Panthers 2021 Draft: One wide receiver target for every round

(Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports) Tylan Wallace
(Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports) Tylan Wallace /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) DeVonta Smith /

DeVonta Smith – Alabama

Much will depend on whether the Carolina Panthers have a first-round pick and whether they can get a quarterback or not. But even though the wide receiver unit isn’t considered a premier need considering the holes elsewhere, if DeVonta Smith fell into their laps at No. 8 overall a discussion needs to be had.

D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson are both heading into the final year of their deals, although the former will undoubtedly get his fifth-year option exercised. Curtis Samuel also might not be around in 2021, which leaves them facing plenty of questions about the talented trio long-term.

It would be a jaw-dropping move if the Panthers went with a wideout with their first selection this spring. However, Smith comes into the evaluation process on the back of a sensational campaign for Alabama that eventually saw him win the Heisman Trophy and a National Championship.

Simply put, Smith can do it all. He might not be the biggest in terms of size, but his elite route-running and ability to generate yards after the catch makes him a can’t miss prospect with the potential to make an impact from the word go.

Smith’s 2020 numbers were extraordinary. He brought in 177 receptions for 1,856 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns, providing some sensational moments for the Crimson Tide that will live long in the memory.

Carolina needs help in other more pressing areas. So although they might be tempted if Smith is available, the organization should look the other way.