Time for another mock draft? We're doing a countdown until the NFL Draft with a mock draft each day! so, tune in at sometime each day to find more approaches the Panthers could take next Thursday. This mock draft was done using NFL Mock Draft Database.
Round 1 Pick 11 (Trade!): CJ Henderson CB Florida
Word has it that the Panthers are interested in CJ Henderson, and he could be in play for them at 7. However, Hurney and Rhule decide to slide back a few spots with the hopes that the Cardinals take a lineman to protect Kyler Murray, letting defensive tackle Derrick Brown fall into the Jaguars lap. The Browns and Jets use their picks on o-line as well. In exchange for the seventh pick (LV drafted Jerry Jeudy), the Raiders gave us the 12th pick, 80th pick, and 81st pick. Henderson is a great cover corner with high upside. The only concerns with him is his unwillingness to tackle. Pro comp is AJ Bouye, who has been an underrated corner over the past few years. Panthers get a potential No. 1 corner to pair with Jackson, and boost the play of Thieves Avenue.
Round 2 Pick 38: Raekwon Davis DL Alabama
After passing on Derrick Brown in the 1st round, it is imperative that the Panthers find someone to pair with KK Short to wreak havok in the middle of the defensive line. Lance Zierlein gives him the NFL comparison of Deforest Buckner, who we know was a key factor to the Niners Superbowl run. Davis' play has dropped off since 2017, but I have confidence that defensive line Mike Phair can help him rediscover those traits that helped him dominate on the field day in and day out. Davis is a towering 6'7, and 312 pounds. It will be hard to move him from the line of scrimmage.
Round 3 Pick 69: Kyle Dugger S Lenoir Rhyne
Kyle Dugger is a special player. During an interview with him, it was revealed that his hometown team, the Panthers, were one of the teams showing a lot of interest in him. Dugger would be a great pick for the Panthers and here's why. With respect to Juston Burris (2 yr $8 million), I don't think we have a legitimate starting strong safety. Kyle Dugger has great athleticism and versatility. Zierlein noted that Dugger could also contribute at a high level on special teams. With the hype surrounding him, Dugger has the chance to be the first player drafted from Lenoir Rhyne since 2000.
Round 3 Pick 80: Justin Madubuike DL Texas A&M
Madubuike could be a steal in the middle of the 3rd round due to his athleticism and production. Pro comps are Corey Liuget and Davon Godchaux. Both are pretty decent players at the position, and I would be happy for him to rise to that level what with Hurney's spotty drafting at best after Round 1. With more athletically gifted signal-callers entering the league (ie. Jackson, Mahomes, Watson), it's nice to know that your defensive linemen have the lateral mobility to chase after them. Madubuike mostly needs to work on consistent explosiveness from snap to snap.
Round 3 Pick 81: Akeem Davis-Gaither LB Appalachian State
While he may have to bulk up at only 224 lbs, Akeem Davis-Gaither could be a special player for Phil Snow's defense. Something Matt Rhule has said that he wants to add to the Panthers are positionless players. Davis-Gaither has been discussed to play either linebacker, safety, or some type of hybrid player. In fact, TDN draft analyst Joe Marino said this, "Positionless players like Davis-Gaither have a chance in today's NFL and he is a poster boy for this new wave of defenders."I think Davis-Gaither would be a nice consolation prize for missing out on Isaiah Simmons, especially in the 3rd round.
Round 4 Pick 113: Michael Ojemudia CB Iowa
I really think the Panthers have put themselves in a position where they have to double dip at corner, maybe even triple dip, in the draft. Ojemudia is a taller corner at 6'1, and has the physicality to match up with bigger receivers. However, Ojemudia played in a zone scheme most of the time in Iowa. Joe Marino said that Ojemudia should be able to contribute as a starter within 2-3 years with development.
Round 5 Pick 148: Yasir Durant IOL Missouri
Durant was one of the players that met with Matt Rhule at the Combine. He's surprisingly nimble at his height of 6'7. Durant truly embodies the mantra Keep Pounding. After receiving no Division 1 offers or none he liked, Yasir decided to start his football career at the junior college level. From there, he transferred to Missouri as the No. 3 JUCO guard. Although entering as a guard, he emerges as a strong and athletic left tackle with versatility. Durant would be a great depth piece, but could develop into something more with time. I think you could compare him to last year's 6th round pick Dennis Daley who had some unexpected starts due to injuries along the line, but performed above average at times.
Round 5 Pick 152: Davion Taylor LB Colorado
Davion Taylor doesn't have that much playing experience but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The Draft Network's analyst Joe Marino said, "What Taylor is, however, is a raw piece of clay with an exciting play demeanor and athletic skill set that could develop into a dynamic pursuit-style linebacker." Watching him play shows you that he clearly has a genuine love for football. Taylor could develop behind Thompson and Whitehead or be stuck straight in the starting lineup come Week One. I think it all depends on how much information he absorbs by training camp and/or the preseason. However, I definitely think Taylor has the potential to become a solid starter within a couple of years.
Round 6 Pick 184: Oluwole Betiku Jr DE Illinois
Betiku Jr grew up in Nigeria just like fellow edge rusher Efe Obada. Betiku Jr is purely a promising developmental player. Originally at USC, he didn't get much opportunity to play even as a former 5-star LB recruit. Soon after, he transferred to play for former NFL head coach Lovie Smith and the fighting Illini. Oluwole switched over to defensive end, and the rest was history. Betiku Jr produced 37 tackles, 13 TFL, 9 sacks, and 2 fumble recoveries in his junior year. He's a raw player but an intriguing player in the 6th round nonetheless.
Round 7 Pick 221: Parnell Motley CB Oklahoma
Let me start off by saying I don't understand why Motley isn't be considered as a Day 2 prospect. In the contest against TCU's Jalen Reagor (1-2 round range), he held him to 1 reception for 9 yards along with one rush for 16 yards. When Motley faced LSU's historic offense, he shut Jamarr Chase (future 1st rounder) down to only 2 receptions for 61 yards and no touchdowns. When Motley faced former Baylor receiver Denzel Mims (1-2 round range), he didn't give up a single catch. My only concerns with Parnell is about his wiry frame at 6'1 182 lbs. He needs to at least get up to 200 lbs, but other than that, I don't see why he can't be an impact player at the pro level.
I really like this mock draft and even more excited for the real draft only nine days away. Stay tuned for more content! Leave your thoughts in the comments below.