Carolina Panthers Draft: Grading all their Day 3 selections

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Troy Pride Jr.
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Troy Pride Jr. /

The Carolina Panthers ended Day 3 of the 2020 NFL Draft by selecting four more defensive players. Here are grades for each player and what they immediately bring to the team.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Carolina Panthers have made NFL history. They’re the first team to use all seven of their 2020 NFL Draft picks solely on defensive players. At the end of the day, can you truly blame them? Their defense has been abysmal over the last few years as this new draft class will undoubtedly come right in and get to work.

In the grand scheme of things, general manager Marty Hurney committed to addressing what everyone knew needed to get fixed when it came to the Panthers’ defense. They got younger and stronger on their defensive line and faster in their secondary. These moves are the recipe needed to start this Year 1 rebuild the right way with a major focus on these biggest areas of need.

So how did the Panthers do on Day 3 of this year’s draft? Let’s breakdown each selection and give an overall grade on the pick and how they fit on the Panthers. One can easily see that they’ve earned mostly high grades on the final day of this year’s draft.

Grades for each Day 3 pick of the Carolina Panthers

Round 4 (No. 113) - Cornerback Troy Pride Jr.

The Panthers knew if they wanted to be a competitive team this upcoming season in the NFC South, they needed to add more speed to their secondary. Well, cornerback Troy Pride Jr. out of Notre Dame is the true definition of speed.

Making a name for himself with the Fighting Irish, Pride hits hard, can keep up with any speedy receiving target he’s assigned to, and will be quite the force to reckon with in the Panthers’ secondary. He should see a plethora of starting time this upcoming season in a rotational role as he’s going to be a household name in his rookie season. You won’t believe how fast this kid is once he kicks it into high gear.

Grade: A+

Round 5 (No. 152) - Safety Kenny Robinson

This is a great pick here by the Panthers as safety Kenny Robinson out of West Virginia will be a player to watch in 2020. It’s no secret he made some dumb mistakes in college that saw him involved in academic fraud but he’s bounced back nicely. He thrived in the XFL as a disruptive defensive back that continued to prove he was putting football first before anything.

New head coach Matt Rhule knows when you have a player that’s as hungry as Robinson with everything to prove, it’s a great situation to be in. Robinson knows this is likely his golden opportunity to finally put the past behind him and go full force into what could be a very promising career in the NFL. Kudos to the Panthers for giving Robinson a shot as they’re getting a safety with a very high ceiling to be clutch when it matters most on game day.

Grade: A-

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Round 6 (No. 184) - Defensive Tackle Bravvion Roy

When it comes to winning football games, it’s all about the battle in the trenches. Consistent starters are one thing but depth is just as important throughout a long season of pro football. The Panthers need help bad when it comes to their run-stopping capabilities as defensive tackle Bravvion Roy out of Baylor is exactly what they needed.

Having played under Rhule in college, Roy has the potential to be used in a rotational role to give starters a breather and still not have anything miss a beat. Rhule continues to turn the Panthers into Baylor 2.0 which isn’t always a bad thing.

Grade: B+

Round 7 (No. 221) - Cornerback Stantley Thomas-Olive

It’s very hard to get a future high-quality starting player in the 7th Round of the NFL Draft but never say never. Such is the case with the Panthers final pick of this year’s draft in cornerback Stantley Thomas-Olive out of FIU. He’s a wide receiver that recently converted into a cornerback as his transition into the pros will likely be a tough one.

Thomas-Olive could turn into a decent special teams player but it all depends on how he performs in training camp. Considering that Rhule loves “positionless players” on his roster, this is where Thomas-Olive fits in if he makes the final cut. If anything, maybe he can be a gunner or kickoff/punt returner and provide value there. It’s hard to envision him being a consistent defensive back but if he changes his position and focuses on using his skill-set specifically on special teams, he’ll likely land a spot on the Panthers final roster.

Grade: D+