Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
With the retirement of LT Jordan Gross coupled with the loss of offensive guards Travelle Wharton and Geoff Hangartner, the kneejerk reaction would be for the Carolina Panthers to address the offensive line. However, with OTs Taylor Lewan and Zach Martin off the board there is no other tackle worth investing a first round pick in. Morgan Moses moves like the strong fat guy that he is. Antonio Richardson is just not good enough to take this early. Cyrus Kouandjio has a Da'quan Bowers knee.
The departure of Steve Smith left the receiving corps in shambles, but again with top talent like Marqise Lee, Brandin Cooks, and Odell Beckham off the board there isn't anyone else screaming first round pick in a draft with this much depth at the position. The Panthers are better left hoping that Moses, Richardson, Allen Robinson, Kelvin Benjamin, or Jordan Mathews is there to give them a boost on the offensive side of the ball.
So why Jason Verrett? He's 5'9 and too short to cover guys on the outside right? Verrett tied for the third-highest vertical at the combine at thirty-nine inches, tied for first with a 4.00 20 yard shuttle, tied for second with a 4.38 40-yard dash, and tied for third again in the broad jump at 10'8". This guy has everything you want in your cornerback physically short of being a couple inches closer to the clouds.
On the field, Verrett is just as impressive. In 2012, his last healthy full season, he finished fifth in the NCAA with six interceptions and credited with the league lead with twenty-two pass deflections by sports-reference.com. Throw on his tape against the soon-to-be-pro triumvirate of Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry, and Zach Mettenberger from this past season courtesy of draftbreakdown.com. He may have played through a torn labrum this past season (tough guy alert) but he doesn't miss a beat. That sack of Mettenberger makes me wish we had room for another 5'9 playmaker.
Best-case scenario, the Panthers get a solid no. 2 corner with the 28th pick; worst-case, they get themselves a Boykin of their own. Either way, he makes an already dominant defense that much scarier for opposing quarterbacks. Wait, a Panthers mock where the mock isn't a receiver or a lineman?
1 Houston Texans (Imp) - Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville - [Explanation]
2 St. Louis Rams (starship 007) - Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson - [Explanation]
3 Jacksonville Jaguars (sports00fan00) - Jadeveon Clowney, DE, SC - [Explanation]
4 Cleveland Browns (InHinkieWeTrust) - Johnny Manziel, QB, TAMU - [Explanation]
5 Oakland Raiders (SleepingDuck) - Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo - [Explanation]
6 Atlanta Falcons (jimmyrustler) - Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn - [Explanation]
7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (AnthroEagle) - Blake Bortles, QB, UCF - [Explanation]
8 Minnesota Vikings (pot) - Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA - [Explanation]
9 Buffalo Bills (wow4444) - Jake Matthews, OT, TAMU - [Explanation]
10 Detroit Lions (kamjam) - Mike Evans, WR, TAMU - [Explanation]
11 Tennessee Titans (NowWhat?) - Justin Gilbert, CB, OK State - [Explanation]
12 New York Giants (Anthony DiBona) - Eric Ebron, TE, UNC - [Explanation]
13 St. Louis Rams (ILL Eagle) - Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama - [Explanation]
14 Chicago Bears (JerkyBoy) - Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville - [Explanation]
15 Pittsburgh Steelers (KJ Brophy) - Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan - [Explanation]
16 Dallas Cowboys (Patrick Wall) - C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama - [Explanation]
17 Baltimore Ravens (rohan915) - Zack Martin, OT, ND - [Explanation]
18 New York Jets (del.champion) - Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State - [Explanation]
19 Miami Dolphins (HD) - Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh - [Explanation]
20 Arizona Cardinals (NCeagle) - Kony Ealy, DE, Mizzou - [Explanation]
21 Green Bay Packers (ablesser88) - Jimmie Ward, S, NIU - [Explanation]
22 Philadelphia Eagles (jhn) - Marqise Lee, WR, USC - [Explanation]
23 Kansas City Chiefs (PeaceVT) - Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU - [Explanation]
24 Cincinnati Bengals (deg0ey) - Bradley Roby, CB, OSU - [Explanation]
25 San Diego Chargers (StoneColeKiller58) - Kyle Fuller, CB, VT - [Explanation]
26 Cleveland Browns (P_Roach17) - Darqueze Dennard, CB, MSU - [Explanation]
27 New Orleans Saints (bebin) - Kelvin Benjamin, WR, FSU - [Explanation]
28 Carolina Panthers (MikeKafka) - Jason Verrett, CB, TCU - [Explanation]
29 New England Patriots (Amateur_Hour) -
30 San Francisco 49ers (AndyMcNabb) -
31 Denver Broncos (dceagles) -
32 Seattle Seahawks (eagles0132) -