2012 SB Nation NFL Mock Draft: Round 2, Pick 40

LINCOLN NE - OCTOBER 16: Running back Tre' Newton #23 of the Texas Longhorns gets wrapped up by linebacker Lavonte David #4 and cornerback Prince Amukamara #21 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers during second half action of their game at Memorial Stadium on October 16 2010 in Lincoln Nebraska. Texas Defeated Nebraska 20-13. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)

The SB Nation two-round NFL mock draft continues along with each lead NFL team blogger making the pick for their team. We're into the second round and the Carolina Panthers are back up with the No. 40 pick.

With the 40th pick in the 2012 SB Nation NFL Writers Mock Draft, the Carolina Panthers select Nebraska outside linebacker Lavonte David.

Jaxon of Cat Scratch Reader breaks down the choice and I respond after the jump. For more on the Panthers, follow along at CatScratchReader.com.

Jaxon explains: Panthers HC Ron Rivera indicated early on he is looking for impact players on defense, in particular the front 7. We also have a big question mark as to whether LB Thomas Davis can achieve what has never been achieved to date in the NFL; to return to the field after a 3rd ACL surgery on the same knee. Even the best case scenario warrants an early selection for one of the key positions in the Panthers 4-3 base defense; the weakside LB. Lavonte David not only fills that role extremely well but he also rises to the NFL in a manner similar to the guy he will back up.

David played the 2011 college season around 225 lbs but has since bulked up to 233 lbs as measured at the combine. The added weight didn’t affect his speed the slightest (4.56) and so, just like Davis he is being questioned as to whether he is a safety in the NFL. Like Davis, Lavonte will put on a little bulk and settle in at WLB whenever Davis is not able too, whether that is this fall or another season or two. In the meantime he will also be another boost to our special teams unit.

On the field David brings the speed to cover TE’s out of the backfield, a talent sorely missing in 2011 without Davis or MLB Jon Beason. He shows a talent for penetrating the line and making tackles for losses both in short yardage and end runs. David has great football instincts, is physically strong and is a sure tackler, making him the kind of impact player Ron Rivera seeks from the WLB position.

Dan Kadar responds: The Panthers have to be at a point where they can't rely on Davis any longer. After a few years of quality play, Davis has only played in nine games the past three seasons. At the least, David would be an insurance policy for both Davis at the weak side and inside, where Beason missed all but one game in 2011. David is an active, sideline-to-sideline linebacker. While he's not a pass rushing linebacker, he's good at everything else.

Mocking the Draft's Top 5 Remaining Prospects

OVR Name Pos. College Report
23 Brandon Thompson
DT Clemson
scouting report
24 Andre Branch
DE Clemson
scouting report
25 David Wilson
RB Virginia Tech
scouting report
29 Lamar Miller
RB Miami scouting report
30 Dwayne Allen
TE Clemson
Coming soon!

Pick Team Player Pos. School Story
1 Indianapolis Colts Andrew Luck QB Stanford Story
2 Washington Redskins Robert Griffin III QB Baylor Story
3 Minnesota Vikings Matt Kalil OT USC Story
4 Cleveland Browns Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma State Story
5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Morris Claiborne CB LSU Story
6 St. Louis Rams Trent Richardson RB Alabama Story
7 Jacksonville Jaguars Quinton Coples DE North Carolina Story
8 Miami Dolphins Ryan Tannehill QB Texas A&M Story
9 Carolina Panthers Fletcher Cox DT Mississippi State Story
10 Buffalo Bills Mike Adams OT Ohio State Story
11 Kansas City Chiefs Riley Reiff OT Iowa Story
12 Seattle Seahawks Courtney Upshaw OLB Alabama Story
13 Arizona Cardinals Jonathan Martin OT Stanford Story
14 Dallas Cowboys David DeCastro G Stanford Story
15 Philadelphia Eagles Luke Kuechly LB Boston College Story
16 New York Jets Melvin Ingram DE South Carolina Story
17 Cincinnati Bengals Stephon Gilmore CB South Carolina Story
18 San Diego Chargers Mark Barron S Alabama Story
19 Chicago Bears Michael Floyd WR Notre Dame Story
20 Tennessee Titans Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama Story
21 Cincinnati Bengals Cordy Glenn OT Georgia Story
22 Cleveland Browns Kendall Wright WR Baylor Story
23 Detroit Lions
Janoris Jenkins CB North Alabama
24 Pittsburgh Steelers
Dont'a Hightower MLB Alabama
25 Denver Broncos
Michael Brockers DT LSU
26 Houston Texans
Dontari Poe DT Memphis
27 New England Patriots
Whitney Mercilus DE Illinois
28 Green Bay Packers
Devon Still DT Penn State
29 Baltimore Ravens
Kevin Zeitler G Wisconsin
30 San Francisco 49ers
Stephen Hill WR Georgia Tech
31 New England Patriots
Kendall Reyes DT Connecticut
32 New York Giants
Peter Konz C Wisconsin
33 St. Louis Rams
Jerel Worthy DT Michigan State
34 Indianapolis Colts
Coby Fleener TE Stanford
35 Minnesota Vikings
Rueben Randle WR LSU
36 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Doug Martin RB Boise State
37 Cleveland Browns
Zach Brown OLB North Carolina
38 Jacksonville Jaguars
Brian Quick WR Appalachian State
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