Earlier in the draft process, Mississippi State defensive end Montez Sweat was the player most commonly linked to the Panthers in mock draft circles. But with draft day fast approaching, the pick prognosticators have to get a little more creative to slot Swett to Carolina.
Todd McShay of ESPN targeted Sweat for the Panthers at No. 16 in his latest mock draft, but the theme of his mock was "best-case scenario." Charley Casserly on NFL Network recently forecast Carolina to select Sweat – after a trade up to the Lions' spot at No. 8. Similarly, R.J. White of CBS Sports has the Panthers trading with the Packers to move up to No. 12 and take a different defensive end - Michigan product Rashan Gary.
If Sweat was the first-half mock MVP, then the second half belongs to Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell. If you look at a quirky piece of draft trivia, then maybe it will be Ferrell: Just one of Panthers' first-round choices since 2012 has been in attendance at the draft, and Ferrell is the player most linked with the Panthers in mock drafts that isn't on the list of 23 players invited by the NFL.