Panthers 2021 NFL Draft: Building through the trenches in latest mock

(Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports) Patrick Surtain
(Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports) Patrick Surtain /
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Carolina Panthers
(Syndication: HawkCentral) Daviyon Nixon /

Daviyon Nixon – DT (Iowa)

There has been some impressing production emanating from the defensive line of late, which might see the Carolina Panthers stick with what they have barring one more piece to add some depth. The likes of Derrick Brown, Zach Kerr, and Efe Obada have thrived on the interior in recent weeks and there is just no telling how much better they can get as a trio with a less disrupted offseason under their belts in 2021.

However, Daviyon Nixon is too good to pass up at this juncture. The Iowa prospect is a formidable weapon in run support and gets after the quarterback consistently from the three-technique to further enhance his overall credentials.

The second trait is something Carolina might be looking for from the NFL Draft this year and there is every chance that Nixon could be the long-term defensive tackle partner for Brown if he reaches his ceiling.

Jake Ferguson – TE (Wisconsin)

The Carolina Panthers are in desperate need of a tight end. Ian Thomas just hasn’t lived up to the hype coming into the campaign, which leaves Carolina still searching for a long-term replacement for prolific veteran Greg Olsen following his departure to the Seattle Seahawks in free agency.

Bringing in a young, exciting prospect such as Jake Ferguson would be a smart move that could change the offense completely. Teddy Bridgewater has struggled this year with no reliable pass-catcher across the middle. But this is an area where the Wisconsin star shines in no uncertain terms.

His blocking does need some work, which is easily coached up in the NFL. Ferguson has amassed 99 receptions, 1,168 receiving yards, and 10 touchdowns over three years and 34 games for the Badgers and he does appear to be an upgrade on Thomas given his lackluster production in 2020.