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CardiacCats Top 5 Players on the Panthers Draft Board - V. 1.0

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I know, I know it's still incredibly early in the season and a playoff run by us isn't out of question. The NFL draft seems ages away and many of you probably don't even have it in mind right now, however, I love the NFL draft and following it's every move, now that the college season is halfway over I have, in my opinion, what are the five best draft-able players that could come in and make the biggest impact for us. If you guys like this, I will do one every week.

Biggest Needs: #2 CB, #2 WR, DT, OLB, RT

Our corners looked terrible yesterday for the most part, granted, it was Drew Brees and he makes a lot of corners look silly but I still saw way too many wide opened Saints receivers so a strong #2 corner to play beside Gamble is what I think is our biggest need right now. I love Captain, but his 5'8" stature simply isn't enough to be a #2 corner, he is much better fit for the nickel. We also haven't seen Brandon Hogan yet, so if he comes in and makes a big impact this could end up being only our third or even fourth biggest need come draft day. It's obvious that we need help at #2 WR also as Legedu Naane has been absolutely terrible this year as he seems to only make a catch when the ball hits him in the numbers, luckily our two new added tight ends have given Cam three legit guys to throw the ball too or else we really would be in trouble right now. A lot of you may disagree with defensive tackle being number three, and had I made this list last week they probably would be ranked as our biggest need...and I had a hard time deciding to slide them to the third spot, but McClain and Fua are consistently improving and I'm basing this off the hope that they will continue to get better as the year grows on. To both be third round rookies, I'm certainly colored impressed and let's not forget our clogger, Ron Edwards, will hopefully be back in the lineup for next season. Fourth is obviously outside linebacker as I think the Thomas Davis experiment, unfortunately, is over...I hate it, he doesn't deserve it but we can't let him keep hanging around when he will never give us another full season. I still wish we could find someway to move wither Connor or Beason to the outside, both are better in the middle and it's hard to not put Beason where he does the most damage, but it's equally as hard to keep a guy like Connor on the bench. Fifth is right tackle as Jeff Otah also has obvious injury concerns. So, on to the five guys who could benefit out team the most next season. This week's prediction is that we will be picking anywhere from 8-16.

1) Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State, Junior - 6'1" 215 lbs

2010: 111 catches, 1,782 yards, 16.1 avg, 20 TDs

2011 (thus far): 38 catches, 450 yards, 4 TD

This guy is arguably my favorite WR prospect since "megatron" Calvin Johnson. He doesn't have the 6'4" or 6'5" stature that a lot of top notch receiver prospects have nowadays, but our best receiver over the last decade is only 5'9". Blackmon runs crisp routes and just abuses his defender on a lot of plays. Again, I love this guy...he can run like a running back in open field and really can get off the ground. He has sure hands and dropping balls is a rarity from him. I know I said defensive back is our biggest need, but with Steve Smith being 32 years old now it's time to start looking for his replacement and you couldn't find a better candidate than Justin Blackmon. Unfortunately, I have my doubts he will be available when we're picking as he would have been a top 15 pick in the 2011 draft but elected to stay in school. Watching Cam throw to this guy over the next 15 years really would be something special.

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I wanna see how Darius Butler plays out this season before I say for sure that #2 CB is a high draft need.

I've seen some things I like from him so far.

Edit: Pieing myself was accidental (doh) :(

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I personally don't think we need a CB. Captain has stepped up. Butler is doing a good job. And if Hogan steps in and succeeds, it's not a high priority, maybe a third round pick next year. If we don't want to sign a veteran WR, i'd love to get Alshon. I'd take Broyles from Oklahoma. DT we need veteran starters. Fua and McClain actually looked decent yesterday, but we need veteran playmakers. LB in the draft is what we need.

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Tyrann Mathieu CB from LSU over any of the corners you just posted

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This will drastically change when, A.) The season is over. B.) We see what # we will be drafting at.

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Oh and Linebacker is at the top of the list if WR isn't. How do you think RT is? I know i've dogged Otah but he has played all year and even if in pain has looked good. If not we got Bell.

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Oh and how good did Peterson work out for Arizona? I think Corners can wait. I like our secondary. We just need to stop the run and cover some TEs.

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tl;dr

seriously though, Butler has been a pleasant surprise.

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I think we have to draft the top WR. We need a guy to come in and eventually take over the #1 spot once Smitty is gone. Blackmon and Jeffery are both capable.

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This will drastically change when, A.) The season is over. B.) We see what # we will be drafting at.

C) We have an actual free agency period as opposed to the lockout shortened one we had this year.

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Tyrann Mathieu CB from LSU over any of the corners you just posted
Well for starters, the honey badger is a sophomore and he is 5'9"....would be another Captain. We need a big, physical corner for our #2.

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Kirkpatrick sucks. Great physical talent but completely lacks the skills to be a corner in the NFL. There's half a dozen CBs i'd rather have.

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