4 Panthers players who could benefit most from strong 2021 NFL Draft

Dean Jones
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Jeremy Chinn
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Jeremy Chinn /
1 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Which Carolina Panthers players could benefit most from a strong series of 2021 NFL Draft picks later this month?

The Carolina Panthers are in a critical period of their rebuild and hitting their 2021 NFL Draft selections out of the park is going to do their chances of progression next season the world of good. Some eye-catching signings were made during free agency that should help their cause, with the trade of quarterback Sam Darnold from the New York Jets representing a big gamble that could pay off in a big way if the player makes a better go of things in a different environment.

Not only would a good draft weekend help key positional groups that are clearly lacking in quality or depth. But it is also going to have a big impact on some important members of the current roster who are sure to play a big role moving forward.

It was a solid start for the Panthers under new head coach Matt Rhule, but nothing more than that. They were highly competitive against some legitimate Super Bowl challengers – which is reflected in them losing eight games by one score – so providing Darnold can do better than Teddy Bridgewater next time around, it might result in Carolina pushing for a surprise playoff berth.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at four Panthers players that could benefit most from a strong draft from the organization later this month.

Player No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Paradis /

Matt Paradis – Carolina Panthers C

There did appear to be some speculation regarding the future of Matt Paradis despite a slight turnaround in form last season. The center was due for a huge salary that put his head on the chopping block in the current climate. But a contract restructuring ensures the former Boise State standout is back for the final year of his deal.

With that being said, the Panthers need to get more help around him to keep the veteran trending in the right direction. A left tackle and maybe two guards could be sort from a deep draft class for offensive linemen, which would ensure some much-needed stability at a key positional group.

Paradis is owed plenty of money from the Panthers in 2022 even if he is moved on ($9.23 million). But a strong campaign from the player could result in a longer commitment next spring.