@simon says The Redskins defense has given up 2 passing TDs to WRs in the last 5 games. Opening night was a fluke. It's not a great defense, but it is solid and improving in the second year in under Barry. They're also surprisingly good at forcing turnovers and were that way last year as well. They're 3 missed open TD passes in week 2 away from being 5-1 with a 3-0 division record.
Ravens send the Chargers their 1st and 3rd rd picks this yr and next
Dallas sends the Jest QB Romo for their 2nd rd pick
the Bears send Miami QB Cutler for their 2nd rd pick
Miami sends QB Tanneyhill to the 49ers for their 2nd rd pick
Pittsburgh Steelers: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
WalterFootball.com has noted for months that dumb groupthink would lead to Jones landing in Pittsburgh. It came true as the Steelers landed a perfect replacement for James Harrison.
Jones led the SEC in sacks the past two seasons and led the nation in sacks, tackles for a loss and forced fumbles in 2012. Jones' fall in the 2013 NFL Draft is reminiscent of how the Ravens landed Terrell Suggs. The Steelers and Jones have seemed destined for each other. Pittsburgh stood pat in the 2012 NFL Draft, too, yet grabbed David DeCastro, a highly projected player, who fell to them and filled their biggest need. This happened again this year and that is why the Steelers remain a perennial playoff contender.
Carolina Panthers: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
The Panthers landed a great value with Lotulelei falling to their pick. They had to upgrade the interior of their defensive line, and he will dramatically improve Carolina's interior run defense. He also will help the team's pass rush by occupying blockers to free up defensive ends Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy.
Lotulelei isn't an elite pass-rusher, but he is powerful and explosive. Lotulelei can get a push to prevent quarterbacks from stepping up to avoid Johnson and Hardy. The Panthers filled their biggest need with a great value. This was a fantastic start for Dave Gettleman.
St. Louis Rams: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia and Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia
The Rams had an excellent first day, landing play-makers at receiver and linebacker. Austin will provide a home-run weapon for Sam Bradford and should stretch the field vertically to help open up the ground game. Ogletree could be a great asset playing off the Rams' talented young defensive line and linebackers. St. Louis really increased its speed and play-making ability on both sides of the ball on Thursday night.
Minnesota Vikings: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida; Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State and
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
The Vikings had a huge need at defensive tackle and were able to land a tremendous value with Floyd. He was a consensus pick in the early portion of the first round, so landing him at No. 23 is a great value for Minnesota. Floyd is a disruptive interior pass-rusher who could form a nice tandem with Jared Allen. The Vikings got a great value in Floyd and followed it up with a solid cornerback selection.
Rhodes makes sense for Minnesota considering the organization's need for a long-term corner. Plus, the Vikings have few big receivers in their division. Minnesota gave up a ton of picks to get a third first-round pick in order to select Cordarrelle Patterson. That was a ton to give up, but the team badly needs a play-making receiver to replace Percy Harvin. All three of the Vikings' picks are fast athletes with big upside.
Oakland Raiders: D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston
The Raiders are a winner because they were able to move down and pick up a second-round pick. However, it isn't a complete victory as Hayden was a reach. Not only does he have significant medical concerns, but he isn't a complete player. Scouts told WalterFootball.com that they gave Hayden a second-round grade.
Oakland's weak roster doesn't allow the team the luxury of blowing picks. The Raiders could've gone the safer route with Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei or Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd. It all starts at the line of scrimmage, and adding an impact player at the point of attack would help Oakland to be more competitive.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
The Jaguars made a terrible pick in Joeckel. They used the No. 2 overall pick to select a starter at right tackle. There are plenty of good veteran right tackles available in free agency, but Jacksonville decided that Joeckel was too good to pass up. Left tackle Eugene Monroe is a free agent after the 2013 season and should be able to land a left tackle contract on the open market. Thus, Monroe probably won't be back.
That will allow the Jaguars to move Joeckel to left tackle, but once again, the team will have a hole at right tackle a year. So basically, the organization is running in place. Jacksonville could have selected a building block for its defense like defensive end/outside linebacker Dion Jordan. It looks like Jaguars general manager David Caldwell is in over his head and isn't ready to compete with the rest of the AFC North, who all had quality logical picks.
Cleveland Browns: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
The Steelers take players like Jones while the Browns take players like Mingo. That is why Pittsburgh wins and Cleveland picks in the top 10 every year. Mingo is a one-trick pony speed-rusher. The Browns already had some decent edge-rushers in Jabaal Sheard and Paul Kruger. Mingo's run defense is terrible and he probably will be a situational player at best early in his NFL career, possibly for the entirety of his career.
Cleveland had bigger needs than outside linebacker, but the organization went for a player who is just a projection. Mingo never produced up to his potential in college and it wouldn't be surprising if that's the case in the NFL.
Buffalo Bills: E.J. Manuel, QB, Florida State
The Bills are stuck in mediocrity and this pick is an extension of that. Manuel was never a dominant player at Florida State. He has a great physical skill set, but never played up to it. The Seminoles had easy opponents yet Manuel consistently played about average or slightly above. Florida was the only good defense he saw in 2012, and the Gators dominated him in what was the final home game of his collegiate career.
This pick reminds me of Buffalo taking J.P. Losman in the first round. Manuel has outstanding character and work ethic, but coaches have told me his field vision and ability to read defenses is a crushing weakness for the NFL. I think Manuel will be a bust for the Bills.
New York Giants: Justin Pugh, OT, Syracuse
This pick was unlike the Giants. It was a real reach for a position of need with better talent available at other positions that made sense. Pugh was a fringe first-round pick to begin with who looked more appropriate as a second-rounder. A guard/tackle tweener, he doesn't have a natural position in the NFL. New York will probably start him out at right tackle or guard. A player like that could've been had in Round 2 with the Giants landing a better prospect at defensive end or cornerback in on the first day.
Dallas Cowboys: Travis Frederick, C, Wisconsin
The Cowboys had the biggest reach of the first round with Frederick. He was a third-round prospect and had no business being a first-round pick. The interior of the Dallas offensive line is awful, but taking Frederick is terrible value.
Dallas could've drafted Florida State right tackle Menelik Watson and moved him inside to guard. Kentucky guard Larry Warford is a consensus higher-rated prospect than Frederick as well. Warford would have been understandable at pick No. 31. Either one of those players would have been better picks than Frederick.
2012 NFL Draft Winners and Losers - Day 2:
Green Bay Packers: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
If Green Bay took Eddie Lacy in the first round, it would have been understandable, but to trade down in Round 2 and still land him is pure theft. The Packers needed a feature back to help take the pressure off of Aaron Rodgers and they landed a workhorse. Lacy is a physical back who ran well when Alabama went to zone-blocking plays. Green Bay uses a zone-blocking scheme, which Lacy fits it as a one-cut downhill runner. Being able to move back and still land Lacy was some masterful drafting by Ted Thompson. Green Bay moved down again in the third round for a lower picks, so the team only made one selection on Friday night.
Carolina Panthers: Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
The Panthers landed a great value with Short falling to their second-rond pick. They had to upgrade the interior of their defensive line. First-rounder Star Lotulelei and Short will dramatically improve Carolina's interior defense. Short was the most consistent interior pass rusher in college football the past few seasons.
Short, Lotulelei, Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy give the Panthers a very talented and young defensive line. The Panthers didn't have a third-round pick, but new general manager Dave Gettleman is off to a fantastic start with his two picks.
New Orleans Saints: Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas Pine Bluff and John Jenkins, DT, Georgia
When the Saints selected Armstead, there were probably groans across the league. New Orleans has made a killing of identifying elite offensive linemen from small schools. The organization did it previously with Jahri Evans and Jermon Bushrod. Carl Nicks was another late-rounder, but he came from a big school.
Armstead was superb at the Senior Bowl against the better competition. He then showed off first-round athletic ability at the Combine. Armstead could develop into a special starting left tackle in a year or two. There was even talk in recent weeks of him being a late first-rounder.
The Saints made another bold move when they traded back into the third to land Jenkins. New Orleans landed a perfect nose tackle for its new 3-4 defense. Scouts told WalterFootball.com that Jenkins could be a good pick late in the first round, so to land him midway into the third is phenomenal value for the Saints. New Orleans was without a second-round pick, but the team made up for it with two dynamite selections in the third round.
Cincinnati Bengals: Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina; Margus Hunt, DE, SMU and Shawn Williams, CB, Georgia
The Bengals grabbed a great fit for Jay Gruden's offense with Bernard. The team needed a lead back and a difference-maker to help take the pressure off of Andy Dalton. Bernard is a superb choice. He has the speed to break off long runs and is very shifty and tough. Plus, Bernard is a fantastic receiver. He is a skilled punt returner, too.
Cincinnati added some excellent defensive end depth later in the second round via Hunt. The Bengals may not get long-term extensions done with Michael Johnson or Carlos Dunlap, so Hunt gives the organization some protection. Hunt is a developing pass-rusher who is strong at the point of attack. The 6-foot-8, 280-pounder is also a special teams weapons to block kicks. He is a nice fit in Mike Zimmer's defense.
The Bengals landed Williams, a solid and polished safety, in the third round. They needed to come out of the 2013 NFL Draft with a starting-caliber safety, and he could be a nice complement to Reggie Nelson. Cincinnati had a strong second day and has gotten better on both sides of the ball.
Washington Redskins: David Amerson, CB, N.C. State and Jordan Reed, TE, Florida
The Redskins had to get some cornerback help and were able to land a supremely talented prospect. Washington has perhaps the best defensive backs coach in the NFL in Raheem Morris. Amerson has a great skill set with size, speed and elite ball skills. However, he was prone to getting burned by double moves in 2012 because he was overly aggressive, trying to jump routes for interceptions.
Morris will teach Amerson to play more disciplined football. Amerson was viewed as a future top-10 pick at this time last year, so this could be a huge steal. The Redskins lacked a first-round pick, but they landed a first-round talent who could turn into a stud corner.
Washington also grabbed a good receiving tight end in Reed. He will be a nice weapon to work the middle of the field and the short portion. Reed is a fantastic athlete who should have his blocking weakness masked by the Redskins' blocking scheme. He also gives Washington a nice h-back option. Reed should be a good weapon for Robert Griffin III to work with.
Detroit Lions: Darius Slay, CB, Mississippi State and Larry Warford, G, Kentucky
The Lions had a solid pick in the second round with Darius Slay. The speedy corner will help them to take on Green Bay and improves Detroit's pass defense. Once healthy, Slay should compete quickly to start on the other side from Chris Houston. The team landed a nice scheme fit.
The best pick for the Lions was landing road-grading guard Larry Warford in the third round. He was excellent against the elite SEC defensive tackles of Sharrif Floyd, Sheldon Richardson and John Jenkins. Warford is a powerful run-blocker with underrated speed and athleticism to be a pass-protector. He should vastly improve Detroit's offensive front.
San Diego Chargers: Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame and Keenan Allen, WR, California
The Chargers nailed two excellent value picks. Both Te'o and Allen were in the discussion as first-round picks. Te'o fortifies the weak middle of the San Diego defense. Playing on the inside of a 3-4 is a good fit for Te'o and he should fit in well with the Chargers. The team needs to improve both its run and pass defense so Te'o should be able to start immediately.
Philip Rivers really missed Vincent Jackson last season and Allen should help fill the void. He is a physical and quick receiver who is a good fit in San Diego's scheme. It wouldn't be surprising if Allen becomes Rivers' No. 1 receiver before very long.
Honorable mentions: Houston Texans, Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants.
Tennessee Titans: Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee; Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB, Connecticut and Zavier Gooden, OLB, Missouri
I like Tennessee's first two picks, especially Hunter. He gives the organization some insurance behind Kenny Britt. Between Britt, Hunter and Kendall Wright, Jake Locker has a talented wide receiving corps to work with. Hunter has a lot of upside and could turn into a No. 1 receiver in the NFL. Wreh-Wilson is a big, gritty cornerback and fills a need. He was a solid value pick in the third round.
The pick I don't like is Gooden. He is a great athlete, but never played up to his potential. Gooden never had good production for the Tigers and was consistently unimpressive. The Titans already have three good young linebackers from the past few drafts, too. Ergo, Gooden is just a backup. Tennessee could have landed some pass-rushing depth with Texas defensive end Alex Okafor or more offensive line help with Alabama center Barrett Jones. Gooden was a very questionable pick.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State and Mike Glennon, QB, N.C. State
Back in January, WalterFootball.com noted that high-ranking scouts with Tampa Bay loved Johnathan Banks. Our sources with the Bucs thought that Banks was in serious play for the organization's first-round pick, and our mock drafts reflected that before the former Bulldog fell to the second round after a disappointing Combine. Tampa Bay was able to land him in the second round, and there is no doubt that it was a great value pick.
Banks was a tough competitor and a productive player over four seasons in the SEC. He has size, strength, man-coverage ability and ball skills. Banks could start immediately on the other side from Darrelle Revis and move Eric Wright into the nickel role.
The Bucs followed that good pick with a very questionable one. They are trying to become a playoff competitor in 2013, so taking a backup quarterback is questionable when they are without starting-caliber players at tight end and defensive tackle. Tampa Bay also needs starting competition at linebacker and potentially right tackle.
Instead of taking John Jenkins, Jordan Hill, Terron Armstead, or Brandon Williams, the Buccaneers in a backup quarterback. Glennon also struggles with accuracy and interceptions just like Josh Freeman. It's not like the team can turn to a quarterback who doesn't have the same weaknesses as Freeman.
Scouts had let Walterfootball.com know they weren't high on Glennon because of his accuracy issues. This looks like a pick that Greg Schiano wanted because he is skeptical of Freeman being the starter beyond next season and has a long relationship with Glennon.
Denver Broncos: Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin and Kayvon Webster, CB, South Florida
The Broncos drafted Ronnie Hillman in the third round in the 2012 NFL Draft. They also have veterans Knowshon Moreno and Willis McGahee. Despite all those backs on the roster, the team used its second-round pick on Ball. He needs a lot of work as a pass-protector and has suspect speed for the NFL.
Denver has needs at cornerback and defensive end. Both positions had good talent available as the Broncos passed on Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore, Auburn defensive end Corey Lemonier and Connecticut cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson. Those players look like they would have provided more for Denver than Ball will as a backup running back.
The Broncos passed on Alex Okafor in the third round when they selected Webster. He is a tough and gritty corner. Webster wasn't a bad pick, but he wasn't very impressive either. His selection didn't make up for reaching on Ball.
2012 NFL Draft Winners and Losers - Day 3:
Arizona Cardinals: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas;
Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford;
Ryan Swope, WR, Texas A&M and
Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson
New Cardinals general manager Steve Keim had a really solid draft and finished it with two steals on the third day. Okafor was a quality second-round pick who slipped to the fourth round. Arizona needed to add to its edge rush and Okafor had 12.5 sacks last year. He looks ready to compete immediately.
Taylor is Stanford's all-time leading rusher and is a physical running back. He can pound the ball between the tackles but also is great in the passing game. Taylor was a good receiver for the Cardinal and was one of the best blockers in the 2013 NFL Draft. He definitely will be an asset in upgrading the pass protection for Carson Palmer. Ellington was a nice value in the sixth round to compete with Taylor.
Swope was considered a third-round pick, but the Cardinals landed him in the sixth round because of medical concerns. He was a mismatch problem and a big play producer in the Big XII and SEC over the past few seasons. Swope has destroyed many good defensive backs including Alabama's secondary last fall. He is very fast and can stretch the field vertically. Swope could be a dynamite slot receiver between Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd.
The Cardinals really improved their team by taking Jonathan Cooper, Kevin Minter and Tyrann Mathieu in the 2013 NFL Draft.
St. Louis Rams: Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama and Brandon McGee, CB, Miami
Jones was one of my favorite value picks entering the 2013 NFL Draft and the Rams got a steal. He isn't the biggest, strongest or fastest, but the guy is a pure football player. Jones could end being a starting guard for St. Louis as early as this season, but if he doesn't start, he will be a great backup who can play any position on the offensive line if there is an injury. Eventually, Jones could be an impact player in front of Sam Bradford.
St. Louis also added some nice cornerback depth with Miami's Brandon McGee. He has a nice combination of size and speed for the Rams to work with.
Washington Redskins: Philip Thomas, S, Fresno State and Brandon Jenkins, OLB, Florida State
I knew the Redskins loved Thomas and had them taking him in the third round of my final seven-round mock draft. I kept mocking Thomas to Washington in my redrafts and eventually it hit as he went to the team in the fourth round. Thomas led the nation in interceptions in 2012 with eight. The Redskins landed the cornerback - David Amerson - and the safety with the best ball skills in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Washington landed Jenkins, a nice potential boom pick, with a fifth-round selection. He was once viewed as a potential first-rounder. He produced a lot of sacks before he injured his foot to miss his senior year. The Redskins also acquired Chris Thompson. He a big-play threat for the Seminoles in 2012, breaking off some long touchdown runs before he was injured last fall.
The Redskins' secondary needed a lot of help and general manager Bruce Allen landed some great values for Raheem Morris to work with. I volunteered my opinion to Allen that Rambo would be a great fit for Morris while at the Senior Bowl. Apparently my thinking was in line with the organization's since the team took the ballhawk Rambo in the sixth round. It was a steal as he has been a big-time play-maker in the SEC for the past three seasons. Washington came out of this draft with three potential starters for the secondary.
Chicago Bears: Khaseem Greene, OLB, Rutgers;
Jordan Mills, OT, Louisiana Tech;
Cornelius Washington, DE, Georgia and
Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State
The Bears had a great day on Saturday. Greene is an ideal understudy to Lance Briggs and could have been a second-round pick. Greene was a tackling machine at Rutgers and had a knack for producing splash plays and turnovers. He is a fast, physical player who is a great fit for Mel Tucker's Cover 2 system.
I had Mills mocked to Chicago in my final seven-round mock and in the redrafts. Mills used the Senior Bowl to demonstrate that he is a gritty blocker with some size and athleticism. Mills can start out as a swing tackle, but he could become an eventual starter at right or left tackle later on in his NFL career.
Chicago took a potential boom pick in Washington. He showed some serious pass-rush ability at the Senior Bowl. Washington is fast off the edge and has the skill set of a first-round edge-rusher. He could potentially develop into an elite end for the Bears. Washington could be a sixth-round steal.
The Bears finished the 2013 NFL Draft with a potential boom pick in Wilson. He was massively productive for Washington State before he left the program. Wilson is very tall and could compete for playing time immediately.
San Francisco 49ers: Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina;
Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech;
Quinton Dial, DT, Alabama and
Nick Moody, ILB, Florida State
Lattimore could be considered the steal of the 2013 NFL Draft a few years from now. His story is infamous as having been one of the best running backs in college football before a horrific knee injury. He is recovering well and hopes to be able to play in 2013.
Lattimore makes perfect sense for the 49ers, which is why I had him mocked to them for weeks. San Francisco can give him a redshirt season and stash him on injured reserve while he works his way back to being 100 percent. Lattimore could be ready to compete next year and be the long-term replacement for Frank Gore. Lattimore has a first-round skill set and could provide a huge reward.
The 49ers had another nice value pick with Patton. He is a competitive, physical receiver who fits San Francisco well. Patton was a consensus second-day pick entering the 2013 NFL Draft, so he is nice value late in the fourth round.
Dial and Moody are both big, physical players who will be nice backups for the 49ers. Moody should also be a good special teams contributor. San Francisco had a strong third day that could provide the organization with a huge impact a few years from now.
Green Bay Packers: David Bakhtiari, OT, Colorado;
Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA and
Josh Boyd, DT, Mississippi State
The Packers made a ton of picks on the third day of the 2013 NFL Draft, but the headliners among the team's selections were Bakhtiari and Franklin. Green Bay needed offensive line depth and Bakhtiari is a great fit. He could play guard, center or tackle in the long run for the Packers. His best fit would probably be on the inside. Depth was a problem for the organization last year, so Bakhtiari could be a valuable backup while developing into a potential starter.
Green Bay had a great value pick with Alabama running back Eddie Lacy in the second round. Even with Lacy, the Packers decided to find a complement for him in Franklin. Many felt Franklin could go in the second round, so landing him in the fourth is a steal. His receiving ability makes him a great fit in the Green Bay's offense and a nice platoon back with Lacy.
Boyd was another another good selection the Packers made. He should provide nice defensive line depth with some power and speed. Aside from these highlighted picks, Green Bay landed some nice prospects like guard J.C. Tretter, corner/safety Micah Hyde and linebacker Sam Barrington. The Packers are one of the best drafting teams in the league and had another impressive showing in 2013.
Atlanta Falcons: Malliciah Goodman, DE, Clemson;
Levine Toilolo, TE, Stanford and
Stansly Maponga, DE, TCU
The Falcons were fortunate to land Goodman in the fourth round. They used their first two selections on cornerbacks, but badly needed some pass-rushing help from the third day. Landing a big, fast speed-rusher like Goodman at the bottom of the fourth round is excellent value. He has a lot of potential to develop in the NFL and could be a nice situational rusher as a rookie.
Toilolo should be a good backup tight end in 2013. He's 6-8 and should be another nice red zone weapon for Matt Ryan. Toilolo has upside to develop, and the Falcons can take their time with him. He should have returned for his senior season to be the starting tight end with Zach Ertz in the NFL, but Toilolo could turn into a contributor for Atlanta.
The Falcons landed Maponga, another capable pass-rusher, with their final selection. He had nine sacks as sophomore in 2011 before recording four sacks in a rough 2012 season. Maponga has a combination of strength and speed off the edge. It makes sense to take players with boom potential late in the draft, and Atlanta could have one with Maponga.
New York Giants: Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
The Giants got an excellent backup quarterback in Nassib in the fourth round. Many teams had him as an early second-rounder, and he provides New York with a good No. 2 behind Eli Manning. Nassib could also become a trade commodity in a few years. The Giants also added a nice backup safety in Cooper Taylor in the fifth round. GM Jerry Reese had his typical solid draft and Nassib could be a fourth-round steal.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Akeem Spence, DT, Illinois;
William Gholston, DE, Michigan State;
Steven Means, OLB/DE, Buffalo and
Mike James, RB, Miami
The Bucs have used six early-round picks on defensive linemen in recent years, but half of those selections haven't panned out and the other three have had injury issues. Tampa Bay lost Michael Bennett in free agency and used the third day of the 2013 NFL Draft to add some competitors on the defensive line. Spence was an underachiever at Illinois who had a lot of ugly games in 2012 with poor run defense and no pass rush.
Gholston looks like Tarzan, but plays like Vernon. William Gholston was a good run-defender in college, but really struggled to get any pass rush. Buffalo edge-rusher Steven Means was viewed as an undrafted free agent entering the 2013 NFL Draft.
Addressing the defensive line is understandable for Tampa Bay, but the organization passed on better linemen. The team passed on Clemson's Malliciah Goodman and Western Kentucky's Quanterus Smith, both of whom recorded double-digit sack potential as ends. Bowling Green defensive tackle Chris Jones was available and he had 12.5 sacks last year. The Bucs haven't had a double-digit sacker since Simeon Rice, and their new third-day picks haven't shown to have serious potential.
Tampa Bay continued the head-scratchers by taking James after just trading for a backup running back. The Buccaneers lack both a receiving tight end and a backup offensive tackle, yet failed to address those positions.
Carolina Panthers: Edmund Kugbila, G, Valdosta State;
A.J. Klein, OLB, Iowa State and
Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon
The Panthers made some questionable picks early on the third day. Carolina has perhaps the worst safeties in the NFL, yet passed on two good safety prospects, Syracuse's Shamarko Thomas and Fresno State's Philip Thomas. The team took Kugbila instead of either of those safeties who could have competed to play immediately. Kugbila was considered a late-round pick and not an early fourth-rounder.
Carolina later took a linebacker competitor in Iowa State's A.J. Klein. Linebacker wasn't a need for the organization and there was a good safety available in Georgia's Bacarri Rambo. The trend continued in the sixth round as the Panthers took a backup running back in Kenjon Barner. He probably will play very sparingly considering the team has two good veterans - Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams - already established as the one-two punch. Even if one of the veterans is let go, running back isn't as big of a need as the secondary.
Carolina made two great picks in defensive tackles Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short, but neglecting the safety and cornerback position seems very nonsensical.