4 undrafted free agents the Carolina Panthers should target in 2021

Dean Jones
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) K.J. Costello
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) K.J. Costello /
3 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports) K.J. Costello /

K.J. Costello – QB (Mississippi State)

As many predicted, K.J. Costello’s disappointing campaign with Mississippi State in 2020 ultimately cost him a place on the draft board. However, the quarterback could be a hot commodity on the undrafted free-agent market and the Carolina Panthers might be one of the teams in the mix as they look for a development project to put alongside Sam Darnold, Will Grier, and P.J. Walker on the depth chart.

Costello’s struggles were there for all to see last season. The SEC is an unforgiving place and the signal-caller found that out to his cost. But his skill set might be better suited to the pros and it is a little soon to be giving up on him just yet.

One thing that makes Costello such an intriguing prospect is his cannon for an arm. He can sling it deep almost at will and has the sort of quick release that normally goes down very well at the next level.

His balance is another strong element of his game when examining the film. But decision-making – especially under pressure – is an area where Costello needs some substantial work.

The Panthers are clearly all-in on Darnold, who will make or break the 2021 season depending on how he performs. Bringing Costello onto the practice squad and allowing him to develop is an option, though.