Odell Beckham, Jr., WR, LSU
Once again, the NFC South has a new champion. In twelve years, the NFC South has never had a repeat champion, so the odds are against the Carolina Panthers prevailing above this tough division. Since they do have work to do at some key positions, the draft will be a critical moment for a team that hopes to fill some major holes.
In 2013, the Carolina Panthers managed to break a streak of four consecutive seasons of eight wins or less by winning the NFC South with an impressive 12-4 record. So what do they do to the roster? They let the TOP 4 wide receivers, the best cornerback, and both starting safeties leave the team. Long time starting tackle Jordan Gross retires, adding to a list of holes that a top team in the NFL has suddenly developed in one short and painful offseason.
The shocking part is that this 12-4 team from a year ago has plenty of ways that they can go in the first round to "build upon" last season. But the obvious hole at wide receiver can not be ignored. So in this draft, the Panthers have to take Odell Beckham Jr with the 28th overall pick.
There are currently eight guys at the wide receiver position in Carolina. Of those eight guys, the combined total of catches made by them in a Carolina uniform in 2013 is ZERO. That's right. ZERO. Steve Smith, Brandon Lafell, Ted Ginn, and Domenik Hixon had 156 catches combined as Panthers in 2013. They are all gone. While the Panthers have brought in veterans like Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant, and Tiquan Underwood, none of those guys offer the play making ability of an Odell Beckham. If a team is to literally start from scratch at wide receiver, the team has to take that position in round 1 of the draft.
With five wide receivers off of the board at this point (Watkins, Evans, Lee, Cooks, Benjamin), the Panthers actually land a guy who fits their needs quite well.
Ted Ginn was not only a deep threat for the Panthers, but also their kick and punt returner. By letting him go to Arizona, the Panthers open up a hole at the return position, which is a spot that Beckham can easily fill. His contributions to special teams and the wide receiver position make him a perfect fit for a team that is obviously rebuilding the talent at wide receiver for Cam Newton.
The Panthers do need to add an offensive tackle and a cornerback to a roster that still has a very strong front seven on defense and a disruptive playmaker at quarterback. But at this point, it's hard to find a better impact player for years to come in the first round than the super talented Odell Beckham. He could possibly end up being their next Steve Smith. (Ugh, I really hope I am wrong)
Thanks to all the CSC members who participated in this year's community mock draft. Without your help, none of this would be possible.
Below are the complete results from our community mock draft.
Catch up with all of the mock draft selections in our 2014 CSC Community Mock Draft Hub.
|Pick||Team||Selection||Team Representative||Approval Rating|
QB Teddy Bridgewater - Louisville
|2||St. Louis Rams||DE Jadeveon Clowney - South Carolina||Kevin Sean Held||57%|
|3||Jacksonville Jaguars||QB Johnny Manziel - Texas A&M||Alex Swift||59%|
|4||Cleveland Browns||WR Sammy Watkins - Clemson||Shadow Flash||80%|
|5||Oakland Raiders||LB Khalil Mack - Buffalo||Khannar||71%|
|6||Atlanta Falcons||OT Greg Robinson - Auburn||Dave Choate||80%|
|7||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||QB Blake Bortles - UCF||russty||31%|
|8||Minnesota Vikings||CB Justin Gilbert - Oklahoma St.||JackMarzullo||50%|
|9||Buffalo Bills||OT Jake Matthews - Texas A&M||Letloosethedogsofwar||88%|
|10||Detroit Lions||WR Mike Evans - Texas A&M||Monkey Poop Battle||49%|
|11||Tennessee Titans||LB Anthony Barr - UCLA||Lostastic||60%|
|12||NY Giants||TE Eric Ebron - UNC||Khannar||78%|
|13||St. Louis Rams||S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix - Alabama||hooahsaint2.0||74%|
|14||Chicago Bears||NT Aaron Donald - Pittsburgh||BlackandGold4ever||82%|
|15||Pittsburgh Steelers||NT Louis Nix III - Notre Dame||saintmanumit||36%|
|16||Dallas Cowboys||DE Kony Ealy - Missouri||Ryan Edwards||63%|
|17||Baltimore Ravens||OT Taylor Lewan - Michigan||Tee Word||66%|
|18||NY Jets||CB Darqueze Dennard - Michigan State||Monkey Poop Battle||62%|
|19||Miami Dolphins||OL Zack Martin - Notre Dame||Letloosethedogsofwar||74%|
|20||Arizona Cardinals||QB Derek Carr - Fresno State||Alex Swift||72%|
|21||Green Bay Packers||S Calvin Pryor - Louisville||BlackandGold4ever||81%|
|22||Philadelphia Eagles||WR Marqise Lee - USC||organictallman||66%|
|23||Kansas City Chiefs||WR Brandin Cooks - Oregon St.||coldpizza||72%|
|24||Cincinnati Bengals||DT Ra'Shede Hageman - Minnesota||coldpizza|
|25||San Diego Chargers||WR Kelvin Benjamin - Florida St.||Lostastic|
|26||Cleveland Browns||ILB C.J. Mosley - Alabama||Shadow Flash|
|27||New Orleans Saints||CB Kyle Fuller - Virginia Tech||Dave Cariello|
|28||Carolina Panthers||WR Odell Beckham, Jr. - LSU||Ryan Edwards|
|29||New England Patriots||Shadow Flash|
|30||San Francisco 49ers||saintmanumit|
|31||Denver Broncos||Alex Swift|