What the Mock Draft Reports reveal as draft day draws near

As the hours countdown toward the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft on Thursday, many of the NFL pundits are putting out their final takes of the ever-popular "Mock Draft" season. The staff at Panthers.com once again participated in the annual tradition by taking a week-by-week look at some of the predicted first round selections each week in the Mock Draft Report.

Every year, what emerges is a fun glance at where some of the experts think the Panthers might be looking for their 16th overall pick in the first round.

This year, in anticipation of Thursday night's selection, we thought we would lay out an aggregate of the aggregate, so to speak, tallying the total number of appearances by different players across the seven Panthers.com Mock Draft Reports from February through April.

NOTE: We'll provide one last look at the latest mock draft projections closer to draft night. A "last call," if you will.

Table inside Article
Mock Date 4/11 4/2 3/25 3/18 3/5 2/19 2/8 Total
DE Clelin Ferrell 1 2 2 3 1 9
DE Montez Sweat 1 1 1 3 1 7
T Andre Dillard 1 1 1 1 4
DE Brian Burns 1 1 1 1 4
DE Rashan Gary 1 1 1 3
T Jonah Williams 2 1 3
WR D.K. Metcalf 1 1 2
T Greg Little 1 1 2

While there wasn't a clearly unanimous selection, Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell was the most common pick, showing up nine times and with consistent regularity across the last few months. Fellow edge rusher Montez Sweat made seven appearances, followed by Washington State tackle Andre Dillard who appeared on the two most recent Mock Draft reports. Florida State defensive end Brian Burns also appeared four times overall and on each of the last two reports.

The table does not include players who were only listed once as part of the process.

To put this in some historical perspective, the final 2018 Mock Draft report produced the following lede:

"In a final canvassing of mock draft universe, UTEP guard Will Hernandez leads the way as the Panthers' predicted pick at No. 24 in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, with Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley and Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson getting noteworthy backing as well. All three have been universally viewed as guys expected to go somewhere in the twenties (if not earlier) throughout the process. Eight others also got votes, including wide receiver D.J. Moore, tight end Hayden Hurst and multiple defensive backs and offensive linemen."

While the final Mock Draft report of 2017 said this:

"If you've read the previous 11 versions of Mock Draft Report leading up to the grand finale, this should come as no surprise: Most mock drafters expected the Panthers to invest the No. 8 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft in a running back. If for some unimaginable reason you haven't checked it out the last couple of weeks, however, this will come as a surprise: Group think says that running back will be Christian McCaffrey."

In terms of Carolina's last two first round picks, Christian McCaffrey was one of three players in NFL history with 1,500 rushing and 1,500 receiving yards in his first two seasons, while D.J. Moore led all rookie wide receivers with 960 scrimmage yards in 2018, third-most by any rookie in Panthers history.

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