2016 NFL Draft: Round 1 Mock for All 32 Teams
By Peter Panacy
No. 31: Carolina Panthers
2015 Record: 15-1
The Pick: DE Kevin Dodd, Clemson
Despite boasting the NFL’s sixth-best defense in 2015, the Carolina Panthers are going to be facing a lot of questions heading into the offseason on this side of the ball.
Cornerback Josh Norman and defensive tackle Kawann Short, who led the team with 11 sacks, are set to hit the free-agent market this offseason.
And both will command hefty contracts.
Should the Panthers be unable to re-sign both players, adding additional pass-rushing muscle will be a necessity to maintain their current defensive status.
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A player like Clemson defensive end Kevin Dodd would be a nice addition to this unit. While raw, Dodd flashed plenty of potential last season with 12.5 sacks and 24 tackles for a loss.
He may not be an every-down player his rookie season, but there is a possibility he grows into something special after spending a year or two strictly as an edge-rusher in Carolina’s 4-3 defense.
Next: 5 Players the 49ers Must Target in 2016 NFL Draft
All statistics, records and accolades courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com and Sports-Reference.com unless otherwise indicated. Supplemental draft information courtesy of CBS Sports.