4 prospects added to Panthers radar after this week’s pro days
By Dean Jones
Which college prospects could now be on the Carolina Panthers’ radar following a host of pro days this week?
With the first fortnight of free agency almost in the books, attention is quickly turning to the 2021 NFL Draft and just what sort of reinforcements the Carolina Panthers will bring in from the college ranks to give their young and ever-improving roster another shot in the arm. The priorities look a little bit clearer following recent signings made by the organization, but if general manager Scott Fitterer wants to be in a position to take the best player available, there is still much work to be done.
Matt Rhule has extensive knowledge of the college system and this was reflected in a tremendous draft from the Panthers in 2020. Fitterer also developed a real nous for finding talent during his time with the Seattle Seahawks, which is only going to serve Carolina well when it comes to finding some diamonds in the rough to help their cause.
If the Panthers can have the same success as last year with their choices, then the sky is the limit. This is a team that is young, hungry, and dynamic. So they don’t appear to be that far away from postseason contention providing recruitment is spot on this offseason.
Carolina Panthers must be ready for every eventuality.
It’s always a busy time of year for NFL scouts as they look to get the upper hand on others with similar holes to fill. COVID-19 has impacted the assessment process this time around – although the draft itself will be taking place in-person – so the Panthers need to be ready for any situation over a hugely important weekend for the franchise.
Without further ado, we took a look at which college prospects could now be on Carolina’s radar following outstanding displays at their respective pro days this week.
Prospect No. 1
Alijah Vera-Tucker – OL (USC)
The Carolina Panthers have a big need for a new left tackle before competitive action gets underway in 2021. Russell Okung didn’t prove to be dependable from an injury perspective and getting a long-term solution to slot opposite Taylor Moton would do them a significant amount of good moving forward.
One player who really caught the eye this week was Alijah Vera-Tucker. The USC standout has seen his stock rise more than most over the last few months and he has the sort of versatility Carolina sought heavily in their prospects last time out.
Vera-Ticker has experience playing at guard and spent the 2020 season at left tackle for the Trojans, where he thrived. Penei Sewell and Rashawn Slater might be better options, but that should not detract from what an outstanding player he could become at the next level.
This would be a reach for the Panthers at No. 8. But if Scott Fitterer wants to trade down for more selections, then Vera-Tucker comes into play.