4 NFL Draft prospects the Panthers will miss out on in 2021

(George Frey/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports) Zach Wilson
(George Frey/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports) Zach Wilson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports) Patrick Surtain /

Patrick Surtain – CB (Alabama)

One area where the Carolina Panthers do need to strengthen is at cornerback. Donte Jackson has shown some real promise since the bye week, but the likes of Rasul Douglas and Corn Elder are out of contract at the end of the season and may not be brought back.

Couple this with Stantley Thomas-Oliver and Troy Pride Jr. still needing time to develop and the need to bring in a couple of quality additions in the secondary is great. Patrick Surtain is the consensus top prospect at the position entering the 2021 NFL Draft after a standout career at Alabama and is sure to be a hot commodity once the evaluation process concludes.

Teams are always on the lookout for the next great shutdown cornerback. That’s the reason Jeff Okudah went No. 3 overall to the Lions in 2020 and although Surtain probably won’t be taken that high, there is every chance he’s off the board if the Panthers do end up with the ninth spot.

There should still be some outstanding young talents that Carolina could go with if they choose to take another defender in the first round. Someone like Caleb Farley would bolster the cornerback room, although he doesn’t come with Surtain’s track record of producing the goods in the biggest of situations at the college level.