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
|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|
New England Patriots
Green Bay Packers
San Francisco 49ers
New England Patriots
New York Giants
St. Louis Rams
|36||Tampa Bay Buccaneers