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
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Trey Smith /

No. 42: Trey Smith – OG (Tennessee)

Things have been better than expected regarding the Carolina Panthers’ protection this season. However, they do need to strengthen their guard positions and Trey Smith represents a plug and play starter at the next level who would be an instant upgrade on their current options.

Smith is a physical protector who possesses incredible power at the point of attack. This is easily transferrable to the NFL and the way he finishes off plays is another element of his game that really stands out.

There are some holes that need to be filled on defense with this pick. But selecting Smith gives them a dependable blocking presence for the next decade.

No. 74: Jaylen Twyman – DT (Pittsburgh)

Anyone that’s read our weekly mock drafts knows how high we are on Jaylen Twyman. The Pittsburgh defensive tackle has something the Panthers desperately need and that is a legitimate pass-rushing presence from the three-technique.

Derrick Brown has managed to secure 20 pressures this season, according to Pro Football Focus. And although Zach Kerr has done well in Kawann Short’s absence, it’s clear that another young lineman is needed to give their long-term prospects a shot in the arm.

Twyman has a high ceiling and sitting out the 2020 season due to COVID-19 health concerns should ensure he’s raring to go when the evaluation process begins.