The Carolina Panthers still need some depth heading into the 2020 NFL Draft, but what options do they have to acquire more picks?
When the Panthers signed Gerald McCoy in spring 2019 it seemed like the team had the most powerful defensive line in the NFL. Combined with Dontari Poe, Kawann Short, the most athletic linebacker in football, and a solid backfield the franchise looked unstoppable on paper.
A series of injuries happened and everything fell apart just as quickly as it came together. The 3-4 defense didn’t play into the strengths of the linemen and the defense got torn up on a consistent basis.
Only one piece remains of the line that never was. The backfield is down two starters, and perennial All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly announced his shock retirement. The Panthers filled in some gaps during free agency so they aren’t starting from scratch. But it might feel like it when competitive action gets back underway.
If everyone had been able to stay healthy and play like they were in their prime, things would be a lot different. Now the Panthers are in the middle of creating the team they want without dishing out expensive contracts.
There’s a lot of work yet to be done for the defense, but the NFL Draft should complete a good portion of what’s left. The team might walk away after making their selections with everything they need.
Almost all of the draft boards have the Panthers snagging one of the top defensive stars at No.7 overall. Any projected college recruits would be an instant starter for the Panthers, but a fair trade scenario could provide multiple players that could contribute right away.
So what options do the Panthers have on draft night later this month?