7 prospects for Panthers with a top-5 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Patrick Surtain II
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Patrick Surtain II /
7 of 7
Carolina Panthers
(Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports) Micah Parsons /

Micah Parsons – LB (Penn State)

The Carolina Panthers have missed the presence of Luke Kuechly on the roster this season, who retired due to health concerns after eight glittering years with the franchise following the 2019 campaign.

To say free-agent signing Tahir Whitehead didn’t work out as expected would be something of an understatement and although Jermaine Carter has thrived in a starting role over the last few games, the Panthers might decide that a longer-term solution is needed.

And players with the gifts of Micah Parsons don’t come around every day.

The Penn State phenom has all the physical attributes to be a stud in the NFL for the next decade. He is a supreme force on running downs and has no trouble whatsoever getting after the quarterback from the inside linebacker position when the opportunity arises.

Parsons opted out of the 2020 season to further ready himself for the evaluation process. He has enough exceptional film to ensure this decision won’t impact his draft stock and he could be the missing link on a defense that has shown some encouraging signs throughout the campaign.

Replacing someone who meant so much to the organization like Kuechly is impossible. However, Parsons would be an electrifying presence at the second level who would become an instant fan favorite.