The second round of the 2010 SB Nation NFL Mock Draft rolls along. We're having each SB Nation blogger make selections for their respective teams. Jaxon, lead blogger at SB Nation's Carolina Panthers blog, Cat Scratch Reader, checks in to make the No. 48 overall selection in this year's mock. Take it away, sir!
With the No. 48 overall pick in the 2010 SB Nation NFL Mock Draft, the Carolina Panthers have selected Mardy Gilyard, WR, Cincinnati
Jaxon says: Though the Panthers biggest need is at wide receiver this offseason I was still willing to consider a defensive lineman if a value pick was there. Alas DT Brian Price went two picks earlier and the remaining DE’s on my list to consider this early, mainly Greg Hardy and Corey Wooten, rate more as 3rd round picks. So it brings me back to wide receiver where I think there is still some serious talent available. Yet what kind of receiver is needed? should the Panthers target a tall, strong possession receiver like Muhsin Muhammad who excels in run blocking or do we get Steve Smith the speedy compliment he has called for?
With Damian Williams getting selected immediately before this pick it narrowed my choices to Arrelious Benn, Brandon LaFell, and Gilyard. Though Benn has more straight line speed than Gilyard and LaFell may be a bigger, more polished receiver Gilyard brings the added dimension of big play ability that is sorely needed by the Panther passing game from someone other than Steve Smith. Both Benn and LaFell fall into the 'Moose' category.
Though I agree the Panthers need another big, bruising WR in the mold of Muhsin Muhammad they already have Dwayne Jarrett who will get his chance to fill the #2 WR slot this season. Also given how deep this draft is at WR I think the Panthers could get a guy that fits the Moose role later in the draft. What you won’t find later in the draft is a guy with Gilyard’s combination of quickness, great hands, ability to create separation and on the field production. I view Gilyard’s stellar showing at the Senior Bowl (5 rec 103 yds 1 TD) as an indicator this kid can and will make the jump to the NFL. I'm not worried about 40 yard dash time (avg 4.5) affecting his ability to down field, he has proven he can make those tough catches in traffic or a DB on his hip. Gilyard also has the intangibles the Panthers look for, a guy that has overcome adversity, a team-first attitude and is willing to throw his body into a block against a bigger guy.
Finally Gilyard will fit perfectly as an option to return kicks for the Panthers in 2010, a talent severely lacking on the current Panthers roster. Though Captain Munnerlyn performed adequately fielding punts in 2009 Gilyard has better hands and has the ability to break it long every time he touches the ball.
Mocking Dan reacts: I agree that this pick should be a wide receiver. Personally, I would have gone with Benn, who has more potential to be a No. 1 receiver. He was stuck playing with arguably the worst starting quarterback for a BCS school, which is why his production dropped. Steve Smith said he wanted the Panthers to go after a No. 1 receiver, which is what Benn could have, uh, been.
Gilyard is a good player. His passion and heart are unquestioned. But I wonder about his separation ability at the next level.
Mocking the Draft's Top 5 remaining prospects: 1 - Rob Gronkowski/TE/Arizona, 2 - Brandon Spikes/LB/Florida, 3 - Chad Jones, S, LSU, 4 - Aaron Hernandez, TE, Florida, 5 - Arrelious Benn, CB, Illinois
Sound off, SB Nation! What say you of the Panthers' selection of Gilyard? Please be sure to check out Cat Scratch Reader for all of your Patriots needs.