Carolina Panthers 7-round 2021 mock draft brings playoff potential

(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) Richie Grant
(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) Richie Grant /
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Carolina Panthers
(Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /

The Carolina Panthers could improve their chances of a possible playoff push in 2021 with a strong series of draft selections.

We are now less than a week away from the 2021 NFL Draft and anticipation is growing with every passing day. Everyone seems to know who is going No. 1 and No. 2 this year, but what comes after that is going to have some significant ramifications on the Carolina Panthers and their attempts to make further progress in the second year of Matt Rhule’s reign.

General manager Scott Fitterer said the Panthers now have their big board at 155 prospects. This comes after starting the process with more than 1,000 and is a further indicator of just how many college players miss out on their dream of reaching the NFL.

That is just the nature of the beast. What’s important for Carolina is finding top players in positions of need, building areas of strength, and putting new quarterback Sam Darnold in the best possible position to succeed following his trade from the New York Jets.

Now, if someone like Justin Fields or Trey Lance were to fall into their laps, a discussion would no doubt need to be had between those in power about bringing them on board. However, this would make the Darnold trade almost obsolete, and considering they gave up three draft picks over the next two years, giving him a shot in 2021 seems like the only viable option.

Using the Pro Football Focus simulator, we took a look at which way the Panthers might go with their selections in our penultimate 2021 NFL mock draft before the big night.