Barron? Williamson? Davis?

Panthers fans around the net have been injecting their opinions on whom the Panthers should select in the upcoming NFL draft for a couple months now. Offensive Tackle Alex Barron out of Florida State, Wide Receiver Troy Williamson from South Carolina and Thomas Davis formerly of Georgia are a few of the players topping the list.

Alex Barron would fill a need at Right Tackle, and along with 2003 First Round Pick Jordan Gross he would give the Panthers a solid pair of tackles for the next 5-6 years. Barron is a Mammoth Tackle who stands 6' 7 ½" tall and weighs in at 320 lbs. He's clearly the top tackle in the draft. There were some reports that Barron's interviews at the combine were sub-par, but Florida State's Pro Day is March 15th (this coming Tuesday), and his stock should increase after a good showing. Barron scored a 19 on the Wonderlic test. It's possible the Panthers could take him at 14 if he's available, but it is probable that he would be gone by then.

Troy Williamson is in intriguing prospect as well. Standing nearly 6' 1 ½" tall and weighing 203 lbs, plus the fact that he runs a 4.32 40-yard dash makes Williamson a coveted weapon by many teams. Troy is a willing blocker who works hard, has good hands, and is an explosive playmaker. He would be a great weapon for the Panthers and would give them a trio of young, solid receivers. Williamson scored a 21 on the Wonderlic test, which is about average for most Americans. Williams figures to be available when the Panthers pick at 14, but could go earlier after Mike Williams' excellent showing at his Pro Day yesterday.

Perhaps one of the more intriguing players available for the Panthers to draft is University of Georgia Safety Thomas Davis. A physical specimen who stands 6' 1" and weighs in at 230 lbs, Davis is a hard hitter who excels at stopping the run. Some teams feel he's better suited to play linebacker in the NFL. Davis scored a 19 on the Wonderlic.

On paper, Davis would seem to be just what the Panthers need – a solid, hitting safety. However, Sporting News writer Dan Pompei printed something interesting in the March 18th issue of Sporting News magazine. In his NFL Insider Column, Pompei spoke about Thomas Davis' play recognition skills. Pompei stated that Davis was "a sucker for play-action and gets caught peeking into the backfield. He is as lost in a zone as a hillbilly in Manhattan." He went on to quote an unnamed long-time NFL Executive as saying "He's made more mental mistakes and instinctive mistakes than anyone I've ever scouted". Would Davis be a good fit for the Panthers secondary? Probably not.

The Market is sure to change as teams continue to scout players at their Pro Days, change their rosters by signing free agents and cutting players and by making trades before the draft. As that changes and evolves, we will continue to bring you coverage and analysis of the players the Panthers are keeping an eye on.

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