5 biggest Panthers’ 2021 NFL Draft needs at the midseason point

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Kawann Short
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Kawann Short /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson /


Possible Options: 

  • Patrick Surtain II (Alabama)
  • Caleb Farley (Virginia Tech)
  • Shaun Wade (Ohio State)
  • Eric Stokes (Georgia)
  • Jaycee Horn (South Carolina)
  • Asante Samuel Jr. (Florida State)

Some of the play at cornerback has been a pleasant surprise for the Carolina Panthers this season. This was an area that lost the service of No. 1 option James Bradberry in free agency, but the likes of Donte Jackson and Rasul Douglas have done well in his absence.

Jackson has been dealing with a toe injury for the majority of the campaign. But the former LSU standout has looked the part when healthy. Keeping him fit and raring to go will be pivotal to the team’s chances in the immediate and long-term and it remains to be seen whether this is a realistic possibility.

The acquisition of Douglas has been a welcome boost. He didn’t make the Philadelphia Eagles’ 53-man roster and quickly emerged into a tremendous cover corner in Carolina who has come up with some big plays to further enhance his overall influence.

Eli Apple simply didn’t work out and the Panthers didn’t think twice about cutting the veteran when he wasn’t pulling his weight. Corn Elder has shown capability in the slot and fourth-rounder Troy Pride Jr. has suffered his fair share of growing pains, which was expected.

With Douglas and Elder both out of contract next spring and Jackson having just one year remaining on his deal, it might be worth the Panthers bringing in another quality young prospect via the 2021 NFL Draft to give the unit a further shot in the arm.