exceptional. At worst, he is either a camp cut or stashed as depth. At best, he plays his way onto the roster, responds to coaching, and becomes a cheap solid nose tackle to pair with Kawaan Short for four years.

Hill started the first 26 games of his career before coming off the bench in all but one game as a junior. His production went up, however, as the defensive tackle posted career highs in tackles with 36, tackles for loss with 10.5, and sacks with three. Trysten’s quickness and power are clear strengths on tape, but his technique remains a work-in-progress, and his pass rush plan is just not there.

Still, there are enough traits here to make him a desirable early day three pickup, especially considering his ability to play A-to-B gap and his elite effort level on the field. Most NFL defensive lines are rotational to some degree, and Hill projects as a player who can provide depth early in his career with starter upside, preferably as a one-technique. With very little risk and much larger reward, he becomes the final piece of the Carolina Panthers’ 2019 NFL Draft class.

 

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