Pro Football Writers of America mock NFL draft

April 24, 2013 

The Pro Football Writers of America held a mock draft Tuesday that shook out pretty well for the Panthers, at least if you’re among those who believe they should take a defensive tackle with their first pick.

It was tempting to take Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro, considering the Panthers were set to pick Alabama safety Mark Barron last year before Tampa Bay snatched him two spots before the Panthers were on the clock.

But ultimately, the chance to grab a guy who was a top-three prospect not that long ago was too enticing.

The PFWA mock, which featured a trade (San Francisco and Chicago swapping first-round picks):

1. Kansas City: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

2. Jacksonville: Ziggy Ansah, DE, BYU

3. Oakland: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

4. Philadelphia: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

5. Detroit: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

6. Cleveland: Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU

7. Arizona: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama

8. Buffalo: Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse

9. New York Jets: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

10. Tennessee: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

11. San Diego: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

12. Miami: D.J Hayden, CB, Houston

13. New York Jets: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

14. Carolina: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

Rationale: Carolina is interested in trading down and getting one of its later-round picks back. But not if Lotulelei’s still on the board when they pick. Panthers first-year GM Dave Gettleman spent 14 years with the Giants, who did pretty well beefing up their D-line seemingly every year in the draft.

Since cutting nose tackle Ron Edwards this offseason, Ron Rivera has talked about the need to find a space-eater up front to keep blockers off Luke Kuechly. Lotulelei does more than occupy blockers, however.

And the Panthers have experience drafting guys with heart issues/scares. They took Oklahoma DE Frank Alexander in the fourth round last year after Alexander was sent home from the combine when doctors thought they had found a hole in his heart. The Panthers checked into it, and it turned out to be a misdiagnosis.

15. New Orleans: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

16. St. Louis: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

17. Pittsburgh: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

18. Dallas: Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina

19. New York Giants: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia

20. San Francisco (from Chicago): Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

21. Cincinnati: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

22. St. Louis: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama

23. Minnesota: Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame

24. Indianapolis: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State

25. Minnesota: Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee

26. Green Bay: Matt Elam, S, Florida

27. Houston: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson

28. Denver: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State

29. New England: Robert Woods, WR, USC

30. Atlanta: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington

31. Chicago (from San Francisco): D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama

32. Baltimore: Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International

Joseph Person

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