4 winners and 3 losers from the Carolina Panthers 2021 NFL Draft

Dean Jones
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn is drafted /

Who were the winners and losers from what turned out to be a hugely eventful 2021 NFL Draft for the Carolina Panthers?

The dust is now beginning to settle on what turned out to be one of the more eventful NFL drafts in the 26-year history of the Carolina Panthers. General manager Scott Fitterer wasted no time stamping his mark on the franchise with an unprecedented amount of moving up and down the board, which resulted in 11 selections and even getting a coveted fourth-rounder back that they’re losing as part of the Sam Darnold trade.

Nobody will know how successful this draft was for a couple of years, although some of the top-end selections will be counted upon to make their presence felt from the word go. The Panthers don’t seem that far away from realistically entering the postseason picture, although much will depend on whether Darnold is the quarterback they think he is or simply another first-round bust.

This was a refreshing change for Carolina’s fanbase to see such purpose and genuine direction in the war room. Fitterer’s relationship with head coach Matt Rhule has been crucial in this and hopefully, it is the start of a prolific relationship that brings plenty of progress for the Panthers.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at four winners and three losers in Carolina following the 2021 NFL Draft.

Winner No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Joe Brady /

Joe Brady – Carolina Panthers OC

It’s not like Joe Brady was short of weapons before the draft, but Carolina’s offensive coordinator now has an embarrassment riches to call upon in 2021. The Panthers brought in some dynamic playmakers that open up so many different options for the coach, who got plenty of interviews for top jobs this offseason without doing enough to earn one.

However, if Brady can turn Sam Darnold’s career around and lead this offense to bigger and better things next season, then a head coaching job won’t be far behind.

Carolina brought in Terrace Marshall Jr. at No. 59, who has worked with Brady before during their time together at LSU. Chuba Hubbard, Tommy Tremble, and Shi Smith also have the potential to play an important role, so the possibilities from a play-calling standpoint are endless.