The Carolina Panthers will be on the clock seventh overall during the 2020 NFL Draft.
Following the conclusion of a dismal NFL season is the silver lining of receiving a high draft pick. While some teams have used these credits to turn their franchise around, others have seemingly been involved in an endless cycle, never quite able to propel themselves up the standings. For the Carolina Panthers, finishing with eight consecutive losses means a top-10 pick was inevitable.
Last year, on the heels of another second-half collapse, Carolina was allotted pick No. 16 but with other teams finishing in different spots this year, the Panthers moved up considerably. At 5-11 overall, Carolina tied with both the Los Angeles Chargers and Miami Dolphins meaning a formula based on strength of schedule is used to determine draft positioning.
The Panthers were awarded pick No. 7 in the first-round next spring with both the Chargers and Dolphins picking ahead of them. While the team has previously had multiple top-10 selections, never have the Panthers chosen a player from the seventh position.
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General manager Marty Hurney is expected to maintain his position with the franchise but a new coach could change the focus of where on the roster this will be used. Carolina has a number of questions to answer regarding their future with players such as Cam Newton, Greg Olsen, James Bradberry and a number of veterans who signed one-year deals last offseason.
Given the team needs at offensive line and other areas, there are a number of ways Hurney could use this pick. Three times, the Panthers have owned pick No. 8 which resulted in Tim Biakabutuka (1996), Jordan Gross (2003) and most recently, Christian McCaffrey (2017). If Carolina gets a simlar type player, regardless of position, then it will be considered a win.
The NFL Draft is scheduled for April 23-25 in Las Vegas next spring.