Panthers 2021 Draft: Defense forms early focus in Week 11 mock draft

(Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports) Dylan Moses
(Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports) Dylan Moses /
4 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Ifeatu Melifonwu /

No. 186: Ifeatu Melifonwu – S (Syracuse)

The Carolina Panthers could use more help on the backend. Juston Burris has been hit and miss since arriving in free agency and Tre Boston just hasn’t replicated the sort of form in 2019 that resulted in the organization giving him a three-year, $18 million extension.

Ifeatu Melifonwu has the sort of physical traits that the Panthers sought heavily during the first offseason of their substantial rebuild. There are kinks that need to be worked out – most notably his recovery skills – but it’s hard to deny there isn’t plenty to work with regarding a player who has 30 solo tackles, five passes defended, and an interception to his name this season.

No. 216: Trey Hill – OG (Georgia)

This is an absolute steal for the Panthers. Trey Hill is a commanding interior protector who might even become a plug and play starter at the next level with a smooth adjustment.

Carolina has some problems in this area of the field. Chris Reed has been a disappointment on the left-hand side and although right guard John Miller has performed well, on the whole, it remains to be seen whether he’ll be given a longer-term commitment by the franchise this offseason.

No. 230: T.J. Vasher – WR (Texas Tech)

Even if Curtis Samuel ends up signing an extension with the Panthers, they’ll still need some more young talent to fill the rotational roles. The team does have high hopes for undrafted free-agent Omar Bayless who has been out through injury all season, but someone like T.J. Vasher would be a nice flyer pick at this juncture.

Vasher’s route-running has improved dramatically this season. If he can work on getting off press coverage efficiently and enhance his ability to catch under pressure, there is every chance he can make a real go of things at the next level.