Which Prospects Worked Their Way Into Discussion for Carolina Panthers' First Round Pick

The NFL Combine is one of the key stops leading up to the NFL Draft that prospects can drastically change their draft stock. There were three players this past weekend who made the most of this opportunity and should be strong candidates for when the Carolina Panthers are on the clock in the first round.

William Jackson III, CB (Houston)

The cornerback position is one of need for the Carolina Panthers and if William Jackson were to be on the board when the Panthers are on the clock, they may run to the podium. He not only will solidify the secondary but could turn the group into a strength for this defense.

Jackson has good size for the position at 6'0" and 189 pounds but he impressed scouts with his speed, running a 4.37 40-yard dash. As Charles Davis said in the video above, he has looked to really improve last season at the University of Houston.

He is an intriguing player who could step into the starting lineup almost immediately and contribute.

Jonathan Bullard, DL (Florida)

Another player who worked his way into the first round discussion is defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard, who would love an opportunity to play for the Panthers. He played his high school football in Shelby, NC before heading to play for the University of Florida. There is a chance he could be on the board when the Panthers are on the clock and The Charlotte Observer's Jonathan Jones wrote that "he smiled at the prospect of playing near his hometown."

The addition of Bullard might not make sense to some because he would play inside in the Panthers' 4-3 defense and the team currently has two solid starters in Kawann Short and Star Lotulelei. However, there isn't much depth behind them and both players have some questions in terms of their contracts after this season. 

If the Panthers added Bullard, he could step in as a situational pass rusher almost immediately and be a long-term answer at the position down the road.

Jason Spriggs, OT (Indiana)

Even before the NFL Combine, Jason Spriggs was a popular decision for the Panthers in mock drafts, four to be exact according to the Mock Draft Muncher. Well he has firmly entrenched himself in the discussion for first round prospects after an impressive NFL Combine.

He finished fourth among offensive lineman in Bench Press with 31, second in 20-yard shuttle (4.44 seconds) and first in 40-yard dash (4.94 seconds) and broad jump (9'7"). There is no question that he is one of the most athletic offensive lineman in this Draft and could be the future at left tackle for the Panthers.

Twitter @BrandonCroce.

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