Panthers 2021 Draft: 7-round mock draft ahead of Week 12

(Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports) Baron Browning
(Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports) Baron Browning /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Marty Hurney and David Tepper /

Which way will the Carolina Panthers go in the 2021 NFL Draft?

Despite an impressive win over the Detroit Lions in Week 11, the Carolina Panthers still find themselves with a top-ten pick in the 2021 NFL Draft with five games remaining. It’s evident that the organization is going through a period of transition, which was to be expected with so many changes during the offseason. But Matt Rhule does have a solid foundation from which to build a contender providing some quality players are acquired ahead of the next campaign.

The Carolina Panthers appear to have drafted well overall from their recent batch of college recruits. Jeremy Chinn, Derrick Brown, and Yetur Gross-Matos all look the part and have contributed for large periods of the season. Lower picks such as Bravvion Roy and Stantley Thomas-Oliver could also have big futures with the organization if their early exploits on the field are any indication.

It’s been a solid start to a substantial rebuild. But what comes next will be more important. Carolina has to get their big decisions right in terms of recruitment, find the right players entering via the draft, and also tie down some important members of the current roster during a critical period for the franchise next spring.

There is a lot of work still to be done. Of that, there is little doubt. We used The Draft Network‘s mock machine for a Week 12 projection on which way the Panthers might go with their selections.

Pick No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Kyle Pitts /

No. 10: Kyle Pitts – TE (Florida)

The Panthers need a pass-catching tight end to take them to the next level. Ian Thomas has been ineffective in his bid to become Greg Olsen’s long-term replacement and not having a reliable presence across the middle is something that’s hurt Carolina in crucial moments.

Kyle Pitts would change that in an instant. He is a matchup nightmare that can line up almost anywhere and with other prominent players of interest off the board, the Florida sensation is an easy pick here.

Providing the Panthers keep hold of Curtis Samuel and Taylor Moton, putting Pitts on this offense could make them elite.