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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Targets Panthers Fans Should Watch On 10/10

  • The Draft Network
  • October 8, 2020
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The 2020 season is only four weeks old but it’s already been a rollercoaster for the Carolina Panthers. After starting the season 0-2 and losing superstar running back Christian McCaffrey to injury in Week 2, the Panthers have claimed consecutive victories to even their record at 2-2. With the NFC looking quite mediocre and seven teams qualifying for the postseason, this Panthers team has life. While the focus for Carolina should be on competing in 2020, this is still a team that is rebuilding and has work to do in fielding a complete roster. 

As with every team, regardless of where they are in its lifecycle, hitting on draft picks is critical to finding sustained success. With that in mind, here are five prospects Carolina should be paying attention to this weekend in college football. 


#22 Texas vs Oklahoma 12:00 p.m. ET

In a spread offense that features five-man protections, offensive tackle is a critical position for Joe Brady’s offense. Left tackle Russell Okung and right tackle Taylor Moton are both set to become free agents after this offseason. While Moton should be prioritized for an extension, Okung is aging and already battling injuries. Quite honestly, it’s about time Carolina finds its long-term solution at left tackle considering the team has yet to actually replace Jordan Gross, who retired in 2011. One candidate that should be on the Panthers’ radar is Samuel Cosmi, who is a long, athletic, and powerful blocker. He has easy movement skills that show up in pass protection but he also has terrific range. Saturday’s showdown against Oklahoma will be a terrific showcase for Cosmi to see how he performs in a rivalry game facing the Sooners’ pass-rush. 


#22 Texas vs Oklahoma 12:00 p.m. ET

Another area the Panthers can upgrade is its interior offensive line, which currently does not feature any appealing long-term options. Center Matt Paradis has mostly been a disappointment and his injury history is significant while Michael Schofield, Chris Reed, and John Miller are replacement-level players. Humphrey is a physical run-blocker that is a wall in pass protection. He is excellent at blocking on the move and would be an asset to Carolina with his range. Humphrey is experienced at making line calls and will be helpful with the Panthers’ protection schemes. Like Cosmi, rivalry games are always a great opportunity to evaluate prospects. 


#Alabama vs Ole Miss 6:00 p.m. ET

Luke Kuechly’s unexpected retirement created a massive hole on the second level of the Panthers defense and Shaq Thompson needs a running mate. Tahir Whitehead can help Carolina get by for 2019, but the Panthers need a new quarterback of the defense at MIKE linebacker. Moses has all the makings of a star second-level defender in the NFL. He is a physical presence that combines his ability to play into the line of scrimmage with outstanding range and ability to win in coverage. Lane Kiffin’s offense will surely test his range and ability to work laterally, making this a great opportunity to get eyes on Moses. 


#14 Tennessee vs #3 Georgia 3:30 p.m. ET

Donte Jackson has performed fairly well so far this season, but the cornerback spot opposite of him is a major question mark. In a pass-happy league and in a division that features three future Hall of Fame quarterbacks who all have at least one elite receiver, the Panthers must find upgrades in the cornerback room. We know that Matt Rhule loves prospects that have ideal physical traits with prototypical size and that’s exactly what Tyson Campbell offers. His 2020 campaign is off to a terrific start, showcasing outstanding coverage instincts and physicality to go with his ideal size, length, and fluidity. His reps against Volunteers wide receiver Josh Palmer, who is a solid prospect in his own right, should be terrific for evaluation purposes. 


#4 Florida at #21 Texas A&M 12:00 p.m. ET

While Ian Thomas has his fans, he hasn’t done anything consistently that indicates he is the answer for the Panthers at tight end, so looking to upgrade the position should absolutely be in play in the coming draft. The opportunity to add an X-factor to Brady’s offense like Kyle Pitts would give the Panthers a true difference-maker to complement the other weapons in place. In two games so far in 2020, Pitts has 12 receptions for 227 yards and six touchdowns against SEC competition. At 6-foot-6 and 240 pounds, Pitts is a superb athlete with exceptional ball skills. The Aggies have some impressive athletes on defense and know how critical Pitts has been to the Gators’ hot start offensively, making this a great opportunity to see if he can continue his unstoppable play on Saturday.

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