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Don't be surprised when Carolina goes Offensive Line in the first..

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http://walterfootball.com/nfldraftrumormill.php

Panthers Could Opt For Tackle in First Round

Published Feb. 15, 2012

By Charlie Campbell - @draftcampbell

An interesting team to keep an eye on in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft is the Carolina Panthers. After enjoying a rebound season led by star rookie quarterback Cam Newton, the Panthers appear to be on the up as they go into year two under head coach Ron Rivera. In 2011, Carolina produced big point totals on a weekly basis, but struggled to stop anyone on the defensive side of the ball. As a result, they lost a lot of high scoring shootouts.

With the defense being a clear weakness, many have penciled in the Panthers to focus on the defensive side of the football with their first-round pick. That is definitely possible as they could use help at cornerback and defensive tackle. Even though Carolina has a huge need to upgrade the talent of their defense, they also could pursue an offensive tackle.

Left tackle Jordan Gross turns 32 this year, and Carolina has to start thinking of his long-term replacement. Jeff Otah has had a two-year knee injury and his long-term future is in question. The Panthers are optimistic that they won't be picking in the top half of the draft over the next few years, and they know that landing a franchise left tackle is very difficult to do in the later half of the first round. As a result, Carolina will consider Iowa tackle Riley Reiff and Stanford tackle Jonathan Martin.

Reiff is the more polished pass protector, while Martin is a much better run blocker. Right now, many believe that Reiff won't make to the Panthers pick at No. 8 or 9, but a lot can change in leading up the draft. Martin could start his career on the right side for Carolina and move over to left tackle after Gross calls it a career. If Carolina opts to pass on Martin or Reiff, they'll have a hole at tackle for years to come. Therefore, even though they badly need defensive help, this may be the time for them to add an offensive tackle who can protect Cam Newton through the prime years of his career.

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If Reiff is there when we pick, it'd be like Christmas.

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Surprised? I've been saying this for months. I think Decastro will be the pick maybe Reiff if hes there.

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If Reiff falls to us, I think it becomes a toss up between him and Brockers/Hot defensive name. No way we go Decastro IMO that early, and only way he comes here is if we somehow trade back to get him. I wouldn't be mad with a Reiff pick, dependent on what happens in FA and our other picks in the draft. I mean, the Pats, Packers, and Giants all showed you don't have to have elite defenses to go far. We're going to have a great offense, just need to have a respectable to decent defense that can force some TO's.

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Been saying this for awhile, that the value presented us at the 8/9 pick will most likely be on one side of the line or the other.

Would love to trade down a few spots and then pick up a Brockers, DeCastro or OT which would be much more in line with their value

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If we haven't found a replacement for Smith, why do they think we're gonna get a replacement for Gross? I seriously doubt it.

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what a joke "article"

Gross is old and Otah was hurt a lot.

LMAO

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Surprised? I've been saying this for months. I think Decastro will be the pick maybe Reiff if hes there.

Me too. I want Brockers, but maybe this is the smart pick. I do not think DeCastro, however. If we go G, which is pretty deep in this draft, it will be later. I even think Wharton could be cut for cap reasons, but we still have Schwartz or Bell at RG and Hangartner, Garry Williams, Ziemba etc who could play LG. If we are cutting Wharton, we have no real backup LT and Otah needs to change his position to IR. Even if Otah has a full season, are we going to pay him to return on a second contract? I doubt it.

You protect Cam Newton before you do anything else. I want Defense too, but you are drafting for the next 10 years, not just next year.

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If we haven't found a replacement for Smith, why do they think we're gonna get a replacement for Gross? I seriously doubt it.

I wonder if you are right or not because it seems certain key positions are ignored in the first round so we can take the safe pick. The best LTs are found in the early first round. We are not picking here again for a while. More teams have Offensive tackles listed as prioritized needs than WRs, even though most teams have twice as many WRs than they do Tackles.

But JT, I agree. WR has been neglected, like DT. --- we never replaced Kris Jenkins.

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OT...maybe. OG...nah. i don't care how good decastro is. if we want to upgrade OG there is no need to reach up in the first. 3rd or 4th is high enough and there are some great prospects around at that point this year.

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Surprised? I've been saying this for months. I think Decastro will be the pick maybe Reiff if hes there.

Heh, you have been saying that for months.

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Right now, many believe that Reiff won't make to the Panthers pick at No. 8 or 9

The only team that could pick before us that might take him is Miami, the way I see it. I'd be pretty surprised if Reiff is gone when we pick. With that said, I'm just not a huge fan of either. If we pick one I won't hate it, but my preference for Brockers isn't even completely because of how good I think he'll be. I don't think either of those OTs will turn out to be great players and worth the pick.

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