Carolina Panthers Draft Grades:
Carolina Panthers NFL Draft Grades:
Round 1, Pick 9 (9): Luke Kuechly – ILB – Boston College: Grade A
-LB wasn’t the biggest need, but the Panthers will find a way to get the most out of Kuechly. He’s an elite prospect and should have an early impact on Carolina’s defense. My one real question here is passing on a DT like Brockers, Poe or Cox, which represented a bigger need.
Round 2, Pick 8 (40): Amini Silatolu – T – Midwestern St.: Grade B+
-I really like this pick for the Panthers. Silatolu is a little raw, but he is projected to move inside to guard where he should be fine. The Panthers continue to strengthen the one weakness on their offense and that is their guard play (assuming Jeff Otah is healthy).
Round 4, Pick 8 (103) (From Dolphins through 49ers): Frank Alexander – DE – Oklahoma : Grade C+
-I wasn’t a huge fan of this pick, DE isn’t a pressing need and Frank Alexander probably could have been had a round or two later.
Round 4, Pick 9 (104): Joe Adams – WR – Arkansas: Grade B-
-Really nice pick here for the Panthers. Joe Adams has elite speed and playmaking ability. He’s a bit raw, but Carolina can develop him and rely on him as more of a return man early on.
Round 5, Pick 8 (143): Josh Norman – CB – Coastal Carolina: Grade B
-CB is a pretty big need for the Panthers and Norman is a nice value pick-up in the 5th round. He’s more of a longer term project, but has some starting upside down the line.
Round 6, Pick 37 (207) (Compensatory): Brad Nortman – P – Wisconsin: Grade B-
-Nortman has a fair chance to be a good punter in this league, and the Panthers had one of worst punting units last year.
Round 7, Pick 9 (216): D. J. Campbell – FS – California: Grade B
-Campbell was one of my favorite sleepers in this draft class, and I think he’s a great pick-up in the 7th round. He’s raw and will need some time to develop, but he could be a starter or at least a significant contributor in a couple of years.