Panthers land Trey Lance and 12 picks in 7-round 2021 NFL Draft mock

(Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images) Trey Lance
(Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images) Trey Lance /
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Carolina Panthers
(Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports) Samuel Cosmi /

Carolina Panthers trade down from No. 39 overall

New general manager Scott Fitterer made no secret of his desire to generate more in the way of draft capital this spring with a view to turning around the team’s fortunes. With the Carolina Panthers locking up their future signal-caller in the first round, they trade down two spots with the Detroit Lions in this scenario, picking up two extra selections in the process.

Fitterer has gained a strong reputation for unearthing some gems late in the draft during his time with the Seattle Seahawks and he was the director of college scouting when they took a chance on Russell Wilson. Carolina is banking on him doing the same in a different environment, so this trade makes a ton of sense.

Second-Round Pick (No. 41)

Samuel Cosmi – OT (Texas)

One area on the Panthers’ roster that needs a significant makeover this offseason is their protection. Carolina will surely keep stud right tackle Taylor Moton around either on a long-term deal or by using the franchise tag. But there are some significant questions to answer regarding all four other spots across the line of scrimmage.

Russell Okung’s $13 million in base salary is coming off the books and it doesn’t look like he’ll be brought back. That means getting a long-term blindside protector who can immediately contribute is a top priority if the Panthers want to enter the postseason discussion at the earliest possible opportunity.

Someone like Samuel Cosmi fits the pick and is a high-value pick here. The Texas standout grew in stature over his final two years at the Longhorns and his rare blend of power and technique should ensure a smooth transition to the pro ranks.