The Carolina Panthers two biggest needs heading into the 2013 NFL Draft are at defensive tackle and guard, and pretty much every mock draft out there has the Panthers selecting a DT with the 14th pick. And, in most of those cases, that DT is usually Missouri Tigers 6’3″, 290 pound standout Sheldon Richardson.
Richardson would solve the Panthers problems at defensive tackle, due to his relentless motor and incredible penetrating ability. Compared to Buffalo Bills standout DT Kyle Williams by many scouts (that’s very high praise, indeed), Richardson chases down tacklers and is able to push the interior of the pocket. At Missouri, Richardson consistently got into the opposing backfield and was pretty much a lock to go to the draft this year.
I could also see the Panthers taking guard Chance Warmack, who has a chance to quickly establish himself as an elite guard. Even though the Panthers have a slightly bigger need at DT and DTs are harder to find, this DT class is so deep that you could feasibly sit on Richardson (or whoever) and have UNC’s Sylvester Williams or even Ohio State’s Jonathan Hankins (no idea why he is slipping, but he won’t slip that far) fall into the second-round.
It’s almost impossible to argue against selecting Richardson, though. The main page had the New Orleans Saints taking freakish athlete Dion Jordan a spot below the Panthers, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers surprisingly taking disruptive Florida DT Sharrif Floyd instead of a CB, and the Atlanta Falcons going TE with Notre Dame’s Tyler Eifert (I like Stanford’s Zach Ertz more for Atlanta in that slot).
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