“We definitely have a plan going forward,” general manager Marty Hurney said. “But I am not ready to tell you about it right now.”
Obviously and understandably Hurney had zero intention of tipping his hand about what’s next for the Panthers in the 2019 NFL Draft after they kicked it off Thursday night by snagging Florida State defensive end type Brian Burns with the 16th overall pick.
Friday, the Panthers hold three picks over the two rounds, set to select 15th in the second round, then 14th as well as 37th (out of 39) in the third round that wraps up with seven teams making compensatory picks.
Carolina can go in any number of directions, and plenty of quality prospects remain. Position-wise, offensive tackle and safety seem to make sense. So as you watch Day Two play out, here’s a look at five tackles, five safeties and five others to keep an eye on.
Jawaan Taylor, Florida
Cody Ford, Oklahoma
Dalton Risner, Kansas State
Greg Little, Mississippi
Max Schraping, Northern Illinois
Four tackles were picked in the first round, but not the four that many mock drafters saw being picked. Basically everybody had Taylor going on Day One, and a lot of people saw Ford and Risner as late first-round possibilities. Little might well belong in that group despite a relative lack of accolades, while Schraping is a relative unknown with tons of experience on both sides of the line.
Nasir Adderley, Delaware
Juan Thornhill, Virginia
Taylor Rapp, Washington
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Florida
Deionte Thompson, Alabama
Two safeties were selected in the first round, but all five of these were mentioned by mock drafters as some point in the process as possible first-rounders. In other words, there’s still a whole lot of talent here. Adderley and Rapp are coveted for their superior ball skills, while Thornhill is known for his versatility and athleticism. Draft analysts are divided on the two SEC guys on this list, with some seeing Gardner-Johnson and Thompson as underrated while others consider them overrated. To each their own.
CB Greedy Williams, LSU
CB Byron Murphy, Washington
WR Deebo Samuel, South Carolina
QB Will Grier, West Virginia
G Nate Davis, Charlotte
Williams and Murphy are aggressive, athletic playmakers capable of helping any back end. If anything separates one over the other, perhaps it’s Murphy’s ability in run support, though there are concerns about his speed.
Day Two (like Day One) also could feature some promising prospects with local ties. Samuel is a Swiss Army knife as an offensive weapon. The Panthers already have plenty of playmakers and obviously that includes a quarterback, but Grier is a former Charlotte prep standout who has garnered mention as a potential backup. Davis is set to become the second 49er drafted.