4 NFL Draft prospects for the Panthers to replace Zach Kerr in 2021

(Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports) Zach Kerr
(Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports) Zach Kerr /
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Carolina Panthers
(Syndication: HawkCentral) Daviyon Nixon /

Daviyon Nixon – Iowa

General manager Scott Fitterer is looking to go into the 2021 NFL Draft in the position to select the best player available. They have some obvious and perhaps more pressing needs than replacing a rotational defensive tackle with the first couple of picks, but if they choose to bring in someone a little earlier then Daviyon Nixon should be in their thoughts.

Nixon projects as a starting interior lineman in the NFL who will thrive in the three-technique during his early stages of transition. His 2020 campaign at Iowa was littered with memorable moments on his way to 5.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss, which has seen the prospect’s stock soar as a result.

His explosiveness to penetrate gaps quickly really stands out and causes significant complications for opposing protection schemes. Nixon plays with a sense of urgency that is sure to go down well with the Carolina Panthers and has a clear will to finish off plays violently and with the sort of efficiency that makes him a player with the highest of ceilings.

Replicating this against bigger and more experienced lineman in the pros will need some adjustment. But if the Panthers slotted him on a rotation that includes Derrick Brown, Morgan Fox, and Bravvion Roy, it has the scope to be a productive foursome more than capable of causing havoc.