July 24, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Utah Utes defensive tackle Star Lotulelei talks to reporters during PAC-12 Media Day at Universal Studios Hollywood. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

2013 NFL Draft: Carolina Panthers Draft Grade

1st Round 14th Overall — Star Lotulelei DT, Utah — A

Lotulelei should have been a top 5 pick based on talent. He did have the heart scare, but he has since been cleared of that. The Panthers really needed help at DT and they got a fantastic player.

2nd Round 44th Overall — Kawann Short DT, Purdue — A

As I said, the Panthers really needed help at DT. While Lotulelei isn’t a great inside pass rusher, Short has shown that pass rush, but needs to get more consistent. Lotulelei and Short should give the Panthers a feared DT tandem for years.

4th Round 108th Overall — Edmund Kugbila OG, Valdosta St. — C

The Panthers did need some help inside at OG, but I found this as a reach, especially with all the CB talent still on the board. Kugbila has some talent and good movement skills, but probably could have been had a round or 2 later.

5th Round 148th Overall — A.J. Klein LB, Iowa — B

Klein is a solid all around linebacker, who can do everything pretty well. He won’t be a starter in Carolina, but will be good depth which they need and play a lot on special teams.

6th Round 182nd Overall — Kenjan Barner RB, Oregon — A-

I really like Barner and had him as a late 4th/early 5th round player. He has big play written all over him. The Panthers are paying Williams and Stewart a lot of money and one will likely have to go.

Overall — B

The top of their draft was phenomenal. I loved the Lotulelei and Short picks as it shored up the interior of their line which will trickle down and help their ends and linebackers. Klein and Barner were solid picks at the end of their draft as well. It would have gotten a higher grade but they did not help their secondary at all. They really needed to come out of this draft with a corner who could come in and give them some snaps.

 

Tags: 2013 Nfl Draft Carolina Panthers Carolina Panthers Draft Grade Draft Grades NFC NFC South NFL NFL Draft

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