With the No. 25 pick in the DBN 2015 NFL Mock Draft, the Carolina Panthers select...
Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
The selection and write-up were made by PaduaDSP:
I went into this pick thinking it would be relatively easy and as it turned out it was relatively easy. My initial read of the Panthers needs was that they needed an OT to protect Cam Newton or a WR to give him some more weapons because Philly Brown and Jericho Cotchery just don't cut it. I was feeling quite good about my chances to get one of the OTs as the draft was playing out and truth be told if it were an option I would have been trying to trade up for Collins or Peat and if I had been able to I would have felt pretty good about doing so. However since that wasn't an option I had to sit and wait for one of the OTs to fall to me and the players I thought would be available have come off the board the last few picks. So I had to turn my attention to WR.
Last year Greg Olsen led the Panthers in receiving. Olsen is a solid football player and a good TE but he's not a dynamic play making TE like a Rob Gronkowski. Kelvin Benjamin had a nice rookie year but recording 73 catches and just eclipsing the 1000 yard receiving mark but was plagued all year by dropped passes. Other than that the Panthers receiving corp is a cavalcade of journeyman WRs who are reliable but nothing special. The Panthers did bring back Ted Ginn Jr but at this point he doesn't seem like a guy who can really help outside of special teams.
With the 25th pick in the Daws By Nature Mock Draft the Carolina Panthers select, Jaelen Strong WR Arizona State. Strong brings a lot of the same things Kelvin Benjamin brings to the Carolina receiving group but he also brings a whole bunch more. He is a big bodied, physical WR similar to Benjamin but he's a better route runner than Benjamin was coming into the league and he catches the ball better especially in traffic. Strong should be a WR that can do more of the dirty work on crosses, slant, digs etc. while Benjamin continues working outside the hashes and being the Panthers bigger play threat on the outside. I think they'll form a nice one two punch for one of the league's better QBs. One criticism of Strong is his inability to separate from DBs in college but he showed well at the combine in terms of speed and athleticism so I think some of those criticisms have been silenced a bit.
I considered Breshad Perriman with this pick but to me a QB should only have 1 WR who struggles to catch the ball and Perriman and Benjamin in the same receiving group could be a nightmare for Cam Newton so I decided to go with a guy I view as a bit more reliable. I also considered going defense with this pick by bolstering the Panthers secondary with Kevin Johnson but ultimately decided I could get more bang for my buck by selecting Strong. Another option I would have considered if it were an option would have been a small trade down to acquire more picks and target Perriman a few picks later or maybe Todd Gurley at the top of the 2nd round.
The Panthers' defense started to come alive at the end of last season, but there are undoubtedly still some areas that need to be addressed on that side of the ball. When push comes to shove, though, I agree with them taking a receiver in the first round. They had nobody at the position heading into last year's draft, and while Kelvin Benjamin had a pretty good, if not underrated, rookie season, the group needs another formidable option for Newton.
The Baltimore Ravensare up next, led by unoservix.
2015 DBN Community Mock Draft Results (so far)
|1||Jameis Winston||QB||Florida State||BuenosAires_Dawg|
|2||Tennessee Titans||Marcus Mariota
|3||Jacksonville Jaguars||Vic Beasley
||Ted Washington's Belly|
||Manly and Loving It|
|19||Cleveland Browns||Danny Shelton
||Marquess of Rockingham|
|28||Maverick Hunter X|
|31||New Orleans Saints||pt_999|