5 cornerbacks the Panthers could target in the 2021 NFL Draft

(Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports) Paulson Adebo
(Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports) Paulson Adebo /
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Carolina Panthers
(Syndication: Tallahassee Democrat) Asante Samuel Jr. /

Asante Samuel Jr. – Florida State

Much will depend on whether Asante Samuel Jr. makes it out of the first round. The Florida State star would be a significant reach with a top-10 pick, but if the Carolina Panthers get the chance to select him at No. 39 or even move back into the late-first, then they’d be foolish not to explore the possibility.

Much like Patrick Surtain, Samuel is following in his father’s footsteps. Asante Samuel Sr. was one of the best in the business once upon a time, winning two Super Bowls, an All-Pro selection, and four trips to the Pro Bowl.

If his son can have even half as good, he is going to be some player.

Samuel’s college career is littered with memorable highlights, playing every down with a competitive spirit that should ensure the smoothest of transitions to the pro ranks.

Whether Samuel is more suited to a slot cornerback role during the early stages of his professional development is up for debate. He certainly has the skills suited to the task, with the Panthers’ signing of A.J. Bouye something that could take some of the heat off the incoming college recruit while he gets up to speed.

The ceiling is high where Samuel is concerned. So it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him taken by a contending team in the late first round.