Panthers 7-round mock 2021 NFL Draft using best player available

(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) Jaylen Waddle
(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) Jaylen Waddle /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images) Teven Jenkins /

Which way could the Carolina Panthers go with their 2021 NFL Draft selections if Scott Fitterer decides to deploy his best player available mentality?

The Carolina Panthers are keen to adopt the best player available mentality during the 2021 NFL Draft to further progress their current rebuild. This might be a little far-fetched considering how many holes there are at key positional groups, but general manager Scott Fitterer enjoyed plenty of success selecting college recruits during his time with the Seattle Seahawks, so fans should trust his judgment until further notice.

If the Panthers can strike it big with their picks later this month, then a surprise postseason challenge won’t be far behind. This is all predicated on quarterback Sam Darnold turning his career around after he was acquired from the New York Jets, which could make-or-break Carolina’s chances of being competitive in 2021.

Picking the best player available is normally a luxury associated with contending teams with more in the way of quality on their roster. Carolina might not be as far away as people think and things could have been more promising in 2020 had they not lost eight games by one score last season.

Carolina Panthers need another good draft in 2021.

Picking the prospects with the biggest impact could be a smart way to go. Giving up a top talent on their board rather than settling for someone due to the team being short at one position comes with its own complications, so it is going to be incredibly exciting to see what transpires over the all-important draft weekend.

Using the Pro Football Focus simulator, we took a look at which way the Panthers might go if they went with the best player available rather than need.