Could Panthers look close to home and draft DT Alim McNeill?

(Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) Alim McNeill
(Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) Alim McNeill /
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Carolina Panthers
(Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) Alim McNeill /

Alim McNeill’s fit on the Carolina Panthers

At least from the outside looking in, Alim McNeill and the Carolina Panthers are a match made in heaven. The defense is crying out for a prospect such as this after losing two big presences with proven production. But whether the player’s stock is now putting him a little higher than they’ll consider taking a defensive tackle is up for debate.

General manager Scott Fitterer has made no secret of his desire to put the Panthers in a position where they can take the best player available in every round. That is good in theory, but looking at the roster as it stands, it appears some way off just yet with pressing needs at some key positions.

Much will depend on how the NFL Draft plays out in front of them. However, teams will look at a physically imposing prospect such as McNeill favorably given the fact he’s a hard worker that can be coached up into a potential three-down lineman with further development.

McNeill could go anywhere between rounds 2-4 depending on which team identifies him as a prospect of interest. Once the Panthers solve their left tackle problem and add a cornerback, then they’d be in a position to boost other areas unless they decide trading up for a signal-caller is a viable solution to their ongoing concerns regarding Teddy Bridgewater.

It is sure to be an eventful draft weekend for Carolina, who have a lot riding on their recruitment this time around after their second consecutive 5-11 season. Mediocrity is not an option for Matt Rhule in 2021, so there will be no margin for error where selections are concerned.

If they decide a home state prospect like McNeill is the man to become Derrick Brown’s long-term partner, then it would further strengthen a defensive front that could be a big factor in any success that comes their way.