Panthers Draft: 4 early first-round candidates in 2021

Dean Jones
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) Penei Sewell
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) Penei Sewell /
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Patrick Surtain II, Panthers Draft
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Patrick Surtain II /

Panthers Draft: Patrick Surtain II – CB (Alabama)

Another intriguing early option for the Carolina Panthers is sure to be Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II. He comes from a football family and showed flashes of brilliance in an otherwise disappointing season for the Crimson Tide last term.

Surtain is the son of former Miami Dolphins star cornerback Patrick Surtain Sr., so he is already well up to speed on what it takes to be a successful player at the next level. He was targeted often due to his inexperience in 2019. A move that the majority of opposing teams regretted.

In just his second season as a starter, Surtain secured two interceptions, eight pass deflections, three forced fumbles, and 32 solo tackles. If the prospect continues this upwards curve he will be a top-end pick in 2021 with shutdown cornerback potential.

The Panthers might need help in this particular area if Donte Jackson does not take his expected leap forward. The franchise also has high hopes for its fourth-round selection Troy Pride Jr.

If neither pans out in 2020, taking a cornerback early will be a top priority. Surtain will be high on their early shortlist and will be a player to keep an eye on when competitive action gets back underway.