4 prospects who could tempt Panthers to go defense at No. 8

(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Patrick Surtain
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Patrick Surtain /
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Carolina Panthers
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Patrick Surtain /

Patrick Surtain – CB (Alabama)

Outside of Donte Jackson – who looked every bit the No. 1 cornerback once his toe problem healed – there are plenty of concerns surrounding other options on the Carolina Panthers. Both Rasul Douglas and Corn Elder are out of contract, with both showing some signs of promise during the season. But the rookie duo of Stantley Thomas-Oliver and Troy Pride Jr. might need some additional development on a rotational basis next season if their efforts in year one of their professional careers were any indication.

This would leave the Panthers looking for some extra reinforcements this spring. Teams do tend to overpay for veteran corners in free agency – which was demonstrated further by James Bradberry leaving Carolina in favor of a big-money move to the New York Giants last year – so addressing this need early in the 2021 NFL Draft is not out of the realm of possibility.

Patrick Surtain comes into the league on the back of an outstanding season at Alabama, where he played a crucial role in their convincing National Championship triumph. He is the son of a former All-Pro and locked up one side of the field exceptionally well for the Crimson Tide in 2020.

His knowledge of what it takes in the NFL from obvious advice from his dad – Patrick Surtain Sr. – should make his transition to the pros a smooth one. If the Panthers went in this particular direction, it would give Carolina two potential shutdown players on the outside to further boost their chances on defense.