5 NFL Draft targets in every round for the Carolina Panthers in 2021

(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) Penei Sewell
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) Penei Sewell /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Justin Fields /

Which incoming college recruits might the Carolina Panthers look to target during every round of the 2021 NFL Draft?

The Carolina Panthers are now in the final stages of putting together their list of possibilities ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft. General manager Scott Fitterer said in his recent press conference that they have a big board consisting of 155 college hopefuls after beginning the evaluation process with more than 1,000. This also includes 16 players who have been given first-round grades.

Credit must go to the organization for making every cent count during difficult financial times in free agency. The Panthers brought in some notable additions that didn’t cost the earth and providing they can get their draft picks right, then a trip to the postseason is not entirely out of the question for a talented roster that needs a couple more instant starters from the college ranks to get over the hump.

With this in mind, we took a look at each round Carolina is picking in next week and named five potential targets.

Carolina Panthers round No. 1 targets

  • Justin Fields – QB (Ohio State)
  • Penei Sewell – OT (Oregon)
  • Jaycee Horn – CB (South Carolina)
  • Rashawn Slater – OT (Northwestern)
  • Patrick Surtain – CB (Alabama)

The Carolina Panthers gave given themselves plenty of options regarding the No. 8 overall selection after trading for Sam Darnold from the New York Jets. They might still end up taking a quarterback if someone like Justin Fields makes it to No. 8, but there are some obvious and perhaps more pressing needs that need to take more of a priority.

Most notably, the Panthers need a franchise left tackle. This is something they’ve sorely missed ever since All-Pro Jordan Gross hung up his cleats in 2013, so if Penei Sewell falls into their laps or Rashawn Slater is available, then it’s something that should be strongly considered.

And in Sewell’s case, a no-brainer.

Getting a potential shutdown cornerback should also be high on the list of things Carolina needs to get from this draft. Patrick Surtain has an obvious pedigree that shouldn’t be ignored. But if the Panthers decide to trade down for more in the way of picks, it could see them look in the direction of former South Carolina sensation Jaycee Horn.

The possibilities are endless and only made possible by the Darnold trade. But whether that will work out as all parties hope is another matter entirely.