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Post- Pro Day 7-Round Panther Mock Draft

With the draft just a few weeks away, it is time to see who the Panthers could pick up with each of their eight picks in the draft. Having so many picks allows the Panthers to have a lot of room to fill holes on the roster throughout this deep and talented draft. Here are my predictions for each pick:

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Round 1, Pick 8: Running Back Leonard Fournette, LSU

This pick just feels like a natural fit for both sides. The Panthers love to run a power run game, and Fournette is the powerful, speedy runner they love to have tote the ball in their system. And drafting him would allow the Panthers to return to a two-back system, and take pressure off of Cam Newton.

Round 2, Pick 40: Tight End Evan Engram, Ole Miss

The Panthers would like to add another elite pass catching tight end early in the draft, as they need more weapons over the middle of the field and in the red zone. Plus, starter Greg Olsen is not getting any younger, so they need to start looking for his replacement.

Engram is possibly the best receiving tight end in the draft and could be there sitting at 40. He is speedy and incredibly versatile for a tight end, and would learn a lot from the mentorship of Olsen. It wouldn't hurt to grab another receiving threat to give Newton some support.

Round 2, Pick 64: Defensive End Demarcus Walker, FSU

Walker is a good fit here, as the Panthers are looking for a young versatile lineman after trading Kony Ealy. Walker is still somewhat raw as a pass rusher and his motor has come in to question, but he is extremely efficient and talented and has a lot of upside. He would also be in a great spot while learning behind the likes of Charles Johnson, Kawann Short and future hall of famer Julius Peppers.

Round 3, Pick 98: Corner Back Corn Elder, Miami (Fl.)

The Panthers could look to add Elder to build depth in the secondary. He is undersized for his position, but makes up for it with his competitiveness and physicality on the football field. He is scrappy and fights hard. He would be a spark off the bench and could perform well in the nickel back spot.

Round 4, Pick 115: Offensive Tackle Julie'n Davenport, Bucknell

Davenport is a raw, small school product with incredible size (6'7", 318 lbs) and could be a high risk-reward option for the Panthers here. They need depth, and he will not be asked to start right away by any means; but if he can develop properly, he could be a steal in the fourth round.

Round 5, Pick 152: Wide Receiver Ryan Switzer, UNC

Switzer is a bit undersized for his position at 5'8", 181 lbs, but he is speedy and able to create separation underneath from the slot. And the Panthers desperately need that along with his punt returning skills now that Ted Ginn, Jr is in New Orleans.

Round 6, Pick 192: Kicker Zane Gonzalez, Arizona State

Coach Ron Rivera hinted in is yearly exit interview that competition for starter Graham Gano may be brought in after he struggled in 2016. Zane Gonzalez may be the guy late in the draft.

Gonzalez was a very efficient kicker throughout his college career, nailing 23 out of 25 field goal attempts in 2016, including seven out of nine from over 50 yards. He would be a good value pick late.

Round 7, Pick 233: Center Cameron Tom, Southern Miss

Much like tight end, the Panthers need to start looking at the future of the center position. Drafting Tom here brings more depth on an offensive line that experienced a ton of injuries last year. He needs to work on his run blocking skills and learning how to read defenses, but he could learn a lot from All-Pro starter Ryan Kalil.

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