Grading every pick from an impressive Panthers 2022 NFL Draft class

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Ikem Ekwonu
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Ikem Ekwonu /
6 of 7
Carolina Panthers
(Calvin Mattheis/The Knoxville News-Sentinel via IMAGN Content Services) Cade Mays /

CADE MAYS. 199. player. 839. . OL. Volunteers

Cade Mays – Carolina Panthers OL

  • No. 199 overall selection

Finding another option for the offensive line after acquiring Ikem Ekwonu at No. 6 overall can only improve depth where the Carolina Panthers are concerned. Many of those sitting in backup roles right now vastly underperformed in 2021 and although a late-round rookie might not provide immediate assistance, Cade Mays has the qualities needed to become a core rotational piece that might emerge into a starter.

Mays has something the Panthers seek heavily in almost every lineman.

That, of course, is versatility.

The former Tennessee standout has experience playing anywhere on the interior. Mays specializes in run blocking thanks to a powerful punch at the point of attack, which is in keeping with what the Panthers are planning to do on offense under Ben McAdoo.

Footwork – especially when it comes to pass protection – has to improve. But fortunately for Mays, he’ll be working with James Campen, one of the best positional coaches in the business.

Draft Grade: A-

Considering where Carolina ended up getting Mays, it’s got extremely high value attached. Not putting too much on the player initially is also something the Panthers can now do with Brady Christensen set to slot in at left guard following Ekwonu’s arrival.