Saturday, April 17, 2021

Carolina Panthers 2021 NFL Mock Draft Roundup 9.0

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2021 NFL draft, we will update our Carolina Panthers Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Carolina Panthers from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Panthers:

EDSFootball - Hanson (4/15)

8. Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern

What will the Panthers do if one of the top five quarterback prospects (Trey Lance in this scenario) are still on the board when they are on the clock? At a minimum, the front office will at least consider double-dipping despite giving up three picks including a second-rounder in 2022 for Sam Darnold.

[Interesting note: Darnold is eight months younger than Joe Burrow.]

The Panthers used their franchise tag on right tackle Taylor Moton and Russell Okung, last year's starting left tackle, is currently a 32-year-old free agent. Slater's critics may point to his lack of ideal size or length, but if you watch Slater's tape against (former) Ohio State (and current WFT) edge rusher Chase Young, it's easy to project his ability to hold his own outside against NFL-caliber edge rushers. In addition, he has the versatility to play anywhere on the offensive line.

Fox Sports - Rang (4/15)

8. Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

Widely regarded as a blue-chip talent, Pitts should not be available this late in the draft. However, the exceptional talent at quarterback and the fact Miami and Detroit already boast two of the league's better young tight ends in Mike Gesicki and T.J. Hockenson, respectively, could cause Pitts to fall right into Carolina's lap.

CBS Sports - Jones (4/14)

8. Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU

The urge to reunite Chase with OC Joe Brady is too strong to ignore for Carolina in this mock. It's not a need for Carolina (that's OL, DL and CB) but Matt Rhule has promised they'll take the best player available. Panthers ultimately couldn't turn down the best wide receiver in the draft, especially after losing Curtis Samuel and having Robby Anderson in the final year of his deal.

Washington Post - Clayton (4/14)

8. Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern

Unless the Panthers re-sign Russell Okung, they need a left tackle. Slater does not have the long arms NFL teams covet in offensive tackles, but he's perhaps the best technician among blockers in this class.

The Athletic - Brugler (4/14)

8. Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern

Don't rule out Fields here -- there are several around the league who believe the Panthers are ready to throw multiple darts at the quarterback position. But if the Panthers are invested in giving Sam Darnold the chance to be "the guy," then upgrading the offensive line would be wise. Slater would immediately become the top left tackle on Carolina's roster.

Yahoo Sports! - Edholm (4/13)

8. Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

They went with an all-defense draft in 2020, but new GM Scott Fitterer shouldn't be too concerned with that in 2021, even though trading for QB Sam Darnold could lead to them wanting to give him some blocking help.

Corner also remains a glaring need, though, and Surtain fits the mold of the long, athletic cover man defensive coordinator Phil Snow seeks and the prototype that the Seattle Seahawks prioritized when Fitterer was a key member of their scouting department. Seattle almost exclusively drafted corners with arm lengths 32 inches or longer, and Surtain crosses that bar -- and he can play, too.

ESPN - Kiper (4/13)

8. DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

My appreciation for Sam Darnold's potential is well-documented at this point, so I don't see Carolina taking a quarterback here after trading for the former Jets starter. Go and get him some help instead, either along the offensive line or at receiver. Smith is a stellar route runner who just gets open. Put him alongside DJ Moore and Robby Anderson and this is a top-10 offense. Why couldn't Carolina compete for a wild-card spot in 2021? - Schrager (4/8)

8. Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

Now that the QB position has been addressed -- for the time being -- the Panthers can look to add the best player on their board. Sewell is a prime talent and would be a tremendous value at eighth overall.

Previous update: Carolina Panthers Mock Draft Roundup 8.0

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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