The Carolina Panthers are on pace to pick at No. 16 in next year’s NFL draft. Let’s begin a fresh round of speculation by reviewing some of the latest mocks around the web.
In a new four-round mock from our friends at Draft Wire, Carolina picks Alabama safety Deionte Thompson at No. 16 overall.
There are bigger needs elsewhere, but similar to Derwin James falling to the Los Angeles Chargers at No. 17 overall in 2018, Thompson is just too good for the Panthers to pass up this late. Thompson’s combination of size, athleticism, physicality and ball skills compare favorably to James.
Safety has never been much of a priority for these Panthers in the draft. That’s partially why it’s time for them to consider a move like this to give the position a foundation. If Carolina could bring in Thompson as well as re-sign Eric Reid, they would have two above-average starters locked up for a long time.
The Panthers also desperately need to reinforce the front lines on defense. In the next round, Draft Wire projects the Panthers take Ohio State defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones with the No. 47 overall pick.
Jones (6-foot-3, 286 pounds) had a ridiculous 2018 season, posting 8.5 sacks and 13 tackles for a loss to go with three fumble recoveries.
Here’s a look at some of Jones’ college tape.
The Panthers finished among the worst teams in third-down pressure rate this past year, so finding a disruptive interior rusher like Jones is a must.