Projecting which positions the Panthers will draft in each round

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Matt Rhule
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Matt Rhule /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) Rashawn Slater /

Carolina Panthers Round No. 1

  • Position – Left tackle

There would be the obvious temptation for the Carolina Panthers to select a premier talent like Kyle Pitts if he fell into their laps at No. 8, although that does appear highly unlikely considering how much NFL teams seem to love the tight end. If he’s not around, then getting a franchise left tackle is the smart way to go and something that would give quarterback Sam Darnold a big shot in the arm.

Blindside protection is a problem the Panthers haven’t been able to solve since All-Pro Jordan Gross hung up his cleats in 2013. This represents a fantastic opportunity to finally solve the riddle after Russell Okung’s lack of dependability from a health perspective meant they were left with no alternative other than to go in a different direction.

Obviously, the dream would be for Penei Sewell to make it all the way down to No. 8. The Oregon standout has the potential to be the best edge protector entering the league in a generation and it shouldn’t take the Panthers too long at all if he was around.

Another top talent who should be there for the taking is Rashawn Slater, who enjoyed a phenomenal college career and comes with the sort of versatility Carolina’s coaching staff loves in new recruits.

If they decide to trade down for more in the way of capital, then prospects like Alijah Vera-Tucker, Teven Jenkins, or Jaylen Mayfield come into the equation. While not as refined as Sewell or Slater, all three enter the league with tremendous upside.