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NFL Carolina Panthers

2014 Carolina Panthers Mock Draft: Post Free-Agency Edition

2014 Carolina Panthers Mock Draft: Post Free-Agency Edition

Ron Rivera
Daniel Shirey - USATODAY Sports

After an outstanding 2013 season, the Carolina Panthers have undergone some significant changes during the free agency period, which has had an effect on the team's needs and priorities heading into the 2014 NFL Draft. Here's a mock draft of which players the Panthers should select in each round of this year's draft.

1st Round, 28th Overall - Cyrus Kouandjio, Offensive Tackle, Alabama

Cyrus Kouandjio
Derick E. Hingle - USATODAY Sports

1st Round, 28th Overall - Cyrus Kouandjio, Offensive Tackle, Alabama

Cyrus Kouandjio
Derick E. Hingle - USATODAY Sports

Kouandjio's stock has fallen some since the combine, but he's an incredibly talented offensive lineman. With Jordan Gross retiring, drafting Kouandjio would be the best way for the Panthers to replace him.

2nd Round, 60th Overall - Jordan Matthews, Wide Receiver, Vanderbilt

Jordan Matthews
Getty Images

2nd Round, 60th Overall - Jordan Matthews, Wide Receiver, Vanderbilt

Jordan Matthews
Getty Images

With Steve Smith being cut and Ted Ginn signing elsewhere, Carolina is quite thin at wide receiver and needs to spend a high draft pick at that position. Matthews doesn't have the high ceiling that some of the other receivers in this class do, but he may be the best prepared to contribute as a rookie after being one of the best receivers in the SEC the last two seasons.

3rd Round, 92nd Overall - Jean-Baptiste, Cornerback, Nebraska

Stanley Jean-Baptiste
Bruce Thorson - USATODAY Sports

3rd Round, 92nd Overall - Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Cornerback, Nebraska

Stanley Jean-Baptiste
Bruce Thorson - USATODAY Sports

With Captain Munnerlyn leaving in free agency, cornerback has become one of Carolina's biggest needs in the draft. Jean-Baptiste is a big corner that can handle some of the NFL's bigger wide receivers, and he'd be a great pick up for the Panthers in the third round.

4th Round, 124th Overall - Cameron Fleming, Offensive Tackle, Stanford

Cameron Fleming
Jason O. Thomas - USATODAY Sports

4th Round, 124th Overall - Cameron Fleming, Offensive Tackle, Stanford

Cameron Fleming
Jason O. Thomas - USATODAY Sports

Carolina has lost a few offensive linemen to retirement this offseason, so they need to add bodies and get younger at the position. Fleming played tackle at Stanford, but his future is likely at guard, where he could be an above-average starter in the NFL. The Panthers are going to need to add someone like him in the middle of the draft.

5th Round, 156th Overall - Jalen Saunders, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma

Jalen Saunders
Chuck Cook - USATODAY Sports

5th Round, 156th Overall - Jalen Saunders, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma

Jalen Saunders
Chuck Cook - USATODAY Sports

The Panthers would like to get two wide receivers out of this draft, and with Saunders they'll replace some of the speed they're losing with Ted Ginn signing elsewhere. Saunders doesn't have ideal size, but he has the kind of quick burst that makes him dangerous in space and a player that can help Carolina's offense in 2014.

6th Round, 188th Overall - Connor Shaw, Quarterback, South Carolina

Connor Shaw
Getty Images

6th Round, 188th Overall - Connor Shaw, Quarterback, South Carolina

Connor Shaw
Getty Images

Cam Newton looks durable, but the Panthers could use an upgrade at the backup quarterback position. Shaw is a great leader and a mobile quarterback, who would be a useful backup for Carolina if called upon.