Panthers 2021 NFL mock draft: The Deshaun Watson edition

(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) Deshaun Watson
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) Deshaun Watson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports) Cornell Powell /

Round 4 (Pick No. 119)

Quincy Roche – DE/OLB (Miami)

Another trade back for the Carolina Panthers, this time with the Minnesota Vikings who moved up to select Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond as a potential long-term successor to Kirk Cousins. This puts the organization in a strong position to fill multiple needs for the remainder of the 2021 NFL Draft, which begins by finding a replacement for Yetur Gross-Matos who was part of the Deshaun Watson deal.

Quincy Roche showed the Panthers first-hand what they’d be getting at the Senior Bowl with a ferocious display throughout the week. He can play either as a defensive end or outside linebacker – although the latter would be more preferable in the pros and especially considering Carolina gave up Shaq Thompson in their trade for Watson.

Roche has powerful hands and the quickness to match. So if he’s around by this stage, they shouldn’t think twice about bringing him on board.

Round 4 (Pick No. 123)

Cornell Powell – WR (Clemson)

Curtis Samuel is gone, so the Carolina Panthers will need to find someone who can step up and immediately fill the void considering how important the wide receiver became during the 2020 campaign. Clemson’s Cornell Powell is riding on the crest of a wave after a sensational season with the Tigers last time and further enhanced his stock at the Senior Bowl.

Powell might only have a small sample size. But his elusiveness, positive route-running, and big-play potential make him a can’t miss option for the Panthers at this spot.

Round 4 (Pick No. 125)

Baron Browning – LB (Ohio State)

Baron Browning might be one of the less-heralded Ohio State prospects coming to the next level this year after being used primarily as a rotational piece. But the Panthers need reinforcements in this area and they should take a long look at a physically gifted individual who is only going to get better in the coming years.

Browning athleticism and explosiveness are two traits Carolina sought heavily in their recruitment process last season. So this would be a high-value pick with a ton of upside.