What if the Carolina Panthers don’t take a quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft?
Teddy Bridgewater is coming under increasing pressure with the Carolina Panthers after a series of disappointing displays and a real lack of ability to come through in close contests. The quarterback is 0-8 on game-winning or tying drives this season and had this record been a little different, then the team’s outlook might look far more promising than it does at this juncture.
Bridgewater is an accurate thrower who manages games well. But the Carolina Panthers might need more under center if they want to be legitimately considered as playoff contenders sooner rather than later.
There are growing desires from media sources and fans alike for Carolina to select a potential franchise-changing quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft. However, they won’t be in a position for Trevor Lawrence, who looks bound for the Jacksonville Jaguars after the Jets secured an improbable victory at the Rams in Week 15.
Names like Justin Fields, Zach Wilson, and Trey Lance might be available by the time Carolina picks. But the organization still has the option to give Bridgewater the benefit of the doubt after some mitigating factors both before and during the campaign.
The Panthers face a tough decision at No. 4 overall currently. We took a look at which way they’d go if they didn’t take a quarterback in 2021 on The Draft Network’s mock draft machine.
Pick No. 1
Penei Sewell – OT (Oregon)
If the Panthers don’t take a quarterback with their first-round pick, then this is the best possible scenario. The Cincinnati Bengals opted to reunite LSU’s phenomenal wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase with former No. 1 overall selection Joe Burrow, leaving Carolina with the chance to take the best tackle prospect to enter the league in a generation.
Penei Sewell is as good as it gets. The left tackle has stood out like a sore thumb during his time with the Ducks and even though he opted out of the 2020 campaign due to COVID-19 health concerns, it should not impact his draft stock in the slightest.
Carolina needs a long-term option to put alongside Taylor Moton and selecting Sewell here would give them a bookend presence that could be the springboard for bigger and better things in the future.