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

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Jeremy Chinn
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Jeremy Chinn /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Derrick Brown /

Derrick Brown – Carolina Panthers DT

It’s safe to say the Carolina Panthers made the right choice when they selected Derrick Brown over Isaiah Simmons at No. 7 overall last year. The defensive tackle grew in stature as the campaign went on, which saw the former Auburn standout generate notable pressure in opposing backfields and produce some encouraging moments against the run.

Providing there are further adjustments made by Brown during the offseason, the sky is the limit.

However, the Panthers opted to release Kawann Short and Zach Kerr ahead of time as part of cost-cutting measures. So a long-term partner for the first-round pick needs to be sought that could help a rotation that only includes Bravvion Roy and three-technique Morgan Fox following his free-agent arrival from the Los Angeles Rams.

Carolina also signed DaQuan Jones, which can help in the short term. But a longer-term solution needs to be found.

Getting a couple of camp bodies into the organization in Mike Panasiuk and PJ Johnson isn’t going to move the needle. Carolina needs to find an incoming college prospect that can make an immediate difference and solidify the position next to Brown, which might also see the player take his game to new heights moving forward.

This is something they might be able to do with a shrewd addition on Day 2. Prospects like Jaylen Twyman, Tyler Shelvin, Marvin Wilson, Alim McNeill, and Jay Tufele all seem to fit the bill. So there should be some high-value selections available for the Panthers depending on how the draft plays out.