Nelson makes more sense to help protect Andrew Luck immediately. They are actively looking to trade back, and a team hoping to land Smith or Minkah Fitzpatrick might look here to get him.
Most expect this pick to be either Denzel Ward or James. The latter makes more sense for their current personnel, and he could be a plug-and-play impact safety.
The Bears are likely to take whichever Notre Dame offensive lineman is left on the board, with Nelson being the preferred choice. Tremaine Edmunds also is in play for this pick.
Another scenario that wouldn’t be a shock is if Carolina decides to trade back to grab a few more picks. With so many quarterbacks likely to come off the board early, it could motivate a team to move back into the late first round to make sure it gets QB it covets. This route would give the Panthers a few more picks to work with and likely allow them to still add a quality player.
“In this draft, at 24, we’ll probably get calls either way and what we do will depend on how the draft has gone at that point,” said Hurney. “All options are open.”
At least Emtman has a 90-yard interception return for a touchdown on his NFL resume, because that play, during his rookie season, was the highlight of his career. Injuries destroyed the remainder of Emtman’s tenure with the Colts, for whom he managed just five sacks in three seasons before he was released.
Klingler’s record-shattering college career made him a logical choice for the lowly Bengals early in the ’92 draft. But, after a few seasons and 24 rough starts, a shoulder injury all but ended his NFL career. Klingler won just four of the 24 starts he made in Cincinnati, which parted with him after the 1995 season.
With how the roster stands, a safety in one of the first three rounds seems like a must. Luckily for Carolina, there’s a solid stable of players in the top portion of this class that could fill that spot. Stanford’s Justin Reid should be on the short list for pick No. 24.
Reid’s versatility to work all over the field would be huge. His speed, intelligence and ball skills would give them a safety who can work deep in coverage and rack up takeaways. But his size (6-1, 200 pounds) and quickness also make him capable of playing all over the defense and stopping the run.