I decided to do my mock draft a little different. Part 1 is without the any trades being done with the original seven draft picks. Here are the players I chose and the logic behind each one.
Round 1 (7th overall): Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
At 6-1 and 192 lbs Jerry Jeudy has all of the tools that it takes to become a #1 WR in the NFL. He is easily the best pure route runner in this draft class. He can also get amazing separation with consistency. He is a natural hands catcher with great hand/eye coordination who can run the NFL advanced tree route with ease. He has the ability to play both outside and in the slot to show off his high YAC(yards after catch).
College Stats: 159 catches 2742 receiving yards 26 TDs 17.2 yards per catch in 36 games played during three seasons from 2017 to 2019.
How would he help the team? The depth chart for the wide receivers is thin as can be after DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel. Adding Jeudy would make our passing game extremely explosive and versatile under first year offensive coordinator Joe Brady. Opposing secondaries would be under extreme pressure trying to cover consistently. Whether short, intermediate or deep pass plays he would be able to thrive and cause havoc.
Round 2 (38th overall): Ross Blacklock, DL, TCU
At 6-4 and 305 lbs Ross Blacklock is a tremendous high impact player that can line and cause havoc in both 30 fronts and 40 fronts along the line of scrimmage. He has above average power and athletic abilities to compliment his size and his non-stop motor. He plays with excellent leverage and violent hands which allows him to make a wide array of moves and counter moves to beat his blocker. When double teamed he does not give ground and is able to split a fair amount of them. Several NFL pro scouts says his game is alot like DT Gerald McCoy.
College stats: 67 tackles 15.5 tackles for loss 5.5 sacks in 24 games played during two seasons from 2017 to 2019. Missed the entire 2018 season with Achilles injury.
How would he help the team? With Kawann Short being the only returning DT under contract this position group needs a huge upgrade of talent. TCU played mostly 3-4 defensive philosophy but also used some 4-3 alignments as well. This fits right into the hybrid defensive schemes that defensive coordinator Phil Snow will be using. Blacklock can play a true nose tackle (0 tech) or defensive end (5 tech) in a 30 front. He can play both DT spots (1 tech, 3 tech) in a 40 front. This position flexibility would allow the ultimate game planning by the coaching staff to create turmoil and disruption to opposing blocking schemes.
Round 3 (69th overall): Solomon Kindley, OG, Georgia
At 6-4 and 336 lbs Solomon Kindley is your prime example of a massive run blocking machine. He plays with powerful violent hands that stalls defenders on the initial contact. His leverage is ideal and consistent which allows him to drive block both vertically and laterally. He can reach block with ease and does a very solid job getting to the second level to block LBs. He played primarily on the left side at LG.
College Stats: Only gave up five QB pressures and zero sacks in 2019.
How would he help the team? Current starting LG Greg Van Roten is a free agent and is expected to be offered very lucrative deals by other teams. This could likely lead to an opening on the starting offensive line. Just based on his talents and skills already Kindley would be an upgrade at the LG position. His resume shows consistency as a above average run blocker and pass blocker.
Round 4 (110th overall): Darnay Holmes, CB, UCLA
At 5-10 and 192 lbs Darney Holmes is a very athletic player with elite speed and high football IQ. Playing man to man coverage is his strongest ability but he is fairly effective playing zone as well. He has no wasted steps and can naturally identify routes and close in quick to make plays. His hand to eye coordination along with excellent acceleration allows him to get his hands on a lot of balls thrown his way. He can play both outside CB and nickel CB. Also he was very dynamic as a returner as well. Not the best of tacklers in run support but does give effort. Pro Scouts believes if he was three or four more inches taller he would be selected much earlier in the draft.
College Stats: 120 tackles 8 INTs 17 pass deflections 2 forced fumbles 2 recovered fumbles 2 TDs scored 38 KO returns 878 return yards 23.1 yards per return 1 TD in 35 games played during three seasons from 2017 to 2019.
How would he help the team? With the likely departure of CB James Bradberry and Ross Cockrell and Javien Elliott also being free agents there is need for talent at the CB position. Holmes fits exactly what Coach Rhule said he wanted which was very athletic players with high football IQ that needs to be coached up and developed. Having the ability to play outside and inside gives more flexibility to do different schemes and personnel packages. Plus having another player who can play all the special teams is great value as well.
Round 5 (152nd overall): Darrell Taylor, EDGE, Tennessee
At 6-4 and 259 lbs Darrell Taylor is an athletic playmaker who evolved during his college career. He got better every single year and the numbers support it. He takes pride in setting the edge at the line of scrimmage and denying any ball carrier to get outside of him. He is an established solid run defender who constantly makes plays at or behind the LOS. His pass rushing skills have came a long way but plenty of room for improvement. His hustle is never questioned and he brings it hard on every snap. Can make plays regardless if both hands are in the dirt, one in the dirt or standing up in a two point stance.
College Stats: 118 tackles 19.5 sacks 26.5 tackles for loss 7 pass deflections 6 forced fumbles 4 recovered fumbles in 38 games played during four seasons from 2016 to 2019.
How would he help the team? With proven seasoned veterans Mario Addison and Bruce Irvin being free agents over 30 Taylor would bring that hybrid versatility as both a 4-3 DE and a 3-4 OLB. His athletic abilities again fit exactly what the coaching staff is looking for in player development. Stout run defenders setting the edge is greatly needed on the Panthers defense.
Round 6 (184th overall): Robert Landers, DL, Ohio State
At 6-1 and 285 lbs Robert Landers is an anchor for the interior of the defensive line. Despite his lack of excessive girth he actually more than held his own taking on double teams and maintaining gap integrity. His quick explosive 1st step allows him to attack the opposing linemen and then use an array of moves to disengage to make the play. His pass rushing game yields way more QB pressures than sacks but is consistent with disrupting the pocket. Very solid against the run as well.
College Stats: 65 tackles 24.5 tackles for loss 2.5 sacks 2 recovered fumbles in 35 games played during four seasons from 2016 to 2019.
How would he help the team? With several defensive lineman being free agents not likely to be re-signed Landers would provide quality depth at the DT rotation while having his raw skills develop. His ability to anchor his gap responsibility by occupying blockers along with QB pressures and his knack for tackles for loss would be greatly needed in the middle of the defense.
Round 7 (221st overall): Cameron Brown, LB, Penn State
At 6-5 and 232 lbs Cameron Brown has the speed and athleticism to cover alot of ground quickly. He excelled at making plays in the flats and sidelines against opposing RBs and TEs. He has a quick burst to the ball once play has been identified. He is known for chasing plays down from the backside and also causing fumbles. He does need to slow down and not over pursue the play which has lead to him having poor tackling angles.
College Stats: 198 tackles 14.5 tackles for loss 4.5 sacks 11 pass deflections 4 forced fumbles 2 recovered fumbles
How would he help the team? In today’s NFL you can never have too many speedy athletes at LB. With Carolina using multiple personnel groups using two, three and four LBs you need players who have a nose for the ball.