Going Deep: Predicting Carolina Panthers eight picks in 2018 draft

— By Howard Balzer, NFLDraftScout.com —

The Carolina Panthers have eight picks in the NFL Draft, including No. 24 in the first round April 26 in Arlington, Tex.

Here is a look at the Panthers’ five-year draft record with roster tallies reflecting totals as of the end of the 2017 season. Below that are the team’s current needs heading into this draft and our projection for all their 2018 picks.

PANTHERS’ FIVE-YEAR DRAFT BREAKDOWN

TOP 3 NEEDS IN 2018 DRAFT

  1. Wide receiver: This area hasn’t been brushed aside just because it has been addressed in some manner. The Panthers already are counting on young, yet unproven Curtis Samuel who was injured for a large chunk of his rookie season in 2017). It’s also unclear how Devin Funchess will function given that he could go into the season as the go-to receiver for the first time. There’s a need to restock this position in order to get it off the top-priority list.
  1. Safety: There’s an immediate need in this area, while the Panthers appear to be set to be a little more experienced at cornerback. That makes it more feasible to see if the draft can offer someone to step in right away at safety. This would have to be the right fit because the Panthers have been steady with veterans holding safety spots in the past.
  1. Running back: The Panthers let go 10-year veteran Jonathan Stewart, the franchise’s all-time rushing leader, so they need to see if they can find another long-term fix for this spot. There’s also of potential and confidence in Christian McCaffrey, who put together a nice rookie season in 2017. But there needs to be reinforcements and a bigger, durable back who can absorb some contact could be atop this list.

Below is a list of all eight of the Panthers’ picks, with players suggested by NFLDraftScout.com.

PANTHERS 2018 Draft (Eight picks)

Rd./overall pick: Player selected

1-24: DJ Moore, WR, Maryland (6-0, 210, 4.42)

2-55: Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State (5-11, 220, 4.46)

3-85: Anthony Averett, CB, Alabama (5-11, 183, 4.36)

3-88: Ian Thomas, TE, Indiana (6-4, 259, 4.65)

5-161: Ade Aruna, DE, Tulane (6-5, 262, 4.60)

6-197: Tony Adams, G, North Carolina State (6-1, 302, 5.47)

7-234: Godwin Igwebuike, S, Northwestern (5-11, 213, 4.44)

7-242: Mike McCray, LB, Michigan (6-1, 243, 4.76)

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