Panthers 2021 Draft: 4 studs from Day 3 at the Senior Bowl
By Dean Jones
Which college prospects shone during the final day of practice with the Carolina Panthers coaching staff at the Senior Bowl?
The final day of practice at the 2021 Senior Bowl was full of memorable highlights as expected. Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule expected this to be the best session of the week now players had officially found their feet and the former Baylor man wasn’t disappointed after some notable performances that really caught the eye.
This experience is invaluable for the Panthers as they look to put a plan in place to progress the organization in the coming weeks. A bombshell trade for Deshaun Watson would decimate their draft selections if they manage to pull it off. But, at least for now, they are proceeding on schedule until the situation potentially changes.
There has been a heavy presence of influential Carolina figures throughout the three days of practice. New general manager Scott Fitterer kept a watchful eye on proceedings from start-to-finish and even owner David Tepper made an appearance to further highlight the importance of the Panthers being so heavily involved at the showcase.
Carolina Panthers got a first-hand look at some top talent.
This was a big opportunity for the Panthers. But also for the incoming recruits after a severely disrupted season due to COVID-19 that even saw some prospects opting out on health grounds.
Ahead of the big Senior Bowl game this weekend, we picked out three players who emerged as studs from the final day of practice.
Stud No. 1
Alex Leatherwood – OT (Alabama)
One player who seemed intent on making a lasting impression on their final day of practice was Alex Leatherwood. The Alabama offensive tackle was a ferocious force protecting the edge both during team drills and one-on-ones, which won’t have gone unnoticed by the Carolina Panthers coaching staff or other NFL scouts in attendance.
Leatherwood has all the makings of a quality lineman at the next level. Whether he’s best suited to play tackle or guard at this juncture remains to be seen. But it’s hard not to look at his technique, power, and hand placement without being drawn to the prospect.
Picking at No. 8 overall would be a reach. However, if the Panthers trade down to acquire more picks then Leatherwood would definitely enter their thoughts in the mid-to-late first round given their need for reinforcements in this particular area of the field.