Just when you thought you'd seen your last mock draft for a while…
Well, here's one more.
Several analysts have produced their "way-too-early" 2018 NFL mock drafts. Everyone acknowledges how silly these predictions are. But with how much interest the draft generates, everyone is also eager to look ahead.
It's worth noting that all these mock drafters have in effect offered a prediction of what kind of season the Panthers will have based on their projected draft order. In all six cases, the analysts have pegged the Panthers as a playoff team.
So without further ado, here's a look at projections for Carolina's first-round pick in 2018 (this could be fun to revisit in 10 months).
26th overall pick: DE Sam Hubbard
Todd McShay, ESPN.com
The Ohio State defensive end started every game for the Buckeyes as a sophomore in 2016. Hubbard finished the year with 46 tackles, eight tackles for loss, including 3.5 sacks, and two passes defensed.
21st overall pick: OT Martinas Rankin
*Chris Burke, Sports Illustrated *
Rankin transferred to Mississippi State as one of the nation's top junior college prospects. After redshirting in 2015 and starting 10 games in 2016, he is projected to be one of the top offensive tackles in the upcoming draft class.
22nd overall pick: WR Christian Kirk*Dieter Kurtenbach, Fox Sports *
The Texas A&M wide receiver has been one of the most electrifying players in college football, posting 163 receptions for 1,937 yards and 16 touchdowns in two seasons.
22nd overall pick: DL Dre'Mont Jones
*Matt Miller, Bleacher Report *
Jones started 12 games for Ohio State as a redshirt freshman, recording 52 tackles and four stops for loss.
21st overall pick: CB Brandon Facyson
Eric Galko, Sporting News
A multi-year starter for Virginia Tech, Facyson's career totals include five interceptions and 39 passes defensed.
28th overall pick: S Jordan Whitehead
Charlie Campbell, Walter Football
The Pittsburgh safety – who is occasionally utilized on offense – has recorded 174 tackles, two interceptions, eight passes defensed and two rushing touchdowns.