2013 NFL Draft Grades: Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers Draft Grade:
Round 1, #14 – DT Star Lotulelei, Utah – Grade: A+
-This is one of the best picks of the draft. The Panthers were desperate for even average defensive tackle play last year and they land perhaps the best defensive tackle in the draft. Lotulelei represents a huge upgrade for the Panthers and gives them a force in the middle to finally stop the run.
Round 2, #44 – DT Kawaan Short, Purdue – Grade: A+
-Doubling up here on defensive tackles was absolutely brillant by the Panthers. Adding one defensive tackle was great, but grabbing two is incredible. It makes everyone else in that front seven that much better.
Round 4, #108 – OG Edmund Kugbila – Valdosta St. – Grade: C
-The Panthers needed some interior offensive line help, but this definitely looks like a reach pick. There were better names still on the board for the Panthers.
Round 5, #148 – ILB AJ Klein, Iowa St. – Grade: B
-Good pick here for the Panthers, Klein can back-up both the middle and strong side positions and should be a valuable special teamer for the Panthers.
Round 6, #182 – RB Kenjon Barner, Oregon – Grade: B+
-Running back isn’t an immediate need but this is a good pick for the Panthers. Barner can be a weapon out of the backfield and the Panthers are likely going to have to make a decision on which running back to keep long term pretty soon, so he adds some depth.
-Yes they only had five picks, but the Panthers did a fantastic job in this draft. With already possessing two of the better defensive ends in the league the Panthers went out and added two premier defensive tackles. Now their front four has the potential to be one of the best in the league. Both of those defensive tackles should make a big impact and will really take the Panthers defense to the next level. While the Panthers needed help in the secondary, the fact that there will be a better pass rush, will help the secondary improve. I do think they missed on the guard pick, but they did get nice value late in the draft. Overall it was a really nice job by the Panthers and should give them a big boost heading into next season.