Ranking the Panthers’ top-5 DT options in the 2021 NFL Draft
Which defensive tackles in the 2021 NFL Draft would the Carolina Panthers consider taking to pair up with Derrick Brown?
Although defensive tackle isn’t the biggest need for the Carolina Panthers this offseason, getting another quality young player to play alongside Derrick Brown would go a long way in helping stop the run. Last season, they ranked No. 20 in run defense, so one can see why getting another big guy upfront would be intriguing.
Although these players most likely will not be considered at pick No. 8, later down the board the Panthers could help solidify their defensive line for years to come. Here are the top-five prospect entering the league this year that Carolina should have a close eye on.
Defensive Tackle No. 1
Christian Barmore – Alabama
Christian Barmore is an explosive defensive tackle. He’s the consensus No. 1 prospect on almost everyone’s big board. Listed at 6-foot-5 and 310 pounds, the Alabama star has prototypical size at the position.
Barmore makes good use of his hands to deflect block attempts and get freed up. He also has solid instincts when it comes to getting after the quarterback.
The lineman is primarily a power rusher, using his raw strength to bully interior offensive linemen. Playing in the SEC, there’s no question he can compete against good talent upfront. Pairing Barmore up with Brown in the middle would create nightmares for opposing offenses.
Now, being the top defensive tackle in the class doesn’t come without criticism.
Barmore is a great prospect, but he isn’t as intriguing as past defensive tackle prospects emerging from the Crimson Tide. He needs to improve in the run game, and must also develop a better arsenal of block shedding moves.
The good news is that he’s only 21 years old. So Barmore will have plenty of time to develop his craft and improve in stopping the run.
Barmore is a projected late first, early second-round pick, so he may not be on the board when the Carolina Panthers pick at No. 39 overall. However, if the prospect does make it this far, he could turn into the steal of the draft.