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
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) Olaijah Griffin /

Round No. 6 (Pick No. 193)

Olaijah Griffin – CB (USC)

It wouldn’t be a surprise for the Carolina Panthers to double-dip at cornerback if the right player comes along despite this class not expected to be that deep at the position. This could be the case if Olaijah Griffin makes it down this far, with the prospect coming with some red flags in terms of injuries that make him a gamble to bring on board.

That being said, the positives far outweigh the negatives where Griffin is concerned. He excels in press coverage, which is where the Panthers need assistance, and his competitive streak will go down well with head coach Matt Rhule.

Round No. 6 (Pick No. 195)

Shaka Toney – DE/OLB (Penn State)

Carolina got some success out of taking an edge rusher from Penn State in 2020 when Yetur Gross-Matos fell into their laps at No. 38. Drafting Shaka Toney might not have the same explosive upside initially, but the player has enough raw talent to play a part with a little more refinement.

Toney is quick off the block and outperformed Jayson Oweh for the Nittany Lions last season, who is expected to go late in the first round.

Round No. 6 (Pick No. 222)

Tre’ McKitty – TE (Georgia)

Adding another pass-catching tight end would be warmly received by Carolina’s loyal fanbase. Rhule stated he thinks there might be some value available at the position later on in this draft and Tre’ McKitty might be someone the Panthers are targeting after a stylish showing at the 2021 Senior Bowl.

McKitty doesn’t have a ton of film to go off for evaluators. But his size, strength, and ball skills make him an enticing proposition who could become highly productive at the next level with some extra coaching.

Round No. 7 (Pick No. 234)

Pooka Williams Jr. – RB (Kansas)

Getting another option to put behind Christian McCaffrey after Mike Davis bolted in free agency for the Atlanta Falcons would be useful. Pooka Williams Jr. was a high school phenom in Louisiana who went on to accumulate 2,382 rushing yards, 12 touchdowns, and 5.7 yards-per-carry during his three years in college.

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Williams can also assist in the passing game when required, totaling 534 receiving yards and four scores from 66 receptions. He has enough burst and elusiveness to ensure he can play a part somewhere, and learning from someone like McCaffrey might make all the difference.