The Carolina Panthers are after more picks and a new quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft, but just how can they achieve both?
It is going to be a wild offseason ride for everyone associated with the Carolina Panthers. The rumor mill is buzzing with a potential trade for Deshaun Watson and whether Christian McCaffrey should be included in any deal, with plenty of other players being linked with the organization as they look to make strides and compete for postseason football in 2021.
One key element to their decision-making process this spring is the NFL Draft. Head coach Matt Rhule and general manager Scott Fitterer have a vast knowledge of the college game and if they can generate the same sort of success the team enjoyed from their 2020 selections, it is going to make all the difference.
Some holes on the roster are more obvious than others. Things will also become a little bit clearer as to what the priorities are following what is sure to be a frenzied free agency period as the Panthers seek additional and better reinforcements to take them to the next level.
We used Pro Football Focus’ mock draft simulator to see which way Carolina might go with their 2021 selections, which includes a potential quarterback of the future and a couple of trades that acquire more selections.
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First-Round Pick – No. 8
Trey Lance – QB (North Dakota State)
The Carolina Panthers take what will hopefully be their quarterback of the future in Trey Lance. The North Dakota State star arrives at the next level with a ton of upside and although there are some concerns regarding the level of competition he’s faced in college and the fact he played just once in 2020, with the top-three prospects off the board, this represents the best possible option.
This would mean the Panthers aren’t able to bring in a veteran via the trade market. So it would allow Lance a sense of leeway getting up to speed behind Teddy Bridgewater during the initial stages of his transition.
However, Bridgewater will be on the shortest of leashes if he does end up getting another shot in Carolina, which means Lance must be ready to go quickly given how much faith the Panthers clearly show in him with the No. 8 overall selection.