2021 NFL Draft: Franchise QB falls to Panthers at No. 8 in latest mock

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Kyle Pitts
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Kyle Pitts /
1 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Xavier Thomas /

The Carolina Panthers could still end up with the franchise quarterback of the future in the 2021 NFL Draft despite missing out on Trevor Lawrence.

It’s been an outstanding couple of weeks in a competitive setting for the Carolina Panthers. They finally got themselves back to a .500 record with their most dominant performance in some time to beat the Arizona Cardinals, which was another substantial feather in their camp.

There is much work still to be done, of that there is little doubt. But not many expected the Carolina Panthers to be in this position at their current rebuilding stage. This is a testament to how much this new-look group has come together in such a short space of time in the face of some difficulties during the preparation period due to COVID-19 health concerns.

This is a strong platform from which to build a successful future, but it has almost ended the Panthers’ chances of taking Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence at No. 1 overall.

Some sections of Carolina’s loyal fanbase were eager for the team to throw in the towel for the greater good during the 2020 season and with good reason. Lawrence looks to be the brightest young prospect to emerge from the college system for some time and has franchise-altering potential.

The Draft Network‘s mock simulator has moved the Panthers up to No. 8 on their board after getting back to 2-2 through the first few weeks of the season. Let’s take a look at who they might end up with, in our latest mock draft.