Originally posted on DraftAce  |  Last updated 3/16/12

The Carolina Panthers have been busy preparing for the NFL Draft, already hosting at least three players for pre-draft visits.

The Panthers have reportedly met with defensive tackle Michael Brockers and defensive ends Chandler Jones and Quinton Coples. Both Coples and Brockers are likely 1st rounders, who the Panthers may consider at No. 9.

Are the Panthers targeting Brockers?

Based on the Panthers’ perceived weakness at defensive tackle, Brockers has frequently been popping up in connection with the team in mock drafts. However, the Panthers invested two 3rd-round picks in Sione Fua and Terrell McClain a season ago. Brockers is a penetrating three-technique, who would likely bump McClain from the starting lineup if he were to join the Panthers.

Defensive end was expected by many to be further down the Panthers list of needs, but their apparent interest in Coples and Jones may indicate otherwise.

Coples, a possible top-10 pick, is a true three-down lineman (when he wants to be) and would be a nice compliment to Charles Johnson. Jones, on the other hand, is more of a pure pass rusher and likely would be used as a part of rotation with Johnson and Greg Hardy.

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