This was an incredibly difficult decision. Derrick Brown has been sensational for the Auburn Tigers this season, with seven tackles for loss, four sacks, and two forced fumbles. The six-foot, five-inch, 318 lb. tackle has been compared to Chris Jones and Fletcher Cox, two players that would look really nice on the Panthers defensive line right now. He’s a physical specimen that has spent his entire career overwhelming SEC lineman and would be an immediate starter on the Panthers.
The difficult part wasn’t selling myself on Brown’s talent, it was choosing him over Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert, who also fell to me at 19. Herbert is a big-bodied quarterback with an excellent arm and excellent accuracy. His leadership and experience should allow him to be a successful starter in the NFL for many years.
Choosing Herbert would mean the end of Cam Newton‘s time in Carolina, a decision that will be all but wrapped up before the Draft starts. In this scenario, I decided to continue to build a dominating defensive line and trust that Newton can return healthy or the Panthers could find an alternative option through trade or free agency.
An argument can be made either way about this decision and I don’t know that you’d be wrong.