2011 NFL Draft: Carolina

Since April is here and the draft is only a few short weeks away, I thought I would begin my mock draft. I’ll look at one team each day, going in order from 1 to 32, and I’ll let you know who I think they will pick and who I think they should pick. Feel free to comment in the section if you agree or disagree with what I have to say. Let’s start with the Panthers, who own the top pick.

Who They Should Pick: I was going to go with Da’Quan Bowers (DE, Clemson) here originally, but his knee issues are causing him to fall quickly on draft boards. I’m almost sure the Panthers won’t go this route, but they should take Patrick Peterson (CB, LSU). Peterson is easily the top player on my board, and he can impact the defense and the return game. Corners don’t go first overall, but this guy is good enough to do so.

Who They Will Pick: As much as it pains me to say it, I think the Panthers pull the trigger on Cam Newton (QB, Auburn) here. I personally think he is going to be a bust, and there is a ton of risk, but Carolina will want to make an impact, and sources say they are high on him. I think they should ride it out with Jimmy Clausen, their second rounder from last season, but I don’t think they will. If Newton does go here, it will be a pick that could define the future of the franchise. The question is, will it be a positive or negative impact?

Other Possibilities: Bowers, Marcell Dareus (DT, Alabama), Blaine Gabbert (QB, Mizzou)

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Tags: 2011 NFL Draft April Blaine Gabbert Cam Newton Carolina Panthers Da'Quan Bowers Jimmy Clausen Marcell Dareus Mock Draft Patrick Peterson Quarterback St. Louis Rams

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