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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Kyle Dugger Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Kyle Dugger /

Kyle Dugger – S (Lenoir-Rhyne)

More than a few eyebrows were raised when the New England Patriots took Kyle Dugger with their second-round pick. Plenty of teams were hoping to get the safety later on in the draft. But Bill Belichick must have liked what he saw from the prospect and got him at the earliest possible opportunity.

It is not hard to see why Dugger gained so much buzz prior to the draft. He is supremely gifted athletically and plays with a chip on his shoulder after emerging from a small school program.

Dugger possesses good coverage skills and has no trouble dropping into the second level to mix it during the run game. The Carolina Panthers were looking for hybrid players such as this during their draft so the prospect must have been high on their shortlist.

This might end up being a blessing in disguise for the Panthers, who managed to secure the services of edge rusher Yetur Gross-Matos with their second-round pick. The former Penn State standout is a physical specimen that can operate either at defensive end or outside linebacker and is expected to be an immediate contributor on Carolina’s new 4-3 base defense.

Gross-Matos has enormous upside and the Panthers are going to have a real player on their hands if he lives up to his potential.