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2009 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis - Carolina Panthers


By Matt McGuire

Matt will be reviewing each team's 2009 Pre-Draft Analysis by talking about the draft range of targeted players.

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Carolina Panthers

At first, I was not a fan of Carolina trading away its future first-round pick for offensive tackle Jeff Otah. In hindsight, it was a great decision. Otah played immediately and is far better value than anything Carolina could have gotten with the 28th pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. Carolina doesn't have a selection until the second round, and only a few needs on their team, thanks to great drafting.

Let's get to their post-first round draft range:

Defensive Tackle: More depth could be had at tackle on the defensive line. The ends on this team are really solid, but at times not much pressure is generated up the middle. Fili Moala of USC could be the trick. He is 6-4, 295 pounds, and has solid athletic ability. His problem at USC was production, which is why he is not a first-round pick. When he is active, he is unstoppable. Moala would fit in well and could potentially start down the road.

Auburn's Sen'Derrick Marks has the talent to be drafted in the second or third round as well. Marks' problem at Auburn was not playing with consistency, but the athleticism and strength is there.

Ron Brace out of Boston College has the size John Fox loves up front. Brace is a one trick pony as a run-stuffer, but teams would be really forced to run away from Brace as he would be dominant stopping the run on a four-man front.

Linebacker: If the talent is on the board for the Panthers, they could opt for a linebacker. There isn't a big need at this time on the Panthers depth chart with Thomas Davis at WILL and Jon Beason at MIKE. However, Na'il Diggs only had 54 tackles last season and was not highly productive. Marcus Freeman from Ohio State could be just what the doctor ordered. He has good size at 6-1, 239 pounds, and good range, but he isn't always the biggest play-maker. Still, he has upside and can play multiple positions.

I am a big fan of Tyrone McKenzie out of South Florida. He is very athletic and very comfortable in zone. In the mid-rounds, they also might target Kaluka Maiava from USC.

Defensive End: Any time you can find a gem in terms of a pass rusher, it's a great pick since they are so high in demand. John Fox just might like Paul Kruger enough to take him in the second round even though this team doesn't necessarily need a starter right now. Maybe they feel like they do not want to pay Julius Peppers $19-20 million in 2010 if they were to franchise tag him again. Lawrence Sidbury and Kyle Moore might also get consideration in the third or fourth rounds.

Tight End: Traditionally, the Panthers do not go after vertical passing options at the tight end position in the NFL Draft. Therefore, I think a great blocker like Richard Quinn, Anthony Hill or John Phillips could be options in the fourth to sixth rounds.



Carolina Panthers 2009 Offseason Needs



Matt McGuire's 2009 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis Archive:

2009 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis: Detroit Lions
2009 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis: St. Louis Rams
2009 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis: Kansas City Chiefs
2009 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis: Seattle Seahawks
2009 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis: Cleveland Browns
2009 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis: Cincinnati Bengals
2009 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis: Oakland Raiders
2009 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis: Jacksonville Jaguars
2009 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis: Green Bay Packers
2009 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis: San Francisco 49ers
2009 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis: Buffalo Bills
2009 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis: Denver Broncos
2009 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis: Washington Redskins
2009 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis: New Orleans Saints
2009 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis: Houston Texans
2009 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis: San Diego Chargers
2009 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis: New York Jets
2009 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2009 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis: Dallas Cowboys
2009 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis: Philadelphia Eagles
2009 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis: Minnesota Vikings
2009 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis: New England Patriots
2009 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis: Atlanta Falcons
2009 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis: Miami Dolphins
2009 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis: Baltimore Ravens
2009 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis: Indianapolis Colts
2009 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis: Carolina Panthers
2009 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis: Tennessee Titans








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