2021 NFL mock draft sees Carolina Panthers select QB Justin Fields

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Justin Fields, Carolina Panthers

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Justin Fields

The Carolina Panthers are projected to struggle in 2020 by an NFL Draft analyst, which puts them in a prime spot to land a top quarterback.

Not much is expected of the Carolina Panthers heading into next season. But an early 2021 NFL Mock Draft has them with the second-worst record in the league.

Charlie Campbell, a senior draft analyst at Walter Football, has the Panthers at No. 2 in the 2021 draft, which would enable them to take one of the top quarterback prospects available.

This way-too-early mock has Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields going to Carolina second overall, shortly behind Trevor Lawrence to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

If the Panthers do end up in this sort of position next spring, it is clear things did not work out as expected with Teddy Bridgewater. The free-agent signing will get another chance to become a prolonged NFL starter after recovering from a serious leg injury that threatened his career.

Bridgewater performed well with the New Orleans Saints last season, going unbeaten in Drew Brees’ absence. This resulted in the Panthers giving him a three-year, $63 million deal that included a $15 million signing bonus and $33 million guaranteed.

There is an out for Carolina regarding Bridgewater’s contract after the 2022 season, which would cost just $5 million in dead cap money if he is released. This represents a saving of $21 million.

Fields has been a revelation for the Buckeyes and another strong college season would see him as a lock to go within the first few picks next year.

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