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Thursday, April 10, 2014
Analyzing McShay mock 4.0: Panthers

By David Newton

The Carolina Panthers have the 28th pick of the 2014 NFL draft after finishing 12-4 this past season. They have a big need at offensive tackle and wide receiver, but general manager Dave Gettleman insists he'll take the best player available.

Todd McShay's Mock Draft 4.0 is out , and you might be surprised who he has going to Carolina.

Yes, McShay has Carolina taking a tackle in the first round. But unlike many of the popular choices, he has them selecting Nevada's Joel Bitonio. This is interesting because more than 50 percent of the 32 teams have told the 6-foot-4, 315-pounder he will play guard in the NFL.

Bitonio actually was asked to shift to guard for the Senior Bowl.

If the Panthers go in this direction and believe Bitonio is a guard, that means they're satisfied Byron Bell can move from right to left tackle to replace Jordan Gross. I'm just not buying it.

I still believe the Panthers will go with either Tennessee's Ja'Wuan James, Alabama's Cyrus Kouandjio or Virginia's Morgan Moses to play either on the left or right side. If none are there, they might go wide receiver.

McShay has the Panthers taking South Carolina wide receiver Bruce Ellington in the second round. I like this pick. He's got great quickness. For 5-foot-9 he is able to outjump many taller corners like a certain wide receiver the Panthers recently cut (see Steve Smith).

He's athletic enough to go from wide receiver on the football team to point guard for the basketball team. Hard to go wrong with a great athlete.