The Carolina Panthers enter Week 17 with an 11-4 record and a chance at a first-round bye in the playoffs. If the draft started today the Panthers would get the 26th pick, which prospects should they target with this selection? Here are Carolina's three most likely targets in the first round of the NFL Draft.
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1.) Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
Ward has been the most consistent corner for the Buckeyes this season and is one of the most important pieces to that defense. He has the frame of an ideal NFL corner with the long arms but needs to add some muscle. He struggles with physical wide receivers, especially in press coverage. His ability to accelerate quickly and break up passes is a reason why Ward will be going in the first round.
2.) Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
He is 6'4" and 215 pounds with surprising speed due to his long strides, he might be the most physically gifted wide receiver in this class. The Panthers need to add some receivers around quarterback Cam Newton who currently lack a legit wide receiver one. This season he had, 68 receptions for 1,085 yards and 12 touchdowns. An NFL comparison for Sutton's upside is Vincent Jackson in his prime.
3) Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
The Panthers offensive line needs to get better and they may look to upgrade that unit in round one. Brown is a big boy standing 6-foot-8 and weighing 360-pounds. That says "right tackle," but he's actually very good in pass protection. He'll get a shot at left tackle and if he convinces teams he has the ability to handle speed, he might not make it to the Panthers.Back to the Carolina Panthers Newsfeed