SDB Community mock – #9 Carolina

The Miami Dolphins took Ryan Tannehill at #8, after the Texas A&M quarterback received 69% of the votes. There are three more picks before the Seahawks are on the board. So far, no defensive lineman have been drafted – an advantage for the Seahawks. Will that change at #9 and Carolina?

#1 Andrew Luck – IND

#2 Robert Griffin III – WAS

#3 Matt Kalil – MIN

#4 Trent Richardson – CLE

#5 Morris Claiborne – TB

#6 Justin Blackmon – STL

#7 Michael Floyd – JAC

#8 Ryan Tannehill – MIA

I’ve opened up the number of options with this pick because it was too difficult to limit it to just four choices. Lucky Panthers.

Ron Rivera is going to use a lot of different looks utilising 4-3 and 3-4 concepts and needs an added presence on the defensive line to improve a struggling unit. In the aftermath of the combine, most people expected Carolina to draft nose tackle Dontari Poe. That expectation has been tempered recently as more and more people look at the tape, but you can’t get away from the upside shown by the Memphis lineman. If the Panthers want to consider a permanent switch to the 3-4 they’ll need a nose tackle.

If Carolina isn’t convinced with Poe, it could be that they target another big, athletic lineman in Fletcher Cox. I prefer Cox as a five-technique but he’s scheme diverse and fits the concept of a hybrid defense. Quinton Coples is equally capable of playing end in the 4-3 and 3-4, while Melvin Ingram is one of the more versatile pass rushers in the class. Courtney Upshaw is also diverse enough and would have to be in contention for the Panthers. Five solid options up front for the team’s biggest area of need.

What about elsewhere? They could stay local and consider a cornerback like Stephon Gilmore. I’m not a huge fan personally, but his combination of size/speed is en vogue (largely thanks to Pete Carroll) and corner is a significant need for Carolina. Luke Kuechly will dazzle some teams and underwhelm others, but he could go anywhere from the top ten to the bottom of round one.

So who are you going for?



  1. SHawn

    I said Coples, but on my mock he is gone @ 7.

    My mock has Carolina taking Cox. LOL.

  2. Misfit74

    Gotta go DT, which would be one of Brockers, Poe, Cox, or Still.

  3. Hawkspur

    I would have gone for Brockers but as he’s not an option I’m going to give my vote to Cox. The Pie hype train seems to have backed up a little.

  4. Stuart

    If the draft fell this way, it would be a toss up between Coples and Cox with Coples being the choice. He played college ball in Carolina and fans have been dreaming of him playing for the Panthers. Character issues, it worked out pretty well for Carolina when they selected Cam Newton didnt it? My top choice for the Hawks is Coples and my 2nd top choice if Cox. Carolina is a big winner with either of those players…

  5. Madmark

    Quinton Coples my big board i have him at 10. If he makes it pass 7 he won’t make it pass 9 here.

  6. Doug

    Cox, cuz he’s the best player available…
    I don’t want them to take Coples but I think they will if available, cuz he’s the hometown kid, but that might also be the reason they DON’T take him…

  7. kevin mullen

    Went with Coples, hometown product and Riviera can do a lot with him, as well as PC. With the draft falling as is, how can they not draft him?

  8. mjkleko

    Going with Fletcher Cox for that team in Carolina (what’s that, like North Florida? amirite?). He’s one of the most polished prospects all around, from physical attributes to character, right down the wire to his quality game tape. For a rebuilding franchise, having a player who can force his way on the field and produce from day one can elevate a unit. While I could be way off, Cox just seems like a lunch-pail producer who any franchise wouldbe excited to have.

    I think Coples has the makings of a quality NFL player, but on the right roster. I wouldn’t want him to be one of the leaders on the team early on, and if I recall correctly, the Panthers boast one of the youngest rosters as well. Early in the draft I think his best possible landing spots are maybe Jacksonville, with Kampman & Mincey on the line, and leaders in Posluszny, Lewis and MJD on the roster, Buffalo, even though that chance is about absolute zero, and then perhaps Seattle.

    It was only a year ago that JS/PC passed on Jimmy Smith due to concerns about locker room strength, but many would argue that this team has developed a very strong identity in a short time. Outside of Coples & Jenkins, what players are their in this draft who could “slip” do to character concerns? Seattle has found value exploiting injury risks, small school prospects, and players without a concrete NFL position, but when, if ever, can we add character concerns to that list? I’d argue this team could swallow Janoris Jenkins and spit out a Darrell Green*.

    I’d wager Poe has fallen out of the top-15, even though some would argue post-combine media hype was the only thing that put him there in the first place. I’d like to see him get drafted by San Diego. I think him and Liuget could form a terrifying tandem for a half decade.

    *An exaggeration, no doubt.

  9. Darin

    I’m going with Fletcher Cox here, the kid fits well in a 3-4 as well as a 4-3.

    I won’t go so far to say he is one of the most polished prospects, he has a nice amount of upside that good coaching will turn into a very good defensive lineman.

    Cox has the ability to get after the QB from the inside and be effective off the edge, but he isn’t fast enough to be a true threat off the edge.

    For Ron Rivera he can swing between the 5-technique in 3-4 looks and the 3-technique in the 4-3 looks. It’s that versatility that makes me think Carolina goes for the big Miss St. DL at #9.

  10. Ben2


  11. AlaskaHawk

    Cox or Brockers.

  12. Lenny253

    Let’s speed this draft up.

  13. mjkleko

    Most polished probably wasn’t the right term as that’s usually reserved for describing playing ability. I should have said well-rounded, the point being that he possesses many of the qualities you want in a day 1 prospect.

    Fun fact; The last time a defensive lineman did not go in the top 8 was 2005. In the last decade, only 04′ and 05′ did not feature a down lineman in the top-10.

  14. D

    Best pure passrusher at no 9? Yeah, I think Caroline will run to the podium.

  15. Rob

    What’s the rush Lenny, we’ve got ten days!

  16. John

    Rob, do you think Seattle would consider Janoris Jenkins… I saw a recent mock on (not that I put any weight on any mock from, and they projected us taking him in the second. Would Seattle take the risk? I normally don’t take character concerns into immediate consideration (because there’s a ridiculous over sensitivity in the media) but his circumstance is just a glaring red flag. Do you have any info on what the Hawks think of him?

  17. Madmark

    Saw that mock too John
    Thats Charley Casserly mock draft if i went by that i could get Courtney Upshaw at 48, Coby Fleener at 50, and Andre Branch at 47. I truly hope draft falls this way then i get Dont’a Hightower and Courtney Upshaw in the first 2 rounds. Somehow I’m not seeing that.

  18. Mike

    Jenkins is 5’10” 190 and PC seems to prefer bigger CBs. I Could see him taken as a slot specialist if they grade him out that way, but they may want to put WTIII there long term. I wouldn’t expect Jenkins to really be on the radar in the second, but if he drops to the 3rd? Perhaps.

  19. Misfit74

    I think Carolina is pretty happy with Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy manning the DE spots, which is a primary reason I think DT for Carolina. Esp. since both the top-2 WRs are already gone.

  20. Rob

    Greg Hardy had four sacks last year.

  21. Misfit74

    A lot of #2 ends in 4-3 defenses have low sack totals, in part because they often play of the strong side. Even big name FAs like Ray Edwards, who had 3.5 sacks.

    It’s a good point, Rob, though not every team has 10-sack guys at both end spots. That said Hardy was a later-round pick and could be upgraded. He’s a guy I’ve always liked, so perhaps I’m a tad biased.

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