5 possible Panthers targets who could go undrafted in 2021
Xavier Kelly – DL (Arkansas)
Xavier Kelly made the bold decision to transfer from Clemson to Arkansas ahead of the 2020 season in a bid to get more playing time and improve his draft stock. The defensive tackle found opportunities limited with the Tigers and can’t be criticized for taking his chances elsewhere. But the COVID-19 pandemic and the disrupted campaign saw the prospect play just six SEC games before it was time for him to stake his claim for the NFL.
This was a body blow and one that might result in the prospect getting overlooked when it’s time for NFL teams to decide upon their next batch of college recruits. The Carolina Panthers could use some additional depth at the position despite the recent free-agent signing of DaQuan Jones, with Kelly’s capability to play anywhere on the defensive front another big positive that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Kelly does have his limitations, of that there is little doubt. However, he’s shown enough over his four seasons at the college level to demonstrate he could be a nice development project that might turn into a rotational piece with a smooth transition to the pros.
Moving from such a prestigious program was a big gamble. This courage won’t have gone unnoticed by scouts, even though the final outcome wasn’t what anybody hoped for.