4 NFL Draft prospects who could help Teddy Bridgewater in 2021
By Dean Jones
Which 2021 NFL Draft prospects could come in and potentially improve Teddy Bridgewater’s performances for the Carolina Panthers next season?
The pressure is on Teddy Bridgewater this offseason, to put it mildly. The Carolina Panthers invested heavily in the quarterback in the hope he could lead them through this significant period of transition. But his clear regression as the campaign went on has left plenty of doubts surrounding his short and long-term future with the franchise.
One doesn’t have to look far for warning signs. Owner David Tepper, head coach Matt Rhule, and new general manager Scott Fitterer have all thrown shade in Bridgewater’s direction since competitive action came to a conclusion. So it would be the biggest shock if the Panthers didn’t bring in some extra competition for the former first-round pick either during free agency, the 2021 NFL Draft or via the trade market.
Convincing another team to take on Bridgewater will be tricky.
This is down in no small part to the finances involved.
The Carolina Panthers might be stuck with Teddy Bridgewater.
The Louisville product signed a three-year, $63 million deal with a $15 million signing bonus and $33 million guaranteed to get him to Carolina. This doesn’t appear to be the smartest move in hindsight and could mean the Panthers are stuck with Bridgewater next season until there is a realistic out on his contract in 2022.
If that does prove to be the case, the powers that be have to get Bridgewater as much help as possible with some exciting college recruits and hope that his jitters during his first season under center prominently since 2015 can be resolved in the coming months.
With that in mind, here are four NFL Draft prospects who have the potential to assist Bridgewater on a possible road to redemption in 2021.
Prospect No. 1
Rashawn Slater – OT (Northwestern)
Scott Fitterer made no secret of his desire to acquire more picks. This would be a smart way to go and one that could assist the Carolina Panthers.
If they were to go in this particular direction then a player such as Rashawn Slater would enter the discussion.
The offensive lineman has a big reputation after a sensational 2019 campaign at left tackle, and even though he opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 health concerns, it shouldn’t hurt his stock whatsoever in terms of being a first-round pick.
If Penei Sewell is the best tackle prospect coming out this year, then Slater is high in the next tier of incoming recruits. His versatility is something the Panthers sought heavily in their recruitment last time around and he comes into the league with a Pro Bowl ceiling that could be better than that if the player develops as expected.