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 /
3 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Nick Bolton /

72. LB. MISSOURI. NICKBOLTON. 87. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. player

No. 72: Nick Bolton – LB (Missouri)

The Carolina Panthers are going to need a long-term solution to their middle linebacker spot sooner rather than later. Tahir Whitehead doesn’t appear to be up to the required standard if his first four games with the organization are any indication. So it would be a surprise if this area wasn’t addressed either in free agency or the NFL Draft.

Nick Bolton is a physical hitter who has the right sort of speed to become a sideline-to-sideline force at the next level. He builds up speed quickly to the point of attack and has the necessary intelligence to make his presence felt in blitz packages.

Bolton does come with some concerns in pass coverage, especially against more formidable adversaries in a professional environment. He is also a little rigid in his movements, but these are things that can be coached up and there is plenty to like about his potential.

Pick Analysis. CB. player. Scouting Report. MEMPHIS. T.J.CARTER. 103. 87

No. 103: T.J. Carter – CB (Memphis)

Donte Jackson and Rasul Douglas have played extremely well for the Panthers in 2020 so far. This has enabled a cornerback group that looked suspect perform well above expectations through the first quarter of the campaign.

They could still use another young prospect to develop even if Carolina decides to keep Douglas around. Eli Apple isn’t likely to be kept around missing most of the season so far through injury.

T.J. Carter is a rangy cornerback who would give the Panthers something a little bit different. He possesses a rare blend of size and strength, but his recovery traits need to get better in the cutthroat world of the NFL.