Panthers Draft: 5 players Carolina missed out on in 2020

Dean Jones
(Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images) K.J. Hill
(Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images) K.J. Hill /
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Jeff Okudah Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) Jeff Okudah /

Jeff Okudah – CB (Ohio State)

If gifted cornerback Jeff Okudah would have fallen into the Carolina Panthers’ lap, selecting him would have been a no-brainer. He has all the makings of a shutdown corner at the next level and even has Pro Bowl potential during his rookie year.

The Detroit Lions fielded plenty of calls from teams who were looking to go into the No. 3 spot and get their player of choice. However, they did not receive an offer worthy enough and eventually made the smart move to select Okudah.

This will instantly improve their secondary in a competitive-looking NFC North in 2020. Had the Carolina Panthers been able to acquire a franchise-changing prospect such as Okudah, it would have been a significant addition and one that could have sped up their expected rebuild.

Sadly, this was not the case. The Panthers did pick up a formidable defensive player in the form of Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown with the No. 7 pick, who also has an All-Pro ceiling and will provide the Panthers with a solid anchor for years to come.

This selection came at the expense of Isaiah Simmons, who Carolina’s decision-makers opted to pass on in favor of Brown. Both should go on to have long careers, so it was a slam dunk either way. The same can also be said of Okudah, who already has elite footwork and tracking ability to cope with even the most gifted of NFL receivers.