Final 7-round Panthers 2021 mock draft after Teddy Bridgewater trade

Dean Jones
(Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater
(Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater /
5 of 7
Carolina Panthers
(Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports) James Wiggins /

Round No. 4 (Pick No. 113)

James Wiggins – S (Cincinnati)

The need for a long-term option to put alongside Jeremy Chinn at the safety spot is there for all to see. Juston Burris didn’t do enough in 2020 to convince anybody that he can be a reliable option beyond the final year of his deal and although the Carolina Panthers might wait until 2022 to use a top-end pick on the position, someone like James Wiggins represents good value here.

Wiggins enjoyed a fine career at Cincinnati that was further enhanced by a sensational showing in front of Carolina’s coaching staff during Senior Bowl week. He has everything the Panthers look for in a defensive player, with his versatility, athleticism, and high football IQ sure to go down well in an NFL environment.

There is a lot to like about Wiggins’ ball skills, as was reflected by the five interceptions and 11 passes defended he accumulated in college. Carolina could use the prospect in a multitude of different ways during his initial transition, which proved so beneficial for Chinn last time out on his way to a phenomenal campaign that was worthy of winning the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year accolade.

Expecting that sort of impact from Wiggins would be unrealistic, at least initially. However, his physicality and athleticism are enough alone for him to play a big part as a rookie in the right fit.