NFC South: Sean Smith

Your mock pick for the Panthers

April, 24, 2009
4/24/09
2:00
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

We put Carolina fans in a tough spot by asking them to call what the Panthers will do at No. 59. But that's no more difficult than what John Fox and Marty Hurney will face Saturday as they wait for the 58 picks before them to sort out and try to decide what to do about Julius Peppers.

In some ways, Fox and Hurney have it easier than our readers because they, theoretically, could have a say in what happens with Peppers. In our readers' mock draft, voters didn't have that luxury because projected trades weren't an option.

Readers had to stay put at No. 59 and guess what the Panthers will do.

That led to some spirited debate and a close call in the final tally. Let's turn it over to a reader, who I think made a case that represented the majority, to announce the pick.

Travis in Phoenix, AZ writes: The Panthers with the 59th overall pick take Paul Kruger from Utah. This would be a solid pick, I mean first off the guys from Utah...Im pretty sure Smith wouldnt punch someone who went to Utah...second look at his name...cant you see it...call him Freddy instead of Paul...intimidation factor...The real reason however, this guy is a good Defensive End, he wont be a Peppers but he can put pressure on a QB and can stop the run, if we could trade peppers and also get Johnson from Georgia Tech then those 2 would be perfect together, 2 different styles and could play together for a long time...remember the Peppers Rucker combo that was so great...Rucker was a big part of that, holding up his side so Peppers would let loose...Kruger is that kind of DE...

Pat Yasinskas: Like the argument, but I'm going to share another with you. Kruger won by 15 votes and the second-place finisher was his college teammate, defensive back Sean Smith. We'll go out to Utah for the flip side of that argument.

Blake in Garden City, Utah, writes: Carolina Panthers should take (Sean Smith- CB Utah) This might be a reach if he falls this far. He could give us another big corner to pair with Gamble and Keep Marshall in the slot. This would help with covering the big recivers in the nfc south. Bryant,Colston,White and would help our d-line get some coverage sacks. Also, he could be moved to safety he he stuggles at corner. Fox love guys he can move around!

PY: Either way, I don't think the Panthers can go wrong with a Utah player. That's where they got Steve Smith and Jordan Gross and both have worked out very well.

There also was some decent support for defensive tackle Jarron Gilbert, quarterback Pat White and wide receiver Hakeem Nicks.

Quick glance at your early mocks

April, 21, 2009
4/21/09
5:19
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Earlier Tuesday morning, I asked for your mock draft suggestions for each of the four NFC South teams. I just took a look at my mailbag for the first time since posting that item and the response is overwhelming. Keep it going.

In just about six hours, there already are several hundred responses. As I said earlier, I'll plow through all your answers and post a consensus pick for each team Friday afternoon or evening.

But I thought the early response was a pretty strong sign that you might want to know how the early voting is going. Again, I just skimmed the notes quickly, but here's a brief glance at the early results from the polls for each NFC South team.

New Orleans: Ohio State defensive back Malcolm Jenkins appears to have a comfortable early lead. But his college teammate, running back Beanie Wells, also is getting a lot of votes.

Tampa Bay: This one's all over the board. Just on a quick glance, Illinois cornerback Vontae Davis appears to have a slight lead. But there also are a good amount of votes for defensive tackle Peria Jerry and linebackers Brian Cushing and Clay Matthews.

Atlanta: Somewhat surprisingly, I'm not seeing a lot of support for tight end Brandon Pettigrew. A lot of media members have been tying his name to the Falcons. But the early results are showing readers are looking for defense for the Falcons. Davis, the two Southern California linebackers and Western Michigan safety Louis Delmas seem to be the favorites so far. There also are a fair amount of votes for Georgia Tech defensive end Michael Johnson.

Carolina: Speaking of Johnson, he seems to be an early favorite for the Panthers along with Utah defensive end Paul Kruger. Utah defensive back Sean Smith and West Virginia quarterback Pat White seem to be in the running as well.

Again, we're asking for your first pick for your favorite NFC South team or all four teams as the draft order currently stands (we'll deal with trades if they happen). You can send it to my mailbag and please start each vote with "The Saints (or appropriate team) should draft (fill in the blank)'' and feel free to add a reason or two for your choice.

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NFC SOUTH SCOREBOARD