With the NFL draft quickly approaching, the Carolina Panthers come ever so closer to accomplishing two things badly needed in terms of their roster. Get faster. Get younger. For the 2018 draft to be considered any kind of success, Panthers GM Marty Hurney must find at least two immediate starters. To greatly increase the chances of this happening, he will need to make a trade.
Here is a likely scenario for you to mull over.
Likely Round 1 Targets
Wide Receiver – A receiver to play opposite Devin Funchess would not be all that difficult to find in this draft, particularly if it comes in round 1. Later round receivers are far less likely to start. Marty Hurney surely knows this, and for this reason I think there is a decent chance a receiver is taken in round one. The most likely candidate here is Calvin Ridley who would not be a reach at pick 24. DJ Moore is a popular name among Carolina Panthers fans, but I am hearing he is more likely a second round target or perhaps a first round trade back scenerio.
Cornerback – This would probably be the easiest find in the draft, and for that reason a corner in rounds 1 or 2 is highly likely. Should UCF’s Mike Hughes fall to pick 24 I feel strongly that he would be the pick. Hughes would start immediately across the field from James Bradberry. The fact that he can also return kicks is a value add for him.
Guard – Should Hughes and Ridley not be available, the surest thing would be a hulking left guard like Will Hernandez. Sure, it may not be a sexy pick but it would provide an immediate and long time starter. You cannot really ask for more late in the first round.
Likely Round 2 Targets (ATTN: Trade up likely!)
Obviously, much here will depend on how the first round went. I doubt we will see a second round receiver or corner this year as the talent is just not there to start immediately. However, there is starting talent to be had with the following positions. I feel Marty Hurney trading up in the second round is highly likely if he wants to increase the chances of another day one starter.
Safety – Ronnie Harrison or Justin Reid are the likely targets here if they fall. The longer they far, the more likely a trade scenario would occur to move up and grab one. I suspect if either last into the teens of round two, we may see Hurney pounce like the jungle cat he is. Either would start immediately on this Carolina Panthers roster.
Guard – If things went to plan, the Panthers landed a corner or receiver in round 1. Now would be an excellent time to draft a guard to replace Andrew Norwell. I like Frank Ragnow here, but just as the safeties I feel there may need to be a slight trade up.
Tight End – The only tight end worth a second round pick this year is Hayden Hurst, who would not start over Greg Olsen but would see plenty of playing time. Again, a trade up would likely be needed here, but well worth it.Agree? Disagree? You can sound off right here with thousands of Carolina Panthers fans.