5 realistic targets for the Panthers at No. 8 in the 2021 NFL Draft

(Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images) Trey Lance
(Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images) Trey Lance /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports) Patrick Surtain /

Patrick Surtain – CB (Alabama)

Donte Jackson has certainly looked the part since recovering fully from a toe injury that significantly hampered him up until the bye week. But there remain some questions about others on the depth chart.

Rasul Douglas and Corn Elder are free agents and it remains to be seen whether the Carolina Panthers bring either of them back. Rookie pair Troy Pride Jr. and Stantley Thomas-Oliver need some additional development before they are ready to see starting action if their early exploits are any indication.

This is a position that needs to be addressed either in free agency of the 2021 NFL Draft. Patrick Surtain could be arguably the best cornerback prospect coming out of college this year and he is worth a strong look if he falls to the Panthers.

Surtain has the scope to be a shutdown corner at the next level. He’s is a fluid mover that possesses exceptional instincts that should make a smooth transition to the pros.

Putting Surtain and Jackson on the opposite side of the field would allow Carolina’s defensive coordinator Phil Snow to move away from the frustrating zone-scheme that has been the catalyst behind their demise on more than one occasion this season.