Carolina Panthers select stud DT in early 2022 mock draft

Dean Jones
(Photo by Steve Limentani/ISI Photos/Getty Images) DeMarvin Leal
(Photo by Steve Limentani/ISI Photos/Getty Images) DeMarvin Leal /

The Carolina Panthers selected Texas A&M defensive tackle DeMarvin Leal in a recent 2022 NFL mock draft from a respected analyst.

It’s way too early to start wondering just what the Carolina Panthers are going to need from a positional standpoint in the 2022 NFL Draft. But that doesn’t stop analysts from making some initial thoughts almost as soon as this year’s selection process came to a conclusion.

Teams across the league start scouting prospects way in advance, which should also ring true for the Panthers. There should be a sense of normality to the 2021 college football season with COVID-19 restrictions easing, with plenty of potential talent entering the NFL next year after differing their eligibility in the current climate.

Hopes are high for Carolina to make some significant strides next season under Matt Rhule. They made some exciting additions on both sides of the football and if Sam Darnold shows growth under center after his trade from the New York Jets, then it’s hard to envisage a situation where the team doesn’t make much more noise.

However, it does appear to be a precarious situation and one that could go either way where Darnold is concerned.

This could have some pretty big ramifications one way or another.

Carolina Panthers draft DeMarvin Neal at No. 5 in Charlie Campbell’s mock.

Charlie Campbell of has the Panthers picking at No. 5 overall in his 2022 mock draft, which indicates he thinks Darnold is going to struggle despite the wealth of talent around him.

But instead of giving them a signal-caller of the future, Campbell’s early mock has them taking DeMarvin Neal out of Texas A&M instead.

Although some may consider this a strange route to go down, Neal’s talent is there for all to see.

He made some notable strides for the Aggies in 2020 and now has two solid seasons of production under his belt, so there could be even more to come before the interior lineman takes his chances at the next level.

Neal’s contribution in the final few games of the previous campaign was especially pleasing and something that will no doubt have caught the eye of NFL scouts on his way to 30 tackles, 2.5 sacks, one forced fumble, one interception, and three passes defended.

Pairing Neal and Derrick Brown might be a mouth-watering proposition for the Panthers. But with Bravvion Roy and Daviyon Nixon already on the roster, using a high-end pick on the position is highly questionable in this scenario.

If the Panthers are picking this high, it would be nothing short of a disaster and might come with another offseason of substantial changes across the board.

A top-five pick would certainly be a more enticing proposition for the Houston Texans should Carolina go back in for Deshaun Watson, with North Carolina‘s gifted signal-caller Sam Howell another popular name that will come up plenty.

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There is a lot of football to be played between now and when Carolina is on the clock next year. Hopefully, they won’t have the luxury of a top-10 selection if everything clicks into place within a talented young roster and much will also depend on how Neal brings his game on next season.