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Friday, May 9, 2014
Panthers pick Trai Turner in 3rd

By David Newton

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The pick: Trai Turner, OG, LSU

My take: General manager Dave Gettleman does like the "hog mollies," his name for big interior linemen. Turner is a really big hog mollie at 6-foot-2 1/2 and 310 pounds. He'll provide competition along an offensive line that is being completely revamped from last season. Carolina was decimated at guard last year with season-ending injuries to Amini Silatolu, Garry Williams, Jeff Byers and Edmund Kugbila. Williams will compete for the right tackle spot, and Byers retired, so there's room for Turner to earn a job. I thought Carolina might go for another wide receiver here with South Carolina's Bruce Ellington and a few other quality players remaining, but it's hard to argue with Gettleman's philosophy that he brought from the Giants.

And your left tackle is? The Panthers couldn't sign a left tackle in free agency to replace retired Jordan Gross and they didn't get one in the first three rounds of the draft. That means the job is Byron Bell's to lose. If not him, then Nate Chandler will get a shot at it. Bell struggled in protection on the right side at times last season, but the Panthers believe he's better suited to play the left side. He better be. Quarterback Cam Newton's blind side depends on it.

What's next: Look for the Panthers to look for depth at inside and outside linebacker, and potentially a cornerback or safety, with picks 4 through 7. Those players not only provide depth, but typically are good candidates to make the team on special teams.