Panthers 2021 draft: Trades galore in full 7-round mock draft

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) Justin Fields
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) Justin Fields /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Justin Fields /

Round 1 (Pick No. 5)

Justin Fields – QB (Ohio State)

The Carolina Panthers moved up three spots with a trade to secure the services of Justin Fields. This was the last of the top-four quarterbacks to be selected after Trey Lance was taken No. 3 overall by the San Francisco 49ers following their bombshell deal with the Miami Dolphins, so there is no margin for error unless the organization is legitimately considering Mac Jones, which doesn’t seem to be the case.

This trade with the Cincinnati Bengals costs them two high-end picks this year and next. But the compensation would be far greater had Carolina decided to enter the No. 3 sweepstakes in a potential deal with the Miami Dolphins.

Make no mistake, Fields is worth it. He is proven at a prestigious program that has achieved a considerable amount. So even though he did fluff his lines in the National Championship game against Alabama, his athleticism and dynamic ability under center would be hard to pass up.

There doesn’t seem to be many flaws in Fields’ play. Carolina missed an electrifying player under center in 2020 when they decided to part ways with Cam Newton in favor of Bridgewater, but the Buckeye has the potential to get fans out of their seats with a dual-threat presence that is matched by a quiet determination that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Scott Fitterer might want more in the way of picks to boost the roster. But he can worry about that later.