With the 14th pick in the 2013 Dawgs By Nature NFL Community Mock Draft, the Carolina Panthers select...
Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
This selection and write-up was made by rossn2007:
At first, this seemed like a worst case-scenario for the Panthers in my opinion. Leading up to this pick, I identified DT, CB, WR, FS, and OG as the team's biggest needs. The top two cornerbacks, top receiver, top safety, and top guard are all gone. Missing out on Floyd by one pick really hurts, and I think this is a perfect spot for a trade down. With all the top options off the board and the Panthers being low on picks, a trade down would make the most sense. I was originally trying to decide between going with the next-ranked Sheldon Richardson, or the next best available cornerback when I realized I was forgetting someone. With trading not being an option, the pick has to be Star Lotulelei.
Star is one of the best, if not the best defensive in this draft class. Star's 6'3", 320-pound frame makes him a nightmare for interior offensive linemen, and he has the potential to shut down an opponent's run game. If not for his reported heart condition, Star would be a top-5 pick. At No. 14, the potential reward for a player of this caliber seems well worth the risk to me. I suspect the Panthers' medical staff has done their homework on Star and if he's still available at No. 14, he will be the pick.
Many will argue that the top priority for the Panthers this draft will be to get Cameron Newton some weapons, especially with Steve Smith getting another year older, but there are just no offensive play makers that represent the value and overall team impact that Star will provide. Last year's first round pick Luke Kuechly led the team and league in tackles on his way to being named the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Star's addition to the middle of this defense will make this team nearly impossible to run against. The Panthers have a couple solid defensive ends, but are paper-thin at defensive tackle. They need a playmaker in the middle of this defensive line and I expect Star to make a huge impact on this defense in year one, especially against the run. The Panthers finished 14th in the league last year against the run, allowing 110 yards per game. Adding Star makes them a lock to be a top-10 run defense and possibly even a top-5.
I don't know about being a lock for top-10 against the run, because things usually don't turn out the way teams anticipate. With that said, it's about time that Lotulelei goes off the board. I'm always a bit lenient on saying first-round defensive tackles will live up to the hype, but there really isn't an offensive playmaker who stands out for Carolina in this round.
2013 DBN Community Mock Draft Results (so far)
|1||Kansas City||Dee Milliner||CB||Alabama||BuenosAires_Dawg|
|3||Oakland||Luke Joeckel||OT||Texas A&M||TuckJob|
|4||Philadelphia||Eric Fisher||OT||Central Michigan||Chalmdeezy|
|8||Buffalo||Geno Smith||QB||West Virginia||Stigosaurus|
|9||New York Jets||Cordarrelle Patterson||WR||Tennessee||notthatnoise|
|11||San Diego||Lane Johnson||OT||Oklahoma||JamesPowell|
|13||Tampa Bay||Sherrif Floyd||DT||Florida||LessThanJake|
|15||New Orleans||Ted Washington's Belly|
|19||New York Giants||Red-Right-88|
|26||Green Bay||Jon Stinchcomb|