4 questions the Panthers must answer before 2021 NFL Draft

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater and Curtis Samuel
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater and Curtis Samuel /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Matt Rhule /

What are some of the big questions that the Carolina Panthers need to answer before they select their latest batch of college recruits in the 2021 NFL Draft?

With the 2020 season officially in the books, attention now turns to another offseason period that is going to look far different thanks to COVID-19 concerns still prevalent across the country. The Carolina Panthers have been in this process for some time after failing to make the postseason with a 5-11 record, but there is plenty of hope that with the right sort of recruitment this spring they can mount more of a playoff push next time around.

It’s a precarious situation across the league with the salary-cap coming down. There are far worse predicaments than the one facing the Panthers despite their not being much in the way of wiggle room. This is another big factor to keep a close eye on when it’s time to finally see which direction Carolina goes in.

Hopefully, we’ll have a better indication of what needs to be done during the 2021 NFL Draft once the free agency frenzy begins. The Panthers have 25 players out of contract and some holes that need to be filled at key positions, so new general manager Scott Fitterer should be under no illusions as to the size of the task awaiting him after agreeing to join from the Seattle Seahawks.

With that being said, what are some of the key questions for the Panthers to answer before the 2021 NFL Draft?

Question No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Corn Elder /

Are any free-agent CBs staying around?

The Carolina Panthers are facing something of a dilemma within the cornerback unit. Both Corn Elder and Rasul Douglas are heading into free agency and this leaves the organization with just Donte Jackson, Troy Pride Jr., and Stantley Thomas-Oliver as their options moving forward.

Kepping either Elder or Douglas around is entirely possible. But a concise plan needs to be put in place before they examine the incoming college prospects to further bolster this vital area of the field.

Preference would probably be for Elder, who made some real strides with plenty of responsibility covering in the slot last season. Douglas’ early performances were of an enormously high standard, but he didn’t manage to keep it up as the campaign wore on.

If it’s a choice between the two, it should be Elder. But the Panthers should be looking at another cover corner on the outside regardless given the need for Pride Jr. and Thomas-Oliver to further hone their skills before being thrown in at the deep end once again.