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Draft Prospects

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Assuming Carolina does make the switch to the 3-4 full time next season, here are the team needs going into FA next off season and what the draft may look like.

Team needs on defense (based in order of importance imo)


5 Tech End

3-4 OLB


My prospects will be based on where I think the team will draft a guy, I'll include some earlier or later prospects as well and the expected round they would be picked.

NT prospects based on round, the draft is pretty shallow here. It's pretty much Ta'amu or nothing.

Alameda Ta'amu, NT, Washington

6-3, 330 pounds

1st round pick with top 15 potential depending on rest of the season. Top ranked NT in the 2012 draft. Has a nice frame and the potential to add plenty of strength and muscle mass. Can take on double teams and still get penetration into the backfield.

Josh Chapman, NT, Alabama

6-1, 310 pounds

3-5 round pick, could go higher based on combine numbers. While this season he's shown well against the run, he's got limited potential when it comes to rushing the passer. Don't expect this guy to get much presser on passing downs. Has a short frame, but does have the possibility to add 5-10 pounds of muscle mass.

Dontari Poe*, NT, Memphis

6-5, 350

Underclassmen, could potential go in this draft with the lack of true NT's. Really big guy, strong at the POA. Good against the run and has the str to take and hold double teams. Season hasn't been that great so far, but there are plenty of games left and the combine to show what he's worth. I'd say he would end up being a 4-6 round draft pick as of right now.

5 Tech End / 3-4 DE, draft stocks and profiles

Jared Crick, DE/DT, Nebraska

6-6, 285 pounds

Projected 1st round pick, but he hasn't shown real well this season and has gotten dominated at times. Looked really bad against the Wisconsin. In the NFL, Crick fits much better as 3-4 End then anything else. I'm not really sold on the guy as it looks like he lacks the power and punch needed for a 3-4 end.

Kheeston Randall, DE/DT, Texas

6-5, 295 pounds

Projected 2nd round talent, with some good upside. He's very disruptive, more so then a quick look at his stats would indicate. Projects very well as a 3-4 end in the NFL. Great against the run and at POA. Really like his upside as a 3-4 end.

Billy Winn, DE/DT, Boise State

6-4, 288 pounds

Projected as a late 2nd round draft pick. Good against the POA and against the run, also a very disruptive pass rusher. Has plenty of upside as a 3-4 end and would be a great fit. Wouldn't mind this pick either.

Devon Still, DE/DT, Penn State

6-5, 311 pounds

Projected as a mid round draft pick. Has a good frame and could add the weight to play NT as well, but fits better as a bigger 3-4 end. Plenty of size and strength to take and beat double teams, he's good against the run and pass. A very disruptive player who's draft could shoot up into round 2 or 3.

3-4 OLB draft prospects and profiles

I don't expect Carolina to take one in the first round, but if they do both Upshaw and Jenkins make a lot of sense. I know some will be afraid of Jenkins because he's from FL st. On that account, I'll feature Upshaw a first round possibility. The rest of these guys should be picked between rounds 2 and 6.

Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama

6-2, 265 pounds

Projected first round pick, most likely in the mid to latter stage of the first round. Definitely the top OLB in the 2012 draft, he's been very disruptive this season so far. He's got a good initial burst, good pass rushing moves. He's also proved to be good against the run. Does have the hip fluidity to move side to side and drop back into zone coverage.

Vinny Curry, DE/OLB, Marshall

6-5, 255 pounds

Projected 2-4 round pick, He'll most likely be a second round pick though. Has good speed and hip fluidity. He's very disruptive, but needs to prove he can take on double teams and chip blocks more effectively and still make the play. Has plenty of potential as a 3-4 OLB and could prove to be a 2nd round steal.

Brandon Lindsay, DE, Pittsburgh

6-2, 250 pounds.

2nd-3rd round draft pick. Has played very well so far this season, has nice speed and initial burst. Good hip flexibility for the position and a nice array of pass rushing moves. Also plays the run fairly well.

Chase Thomas, OLB, Stanford

6-4, 239 pounds.

3-4 round projected pick. Definitely needs to add some weight to be effective in the NFL. Has good speed, initial burst and hip fluidity. Very disruptive player who can be an amazing edge rusher in the NFL. Would probably need to time to develop properly and add the needed weight.

Darius Fleming, OLB, Notre Dame

6-2, 250 pounds

Projected 5th-6th round draft pick, very speedy guy. Has the speed to be effective edge rusher, plenty of size and mass to play the run. Has a nice upside, but would probably take time to develop in the NFL. Possible late round steal in the upcoming draft.

CB draft prospects and profiles.

I know a lot of people want to see a corner picked early, but I feel like the addition of Butler plus Hogan's continued development limits the need of taking one in the early rounds of the draft. Taking a flyer on one in the later rounds I can see happening though. If the team does indeed move to the 3-4 this need would fall even more.

These guys will be 4th - 6th round guys. I prefer corners to be in the 5-11 - 6 foot range, so those will be the type of guys I select here.

Jamell Fleming, CB, Oklahoma

5-11, 190 pounds

1st - 2nd round potential that will drop because of off the field issues. Probably going to end up being a 3-4th round pick in the upcoming draft. Has good size, speed and hip fluidity. Has a knack for getting to the ball and making a play on it, has good hands and the ability to make the catch when going for the ball.

Tashaun Gipson, CB, Wyoming

6-0, 195

Projected late round pick, rounds 5-6. Has good size and speed, plays the ball well. Has enough power to play the run well and take guys down with force. Plays the ball good while in the air, doesn't always catch it though.

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