While some believe Oregon's Penei Sewell has the higher potential upside, Slater is a low-risk, high-yield lineman who has five-position flexibility up front, a great deal of play strength and pro polish to his game.
Coach Matt Rhule is seeking a quarterback with the capacity to thrive as a closer in the fourth quarter. Lance brings a winning pedigree and a dynamic game to Charlotte as a dual-threat QB with Pro Bowl potential.
A low-key winner of the Stafford trade was the Panthers. The trade greatly increases the chance one of the coveted top four quarterbacks drops to No. 8. The Panthers would love to see that considering the average, at best, play of Teddy Bridgewater in his first season in Carolina.
Lance is one of the draft's biggest wild cards, with just 17 career starts under his belt at the FCS level. But it's hard to imagine a more perfect landing spot for the talented and dynamic signal-caller. He would bring massive upside to a scheme drawn up by offensive coordinator Joe Brady, and could thrive on a roster that features a talent-packed skill-position group. Lance has the skill set to thrive in Carolina, whether throwing downfield to D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson or handing the ball off to Christian McCaffrey.
His game reminds you of Cam Newton in his prime ... and at 6-3 and 224 pounds, Lance isn't all that much smaller than the former Panthers MVP. The pandemic limited the Bison to one game in 2020, but Lance was sublime in 2019 with 28 TD passes and zero INTs to go along with 1,100 yards and 14 TDs on the ground. He could probably use extra time to acclimate to the NFL, and apprenticing behind Teddy Bridgewater might be an ideal situation.
If you're surprised that I'm thinking quarterback here, don't be. Teddy Bridgewater could be the starter again for the Panthers in 2021, but his contract shows they're not committed to him long term. Coach Matt Rhule could go after an intriguing signal-caller in Lance, who played only one game last season. With only 17 career starts -- none against an FBS opponent -- he is going to be a wild card in this draft. His 2019 season was just so, so impressive, though, and I think a team could fall in love with him in this range. If Carolina decides against drafting a quarterback in Round 1, Florida tight end Kyle Pitts would be another option.
Teddy Bridgewater was solid, if unspectacular during his first full season as a starter since 2015, but he didn't elevate a talent-rich offense. He's under contract for two more years, which would give Lance -- who only has 17 starts under his belt at the FCS level -- time to learn offensive coordinator Joe Brady's system.