5 college left tackles the Carolina Panthers should watch closely in 2021

(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) Evan Neal
(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) Evan Neal /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports) Jaxson Kirkland /

Jaxson Kirkland – Washington

Another tackle generating some significant momentum ahead of the 2021 season is Jaxson Kirkland. The Washington stud steadily progressed over his first two seasons before a breakout campaign last time around saw his draft stock surge as a result.

According to Pro Football Focus, Kirkland gave up just two pressures from 124 pass-blocking snaps last season on his way to an outstanding 86.6 overall grade. More than enough to make NFL scouts sit up and take notice.

What comes next for Kirkland will be equally as important. Providing he can maintain this level of production and perhaps even increase it, someone is going to take him with a high-end selection in 2022.

Whether the Carolina Panthers will be that team remains to be seen.

It would be a big surprise if any of their current options at left tackle made the necessary improvements in the coming months. And in truth, this is a position they’ve ignored for too long.

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Whether the need for a quarterback will be greater if Sam Darnold fails could make them think twice. But no matter who is under center, things won’t get better unless they get enough time to go through their progressions.