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Mocking the Panthers 2.0

Posted Mar 12, 2014

Last week, we took a look at mock drafts that predicted the Panthers would look to the offensive side of the ball in the first round of the NFL Draft.

This week, the focus shifts to the secondary, where several mockers believe Carolina needs a first-round defensive back to accompany an already formidable front seven.

Rob Rang, CBSSports.com and WalterFootball.com
CB Jason Verrett, Texas Christian

Verrett to the Panthers has gained some traction in recent mock drafts. Rang compliments Carolina’s "fearsome" front seven but notes a lack of depth in the secondary – something he believes Verrett would instantly help fix. WalterFootball.com highlighted the Panthers need at cornerback due to potential losses in free agency, namely Captain Munnerlyn.

At 5-foot-9, 189 pounds, Verrett isn't a big corner, but he's drawn praise for his athleticism and feistiness despite a lack of size. Over the past two seasons, Verrett led the country with 38 passes defended – eight interceptions and 30 pass breakups.

Peter Schrager, FoxSports.com
CB Bradley Roby, Ohio State

Schrager views cornerback as an area in need of improvement for Carolina. After previously projecting Division II prospect Pierre Desir in this spot and saying he has "been compared favorably to (Seahawks cornerback) Richard Sherman," Schrager went with a more known quantity in Roby with Verrett still on his board.

Don Banks, SI.com

CB Marcus Roberson, Florida

Banks acknowledges that a wide receiver for the Panthers in the first round "wouldn't surprise anyone," but he too feels Carolina needs to address depth concerns in the secondary to complement its dominant front seven.

With Verrett off his hypothetical board at pick No. 25 to San Diego, Banks elected to mock Roberson to the Panthers based on his speed and coverage ability. Roberson played in just seven games in 2013 due to injury, but the 6-foot, 191-pound corner had 14 passes defensed as a sophomore in 2012.

Doug Farrar, SI.com
S Calvin Pryor, Louisville

Farrar initially mocked Pryor to the Panthers, but he has since changed his choice to Alabama offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio. The initial reasoning for Pryor was his ability to inject some "star power" into Carolina’s secondary. The Panthers have openings at safety with Mike Mitchell agreeing to terms with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Quintin Mikell an unrestricted free agent.

The 5-foot-11, 207-pound safety is known as a feared hitter that has the range to hold up in coverage.