The Carolina Panthers hold the ninth overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft and most mock drafts have them taking a defensive lineman. That's what SB Nation's Panthers blog, Cat Scratch Reader, is thinking with the ninth pick as we.. CSC writes that a defensive end or a defensive tackle is the most likely pick.
I'll be very surprised if the Panthers don't take a DE or a DT. The only other option would be if somehow WR Justin Blackmon slipped to #9 or possibly CB Morris Claiborne. Short of those two I'm thinking DE Quinton Coples if the Jaguars pass on him or a DT like Fletcher Cox or Michael Brockers. WR Michael Floyd is a long shot. I think LB Luke Kuechly is the type of impact player Rivera would love at LB. There's not much things harder to predict than what the Panthers will do in the 1st round; unless they have the No. 1 overall as they did last draft.