Will the Carolina Panthers approach the 2021 NFL Draft differently following their first few signings in free agency?
It’s been an extremely busy few days this week as the legal tampering period formally began. An unprecedented situation surrounding the salary-cap has made life difficult and for the Carolina Panthers, a slow start was swiftly followed by four signings who are going to make an immediate impact in 2021.
What has already transpired is certainly going to change the Panthers‘ approach to the NFL Draft. General manager Scott Fitterer is keen for Carolina to be in the sort of position that enables them to take the best player available. While they have a little way to go before this objective is achieved, few would argue they haven’t made a strong start despite the two questionable acquisitions along the offensive line.
However, there are ongoing doubts surrounding the most important position on the field. The Panthers have made no secret of their desire to get a possible upgrade on Teddy Bridgewater in the coming weeks, which might see them pull off a big trade or even move up in the draft to get their prospect of choice.
This will obviously change the landscape of the franchise one way or another. It’s hard to envisage a situation where another team takes on Bridgewater’s contract to simply backup their No. 1 option. So the Panthers might be left with no alternative other than go the college route and hope the former Lousiville standout turns things around.
Using the Pro Football Focus simulator, we project what direction Carolina could go down following the first week of free agency in our latest seven-round mock draft.