Like most people (outside of die hard Carolina fans) we were a tad surprised at the tremendous showing they put on in 2013, however success does come at a cost and in 2014 they will pick 28th in the 1st round of the draft. The problem they face is that they have glaring needs on Offense going into the new season and this begs the question – should they trade up to plug one of their needs or wait and hope that a suitable candidate slides?
In our opinion their biggest need is a stud OT to protect their most important player Cam Newton, however with a number of teams also in the market for one, they may need to jump up to secure one of the better ones. The top two Greg Robinson & Jake Matthews will probably require a move into the top 10 at least to be sure, however ex Michigan prospect Taylor Lewen should be around by the time the Rams pick at 13 (despite really impressing at the Combine) and here in lies the trade opportunity. The 13th Pick will not prove prohibitively expensive, especially given the Rams already have the No 2 pick thanks to some judicious trading in the past, and filling the vital left tackle position with a player of such potential must be viewed as worth the cost.
Taylor Lewen Dazzles at the Combinbe
The other alternative is waiting to see if Cyrus Kouandjio slides to 28 (by no means certain), however given he has had some injury worries, it is a BIG risk going into the new season with a potentially injury prone rookie protecting Cam Newton’s Blind Side.
Other options which are more risky include trading out of day one and hopefully picking up the likes of Morgan Moses who might slide into the early part of round two or seeing if they can grab Cameron Fleming later in the second round. A move such as this may allow them to pick up a sliding WR such as USC’s Marqise Lee or a quality TE such as Jace Amaro or Troy Niklas who should be around deep into the second round.
So with a little bit of trade juggling Carolina could easily address their main need, or look to fill all of their offensive needs either with an aggressive move up or by drifting down and taking slightly more of a chance on some second round prospects.