Panthers draft rumors: Justin Fields, Kyle Pitts, Asante Samuel Jr., move down

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Justin Fields
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Justin Fields /
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Carolina Panthers
(Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Which current rumors are surrounding the Carolina Panthers with just one week to go until the 2021 NFL Draft?

Today marks one week until the start of the 2021 NFL Draft and the rumor mill is absolutely buzzing where the Carolina Panthers are concerned. Simply put, nobody has any clue of what the organization is going to do with their first-round selection, which is exactly the way Matt Rhule and Scott Fitterer like it.

Of course, this wasn’t the case before the Panthers made the move to bring in quarterback Sam Darnold. Their search for a potential upgrade on Teddy Bridgewater was set to see them take a signal-caller at No. 8 before they gambled on the former USC star, giving up three draft picks over the next two years in the hope he can reinvigorate his career in a different environment.

At least fans don’t have much longer to wait. This is one of the more exciting times of the year for NFL followers and if Carolina can knock the majority of their picks out of the park for a second-straight year, then a surprise postseason challenge might not be far behind.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the prominent rumors floating around that have the potential to impact the Panthers’ draft plans.

Carolina Panthers meeting tracker

There hasn’t been much change in terms of virtual meetings, according to‘s tracker. The Panthers have done their due diligence throughout the evaluation process at various pro days across the country, giving them a strong indicator of just what prospects are going to be on the radar when it comes to their selections during a critical draft weekend for the organization.

Coaching at the 2021 Senior Bowl is something else that’s benefitted Carolina’s staff considerably during a much-changed assessment process due to COVID-19 safety concerns. Here are the confirmed virtual meetings the Panthers have been involved with so far.

  • Frank Darby – WR (Arizona State)
  • Jacob Harris – TE (Central Florida)
  • Deommodore Lenoir – CB (Oregon)
  • Asante Samuel Jr. – CB (Florida State)
  • Mike Strachan – WR (Charleston)
  • Avery Williams – CB (Boise State)

Whether or not the Panthers end up taking these prospects or not is up for debate. Each of them represents a need on the roster, so it wouldn’t be the biggest surprise in the world considering their reported interest.