Night two of the 2014 NFL Draft came and went, some players who were slated to go on the first night slipped into night number two, giving certain teams a lot of value when their picks came around as others filled needs instead of just picking the most talented on the board. (sbnation) As a fan of the Carolina Panthers I’ve been watching their selections more than any other team, they came into this draft with certain positions where talent was needed desperately based on certain departures in the last couple seasons, which they’ve done a good job of addressing in the first three rounds of the draft. (cbssports) With the first pick of their draft Carolina selected Kelvin Benjamin, a heavy need to fill the spot of the departed Steve Smith was addressed with this move, while Benjamin is certainly not going to be the same impact player as Smith on day one, he’ll be able to pay off in the long run as Carolina looks to rebuild a powerful offense. (tomahawknation) With the receiver spot filled the Panthers were lacking players at the Offensive Line and Cornerback/Safety positions, it seemed like things were falling place for Carolina and fans were looking at the boards wondering what position would be next up in the need category and my attention went directly to Stanley Jean-Baptiste at Cornerback. Unfortunately the division rival Saints snapped him up, as they did with Brandin Cooks in round one, before Carolina could step up to the podium. (nfl)
With the tall, rangy cornerback that has become very popular in the NFL these days with the likes of Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner, I immediately figured someone along the offensive line would be next. (bleacherreport) When Mark Carrier stepped up to announce the second round selection for the Panthers I expected either another Wide Receiver or a Tackle/Guard, what I got was a shock as Carolina took one of the men left in the Green Room of Radio City Music Hall, a talented Defensive End who was originally projected as a first round selection in Kony Ealy. (espn) While his position wasn’t a direct need on the surface, looking deeper at the situation makes it a very wise move. Carolina currently has two very talented Defensive Ends in Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy but Johnson is massively overpaid and Hardy is playing a one year Franchise tender contract. (carolinahuddle) Adding to the situation at Defensive End is the fact that backup Frank Alexander is suspended for the first four games of next season, meaning that Carolina is now a man down on their rotation. (profootballtalk) With all of these problems facing the Panthers, having a talent the likes of Kony Ealy staring you in the face at the 28th pick of the second round who was a first round projection, you absolutely have to take the potential superstar. (nfl) The big question now, at least to me, is if Carolina will be the team to make history by pairing Ealy with his former college teammate along the Defensive Line by picking Michael Sam on day three.