With the sixteenth pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers select…
16. Carolina Panthers: Clelin Ferrell DE | Clemson
Most mock drafts I’ve seen have the Panthers addressing the offensive line with Alabama’s Jonah Williams or Washington State’s Andre Dillard. While it’s tempting to mock an offensive lineman to Carolina here at pick #16, the Panthers lost a lot of depth and veteran leadership on the defensive side of the football this offseason. Gone are safety Mike Adams, linebacker Thomas Davis and franchise all-time sack leader Julius Peppers. The loss of Peppers, Kyle Love and Wes Horton at defensive end leaves 31-year-old Mario Addison and the recently signed Bruce Irvin as the only recognizable names at the position. After spending high draft picks on offensive playmakers the last couple of years to help out quarterback Cam Newton, it’s time for head coach Ron Rivera to begin building back up his defense which finished sixth worst in the league in sacks last season.
Despite this years draft class being full of stud defensive linemen, if the Panthers aren’t careful they may miss out on the opportunity to draft one. Most of the top ends and edge rushers have been flying off the board, but still left are Clemson’s defensive end Clelin Ferrell, Florida State’s Brian Burns and Louisiana Tech’s Jaylon Ferguson. It’s too early for Ferguson and Burns doesn’t fit Carolina’s 4-3 scheme as well as Ferrell does. Personally I’d love to see Carolina move up to grab Montez Sweat, but why not go with the kid who played his college ball right down the road. Ferrell becomes the first of the Clemson defensive linemen off the board, with defensive tackles Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence likely to follow soon after.