Carolina Panthers: Alternative 7-round 2020 NFL Draft
Carolina Panthers Round 2 (No. 38): Ross Blacklock – DT (Texas Tech)
The Carolina Panthers needed to bolster their defensive line early in the 2020 NFL Draft. The prospect of adding Yetur Gross-Matos was an opportunity they couldn’t pass up at No. 38. And they may have found a real steal with the edge rusher if he reaches his ceiling.
However, if the Panthers would have taken a cornerback with their first-rounder, then the defensive line interior was priority number two. With the franchise reverting back to a 4-3 defensive base in 2020, it was imperative they found a young, energetic player to put alongside the returning Kawann Short.
Ross Blacklock was one of the real winners during the evaluation process. But he was another that somehow slipped out of the first round. He represented good value at the top end of the second thanks to his ability to impact the game in both running and passing downs.
The defensive tackle went to the Houston Texans at No. 40, which is a good landing spot for Blacklock. He will be learning his trade alongside J.J Watt and Bradon Dunn. So there won’t be a great deal of pressure on him to contribute right away.
That wouldn’t have been the case had Blacklock ended up on the Panthers. The organization is expecting big things from their rookies from the outset. And this can come with its own complications.