Jordan Gross was drafted No. 8 overall by the Carolina Panthers in the 2003 NFL Draft. In his excellent ten-year career, he's missed just nine starts, made two Pro Bowl appearances and has a first-team All-Pro selection under his belt. Even though he'll be turning 33 this summer, he's still playing at a high level, and left tackle is clearly not the Panthers' top need entering the 2013 NFL Draft. Drafting his eventual replacement, however, could make a good deal of sense...
|14. Carolina Panthers||Lane Johnson, Oklahoma||OT||6'6"
Jaxon: "Though selecting a tackle was not high on the needs list for the Panthers, Johnson is the best player on the board and the perfect replacement for the guy Dan Kadar compares him to: Jordan Gross. Gross might have been a cap casualty this season if the Panthers had anyone that could play left tackle. That changes with the selection of Johnson. The Panthers have the luxury of starting Johnson on the right side until Gross is ready to retire, or they could go ahead and cut the biggest salary on the offense. New GM Dave Gettleman is looking at the long term, and first and foremost he needs to make sure his quarterback’s blind side is protected for the long term. He would consider himself very fortunate to land a tackle like Johnson at No. 14."
Here's our own Dan Kadar to break down the pick:
To get a player like Johnson with the 14th pick in the draft would be quite the coup. In every mock draft we’ve done the past two months, Johnson has been long gone before Carolina picks, so we never consider a tackle for them. But Johnson to Carolina makes sense in the same fashion Luke Joeckel to Kansas City does. Either start him for a year on the right side (where Johnson has some experience), or try to trade Gross.
|5||Sheldon Richardson *||DT||Missouri||6'3"||294|
|11||Bjoern Werner *||DE||Florida State||6'3"||266|
|12||Jonathan Cooper||OG||North Carolina||6'2"||311|
|15||Arthur Brown||LB||Kansas State||6'0"||241|
|1||Kansas City Chiefs||Luke Joeckel||OT||Texas A&M|
|2||Jacksonville Jaguars||Geno Smith||QB||West Virginia|
|3||Oakland Raiders||Sharrif Floyd||DT||Florida|
|4||Philadelphia Eagles||Eric Fisher||OT||Central Michigan|
|5||Detroit Lions||Ezekiel Ansah||DE||BYU|
|6||Cleveland Browns||Dion Jordan||OLB||Oregon|
|7||Arizona Cardinals||Barkevious Mingo||OLB||LSU|
|8||Buffalo Bills||Jarvis Jones||OLB||Georgia|
|9||New York Jets||Chance Warmack||OG||Alabama|
|10||Tennessee Titans||Dee Milliner||CB||Alabama|
|11||San Diego Chargers||Star Lotulelei||DT||Utah|
|12||Miami Dolphins||Desmond Trufant||CB||Washington|
|13||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Xavier Rhodes||CB||Florida State|
|14||Carolina Panthers||Lane Johnson||OT||Oklahoma|