2013 DBN Mock Draft: Carolina Panthers Select Star Lotulelei at No. 14

USA TODAY Sports

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.

The New Orleans Saints are up next, led by Ted Washington's Belly.

2013 DBN Community Mock Draft Results (so far)

Pick Team Player Pos School User
1 Kansas City Dee Milliner CB Alabama BuenosAires_Dawg
2 Jacksonville Dion Jordan DE/OLB Oregon Adrock2099
3 Oakland Luke Joeckel OT Texas A&M TuckJob
4 Philadelphia Eric Fisher OT Central Michigan Chalmdeezy
5 Detroit Ezekiel Ansah DE/OLB BYU macdowellm03
6 Cleveland Jarvis Jones OLB Georgia Cedarpoint2k3
7 Arizona Chance Warmack OG Alabama Mudville
8 Buffalo Geno Smith QB West Virginia Stigosaurus
9 New York Jets Cordarrelle Patterson WR Tennessee notthatnoise
10 Tennessee Kenny Vaccaro SS Texas pt_999
11 San Diego Lane Johnson OT Oklahoma JamesPowell
12 Miami Desmond Trufant CB Washington Weeden2Gordon
13 Tampa Bay Sherrif Floyd DT Florida LessThanJake
14 Carolina Star Lotulelei DT Utah rossn2007
15 New Orleans Ted Washington's Belly
16 St. Louis nickjs21
17 Pittsburgh HenryDawg
18 Dallas jimkanicki
19 New York Giants Red-Right-88
20 Chicago PaduaDSP
21 Cincinnati troy145
22 St. Louis nickjs21
23 Minnesota Legoman0721
24 Indianapolis Mike Krupka
25 Minnesota Legoman0721
26 Green Bay Jon Stinchcomb
27 Houston The B-Train
28 Denver KillerNut
29 New England roar888
30 Atlanta Matt Wood
31 San Francisco rufio
32 Baltimore Ecwingen
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