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2014 NFL mock draft: Billy Turner to Carolina Panthers at No. 60

Can an NFL playoff team rely on an FCS prospect at left tackle?

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

For 11 seasons, Jordan Gross more than capably held down the starting left tackle job for the Carolina Panthers, helping a young, up-and-coming team return to the postseason in 2013. He retired in February, and a team that has the look of establishing itself as a perennial NFC contender is suddenly in dire straits at the most important position on the offensive line. Jaxon from Cat Scratch Reader is here to address that concern in the second round of the mock draft.

Team Player Pos. Ht Wt Class
60. Panthers Billy Turner, North Dakota State OT 6'5 315 SR

"After getting a potential No. 1 wideout in Marqise Lee in the first round, I turn my attention to the Panthers' other glaring weakness and that is offensive line. Unlike the first-round pick where I didn’t see any tackles available worthy of that pick, I think Billy Turner is a value pick at No. 60. Turner put in a nice performance at both the Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine, alleviating some of the concern about coming from a small school like North Dakota State. Turner is a versatile player who can most likely play multiple positions, but I see the Panthers giving him extended time at tackle given the lack of depth there.

A four-year performer, Turner started 56 games in his career and has all of the intangibles you look for. In addition to size (6’5, 315) and strength, Turner checks off boxes in arm length (34") and hand size (10"). Tested well enough to show he's a good athlete for his size. Comes from strong bloodlines with a father and brother boasting NFL experience. He’s also a durable player who never missed a game in college. Solid as a pass blocker and has a mean streak which helps in the run game."

Dan Kadar, SB Nation's NFL Draft analyst, has some thoughts and opinions to share on the Panthers' mock draft pick of Turner:

The choice of Turner is completely understandable. As it has become a theme whenever an offensive tackle gets taken in the second round, I'm not sure why the choice isn't Tennessee's Antonio Richardson. There was a report of a knee injury for Richardson, but where was it ever confirmed? Turner does provide some versatility, though. He can play inside and got some Senior Bowl reps at right tackle. This could be a situation where the Panthers take multiple linemen in the draft and figure out their best fit afterward. That worked well for the Chicago Bears last year with Kyle Long and Jordan Mills.

David Fucillo of Niners Nation will be back at 3 p.m. ET with his third and final mock draft pick for the San Francisco 49ers.

Top 5 players remaining

# Player Pos. College Ht. Wt.
35 Demarcus Lawrence DE Boise State 6'3 251
39 Antonio Richardson OT Tennessee 6'6 336
41 Scott Crichton DE Oregon State 6'3 273
43 Lamarcus Joyner S Florida State 5'8 184
46 Jarvis Landry WR LSU 6'0 205

2014 SB Nation NFL writers' mock draft results

Panthers picks

Rd # Team Player Pos. College
1 28 Carolina Panthers Marqise Lee WR USC
2 60 Carolina Panthers Billy Turner OT North Dakota State