4 draft prospects the Carolina Panthers should avoid at No. 8
By Dean Jones
Which 2021 NFL Draft prospects should the Carolina Panthers avoid when it’s time for them to pick at No. 8 overall this spring?
The Carolina Panthers are eager to make some bold moves to speed up their rebuilding process this offseason. Their obvious desire to land a new quarterback is there for all to see, but plenty of other areas warrant some significant attention in the coming weeks.
If the Panthers can get recruitment right and add to a talented young roster, then a playoff push won’t be far behind. This will be easier said than done considering the lack of financial resources available. So it’s going to take some shrewd moves in free agency and another strong NFL Draft to get them in the postseason conversation.
Carolina’s 2020 class of college recruits was pleasing, to put it mildly. Derrick Brown and Jeremy Chinn are two studs on defense who were fantastic additions, Yetur Gross-Matos showed promise despite injuries, with the likes of Bravvion Roy and Stantley Thomas-Oliver also having the potential to become valuable pieces on the rotation.
New general manager Scott Fitterer built up a strong scouting reputation during his time with the Seattle Seahawks. Couple this with head coach Matt Rhule’s extensive knowledge of the college system and getting to see some top prospects first-hand coaching at the 2021 Senior Bowl, it is hard to envisage a situation where the Panthers draft poorly this spring.
Carolina Panthers might trade down from No. 8.
Trading down to acquire more selections if the top-three quarterbacks are off the board is a realistic option for Carolina and one that Fitterer will no doubt try to do at some stage over the weekend. But if they remain at No. 8, it could result in another hot young commodity arriving at the organization to give them a big boost.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at four prospects that the Panthers should avoid at No. 8 overall.
Prospect No. 1
Christian Darrisaw – OT (Virginia Tech)
There is every chance that Christian Darrisaw will be a superb tackle at the next level. But unless the Carolina Panthers trade down in pursuit of more selections, then they should think twice about taking the Virginia Tech standout in the top-10.
Darrisaw has all the physical attributes needed to be a real success once he gets to the pros. However, this is an extremely deep draft class for offensive linemen.
Considering Fitterer’s ability to find gems in the later rounds, it could be reason enough to avoid taking a tackle unless Oregon phenom Penei Sewell somehow falls into their laps.
All signs point to Carolina taking a quarterback with their first-rounder if they cannot trade for a veteran beforehand, anyway. So players like Darrisaw could be way down their big board of potential options.