5 best player options if the Carolina Panthers stay at No. 8

(Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports) Kyle Pitts
(Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports) Kyle Pitts /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images) Rashawn Slater /

Rashawn Slater – OT (Northwestern)

Another major hole that needs to be filled where the Carolina Panthers are concerned is at left tackle. Russell Okung’s lack of dependability from a health perspective probably means he won’t be back just one year after arriving via trade from the Los Angeles Chargers and a long-term solution needs to be sought at the earliest possible opportunity.

Much has been made of whether Penei Sewell will be the surprising prospect who falls out of the top-five. But the simple fact of the matter is that is it would take the bravest of calls from the Cincinnati Bengals or Atlanta Falcons to pass up on the best edge protector to enter the NFL in a generation.

If Sewell is there, the Panthers should pull the trigger. However, Rashawn Slater wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize by any stretch of the imagination.

The Northwestern product is an exceptionally gifted individual that has a plug-and-play starter written all over him. Slater stock has stored in recent weeks and reached new heights with an outstanding showing at his pro day, so this would be a great pickup by Carolina if the four top quarterbacks are off the board as expected.

Slotting Slater opposite stud right tackle Taylor Moton would give the Panthers a bookend presence they’ve been lacking for years. This would be great news for whoever is under center.