In an ideal world, general manager Dave Gettleman's best player available and the position that he'd most like to draft end up being one and the same.
This week's Mock Draft Report, which takes a look at "big boards," suggests that's a real possibility in the first round of next week's NFL Draft.
Rather than looking at another set of mock drafts, which pretty much always are built around perceived position need, we simply looked at the player rankings offered up by several draft analysts. As it turned out, the No. 30 prospect in many cases was a player and/or position associated with the Panthers throughout our Mock Draft Report series.
Clemson defensive end Kevin Dodd has been a staple in this series, and this also isn't the first time wide receiver Will Fuller, cornerback Eli Apple and tight end Hunter Henry have been mentioned.
In addition, defensive ends and Mock Draft Report regulars Emmanuel Ogbah and Noah Spence were No. 30 on a couple of lists we didn't include. That's because we wanted to bring a couple of new names to the table in Oklahoma wide receiver Sterling Shephard and Mississippi State defensive tackle Chris Jones. A lot of other analysts see these two going somewhere in the middle of the second round, suggesting they could be steals if they're still there when the Panthers pick at No. 62.