Panthers 2021 Draft: Pre-free agency 7-round mock draft

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Chazz Surratt
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Chazz Surratt /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) Tommy Kraemer /

Round No. 6 (Pick No. 192)

Tommy Kraemer – OG (Notre Dame)

Chris Reed and John Miller could be out of the door in free agency, so the Carolina Panthers need a significant makeover on their interior protection this offseason. Center Matt Paradis appears to be sticking around after restructuring his deal, so who they put alongside him is going to be of critical importance.

It would be wise to bring in a veteran that can slot in with minimal fuss. But a prospect like Tommy Kraemer is also well worth considering due to his high consistency and experience at Notre Dame.

Round No. 6 (Pick No. 200)

Tre’ McKitty – TE (Georgia)

The Panthers need some additional help in the passing game from their tight ends. Ian Thomas just didn’t do enough to be considered a viable long-term option following the departure of Greg Olsen and a prospect with the physical attributes of Tre’ McKitty would be a high-value pick here.

McKitty impressed in from of Carolina’s coaching staff at the 2021 Senior Bowl, which will help his cause. He is impressive from an athletic standpoint, has assured hands, and might even get better with more in the way of reps coming his way in the pros.

Round No. 6 (Pick No. 220)

Trade down with the Bucs

Getting a couple of picks in the event round in exchange for the No. 222 overall selection was the move here. This gets two more young bodies to the Panthers after a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who moved up to select Arkansas quarterback Feleipe Franks as a development project behind Super Bowl-winning signal-caller Tom Brady.

Round No. 6 (Pick No. 224)

Tre Norwood – S (Oklahoma)

Tre Boston was cut loose ahead of time, so the Panthers could use a fresh injection of youth on the backend. Tre Norwood can operate either at safety or as a cornerback, which is the sort of versatility Carolina sought heavily during their recruitment process last time out.

There is some injury history where Norwood is concerned. But there is a lot to like about his ability in coverage if he can work on areas such as tackling and bulk up a little bit upon arriving in the NFL.