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
(Kyle Robertson/The Columbus Dispatch/USA TODAY Network) DeVonta Smith /

DeVonta Smith – WR (Alabama)

General manager Scott Fitterer has made no secret of his plans to select the best player available if the Carolina Panthers strengthen sufficiently in free agency. This might seem a little way off just yet, but if they can bring in a couple more veteran pieces to bolster their young and improving roster, it could see the recent appointment adopt this approach.

If this is a scenario that eventually plays out, then it might see Carolina take DeVonta Smith at No. 8 overall. This would drop jaws to the floor whichever way one looks at it, but with Curtis Samuel gone and Robby Anderson entering a contract year, this position of strength might not be that way for much longer.

Smith is already fielding questions about his size, which is ludicrous for someone that just put together a Heisman Trophy season that consisted of 117 receptions, 1,856 receiving yards, 23 touchdowns, and a yards-per-reception average of 15.3.

If scouts are looking for holes to pick regarding on-field production, they are hard to find.

Simply put, there is nothing Smith cannot do on the field.

His route-running is highly polished and is matched by elite playmaking ability that should make an impact from the moment he steps on an NFL field. Smith is a can’t miss prospect for teams with a need at wide receiver, but whether the Panthers will address this so early in the draft is highly questionable