Which college prospects could be in play for the Carolina Panthers with their second-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft?
All eyes will be on the Carolina Panthers in the early stages of the 2021 NFL Draft, especially if they fail to acquire a veteran quarterback either in free agency or via a trade. This would make the need for a new signal-caller more pressing than ever and may even result in a move up from No. 8 overall to acquire someone like Justin Fields or Zach Wilson.
This would take a significant amount of draft capital, which the Panthers don’t have a great deal of this spring. Jeopardizing their long-term plans for a prospect who may or not work out is one thing. But if Carolina is going to this, then a bombshell offer for Deshaun Watson might be the better option.
Regardless of which way the Panthers go, it’s vital they hit the jackpot on days two and three of draft weekend. New general manager Scott Fitterer has a strong reputation for doing just this during his time with the Seattle Seahawks, which was one of the key reasons why he was the man chosen to replace Marty Hurney.
There are always plenty of exciting players who come out of the second round. Yetur Gross-Matos fell into Carolina’s lap at No. 38 overall in 2020 after being projected in the 15-20 range and it’s clear from the glimpses of nice production he showed as a rookie that the Penn State sensation should have gone higher.
With that being said, let’s take a look at four potential college recruits who might be around when the Panthers select in round two.
Prospect No. 1
Dillon Radunz – OT (North Dakota State)
Although the standard of competition wasn’t exactly high at North Dakota State, it’s hard not to look at Dillon Radunz’s ability to bulldoze opposing edge rushers and not be impressed. The offensive tackle has seen his draft stock soar in recent months and an eye-catching performance throughout Senior Bowl week in front of the Carolina Panthers coaching staff won’t have done his prospects any harm at all.
Providing Radunz can make a smooth adjustment to what is going to be a substantial increase in difficulty at the next level, then someone is going to have a real player on their hands. He is solid at the point of attack, has the mobility to get out and block on the move or the second level if required, with his footwork another eye-catching feature to his game that won’t go unnoticed by NFL scouts.
There is a chance Radunz goes in the first round after the display he put on in Mobile. However, if he’s around at No. 40 and Penei Sewell doesn’t fall, Carolina should strongly consider taking him.