8 prospects the Carolina Panthers must consider trading up for on Day 2

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Malik Willis
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Malik Willis /
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Carolina Panthers
(Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports) Boye Mafe /

852. . DE. Golden Gophers . BOYE MAFE. 7. player

Carolina Panthers could target Boye Mafe

  • Defensive End | Minnesota

Now that the Carolina Panthers have their blindside protector in Ikem Ekwonu, attention might turn to bolster the defensive line if those in power decide to go down the veteran trade route for a quarterback.

One name that stands out like a sore thumb is Boye Mafe, who was expected to be a dark horse first-round contender before teams went in different directions. The Minnesota product is a dominant physical presence that is only going to get better, so it would be a big surprise if he wasn’t one of the first names taken on Day 2.

The Panthers might be content with Marquis Haynes and Yetur Gross-Matos as their pass-rushing options opposite Brian Burns after Haason Reddick left for the Philadelphia Eagles in free agency. There is also some potential value to be had in the later rounds if they find the right guy.

However, if those in power feel like Mafe’s upside is worth a trade-up, then the Panthers have to strike quickly and with conviction.

Mafe tested extremely well during the evaluation process. He might still be a little raw in terms of technique, but there is a lot to suggest he can bring his game on a significant amount with professional coaching.