2021 NFL Draft: Dream target falls to the Panthers in 7-round mock

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) Caden Sterns
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) Caden Sterns /
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Carolina Panthers
(Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports) Derrick Brown /

Could a dream target fall to the Carolina Panthers in the 2021 NFL Draft?

It’s never too early to start thinking about the NFL Draft. Teams across the league are already scouting potential recruits that can help their organizations going forward and the Carolina Panthers will be no exception to this.

The decision-makers went bold in the 2020 draft by using every pick on defense, which was an NFL first. This is something the Carolina Panthers have benefitted from to a certain extent with the likes of Jeremy Chinn, Derrick Brown, and Yetur Gross-Matos. But it’s unlikely they’ll go down this route next time around.

Head coach Matt Rhule knows the college system like the back of his hand. The former Baylor man gained a tremendous reputation for building up competitive programs and this knowledge brought some dynamic prospects to Carolina and some real gems in the undrafted free-agent market.

This might not contribute to a winning record this season. But it is a solid foundation from which to build a successful future.

More will obviously be needed to get the Panthers in a position to contend in the postseason. Those needs are becoming more glaring with every passing game and given their 3-5 record and the strength of opponents between now and the end of the campaign, they might have another high selection to further enhance what began as a pretty substantial rebuild.

For now, The Draft Network’s mock simulator has Carolina picking at No. 12. Which way could they potentially go? Here’s what we think in our latest seven-round mock draft.