HomeNFLCarolina Panthers NFL draft picks 2021: Analysis for every selection
Carolina Panthers NFL draft picks 2021: Analysis for every selection
May 1, 2021
The 2021 NFL draft was held April 29 via Could 1, and each Carolina Panthers draft choose has been analyzed right here.
After final season’s digital draft, Cleveland performed host to the festivities this 12 months with a handful of potential draft picks current and socially distanced due to COVID-19.
This is a pick-by-pick have a look at how every participant Carolina has chosen will match.
Spherical 1, No. 8 total: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
My take: The Panthers are so assured in quarterback Sam Darnold and imagine they’re so near changing into a contender this season that they chose a participant who might make the largest affect on the roster, since Florida tight finish Kyle Pitts and Oregon left deal with Penei Sewell had been already gone. Carolina handed on quarterbacks Justin Fields and Mac Jones for a press nook, which was an enormous lacking piece final season. With injury-plagued Donte Jackson coming into the ultimate 12 months of his rookie deal, search for Horn to step proper in as a starter reverse Jackson. Horn is far greater than Jackson at 6-1 and 205 kilos and has a protracted wingspan, which the teaching employees needed since they face so many large receivers within the NFC South. He was simply too good to cross up.
Good pedigree: Horn is the son of longtime NFL extensive receiver Joe Horn, who performed with the Chiefs, Saints and Falcons. So he grew up across the NFL and is aware of what it means to be a professional. “He is seen it his complete life,” coach Matt Rhule stated. He performs with a chip on his shoulder, which is one thing Rhule loves in his gamers.
Huge receivers in NFC South: One space the place the Panthers struggled final season was holding down large receivers similar to Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans, Atlanta’s Julio Jones and New Orleans’ Michael Thomas. They did not have corners who might match up size-wise. Now they do in Horn, whose 33-inch wingspan is spectacular. That they’re going to now be dealing with former Florida tight finish Kyle Pitts (Atlanta, No. 4 total), who performs like a large receiver, makes a protection nook much more essential, significantly on third down the place Carolina could not play man most of final season as a result of measurement and expertise constraints. In keeping with NFL Subsequent Gen Stats, Carolina cornerbacks allowed a median of three.3 yards of separation final season, highest within the NFL.
Try highlights from LSU’s prolific extensive receiver Terrace Marshall Jr.
My take: The Panthers wanted to provide quarterback Sam Darnold one other big-time weapon after dropping Curtis Samuel in free company, and what higher option to do it than so as to add a former star in offensive coordinator Joe Brady’s system throughout LSU’s 2019 championship season. Marshall is an enormous goal (6-2) who could make performs at any receiver spot. He had 48 catches for 731 yards (15.2 common) and 10 touchdowns within the first seven video games final season earlier than opting out. He is a reputable menace to be a starter, and with Robby Anderson coming into the ultimate 12 months of his contract this offers Carolina insurance coverage transferring ahead. The workforce already picked up the fifth-year possibility on 2018 first-round choose DJ Moore. Some had Marshall rated as a first-rounder, so to commerce again twice and nonetheless get Marshall appears like a steal.
My take: The Panthers should actually imagine in Christensen, as a result of they handed on plenty of tackles within the second spherical that had been rated forward of him. That Christensen protected Zach Wilson’s blind aspect in BYU’s pass-happy offense does match the mould of what Carolina needs in its pass-happy scheme run by Joe Brady. Christensen’s grade by Professional Soccer Focus in 2020 was an incredible 96.0. That, by the best way, is a report for a PFF deal with. At 6-foot-6 and 300 kilos, he is acquired room so as to add weight and develop right into a starter. The excellent news is by including Cameron Erving in free company, the Panthers do not should throw Christensen proper into the fireplace on the left aspect.
Try the most effective highlights from Notre Dame TE Tommy Tremble’s faculty profession.
Spherical 3, No. 83 total: Tommy Tremble, TE, Notre Dame
My take: In free company, the Panthers misplaced the most effective blocking tight ends within the league in Chris Manhertz, so perhaps Tremble is his substitute. Tremble is called an ideal blocker on the sting, however not an ideal cross receiver. He had solely 35 catches for 401 yards and 4 TDs in his two seasons at Notre Dame. He is not the massive goal Rhule has talked about wanting so as to add at TE, however he is a gritty participant that matches the mould of what Rhule needs up entrance, and he appears to be scratching the floor of the kind of participant he might be. In different phrases, plenty of potential and upside right here.
Try highlights from Oklahoma State RB Chuba Hubbard’s faculty profession.
Spherical 4, No. 126 total: Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State
My take: The hassle to encompass QB Sam Darnold with offensive choices continues. Hubbard is a grinder who generally is a good change of tempo again from Christian McCaffrey. The 6-0, 207-pound Hubbard rushed for 3,459 yards and 33 touchdowns in three years, however he is additionally efficient as a receiver. He had 53 catches for 479 yards and three touchdowns. May very well be an possibility across the purpose line the place the Panthers struggled in 2020.
Try the most effective highlights from Iowa DT Daviyon Nixon’s faculty profession.
My take: Depth on the line of defense was a necessity heading into the draft. The presumptive starters are final 12 months’s first-round choose, Derrick Brown, and Roy Bravvion. At 6-3, 306 Nixon just isn’t solely a strong run-stopper however can present inside strain. He had 13.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks final season. He additionally had an interception, so he is at all times across the ball. Brown proved to be an ideal run-stopper final 12 months, however extra strain up the center is required.
Spherical 5, No. 166 total: Keith Taylor, CB, Washington
My take: The Panthers acquired greater within the secondary within the first spherical with Jaycee Horn (6-1), and added much more measurement with the 6-3 Taylor. He is greatest fitted for a workforce that performs plenty of press protection, and that is what defensive coordinator Phil Snow needs to do extra. This additionally follows the blueprint common supervisor Scott Fitterer was part of at Seattle in drafting large corners with an enormous wingspan. The Panthers discovered rather a lot about Taylor whereas teaching him on the Senior Bowl. Rhule stated that have can be an enormous benefit for his employees, and this might be an instance of that since Taylor had fallen on many boards.
Try the most effective highlights from Alabama OG Deonte Brown’s spectacular faculty marketing campaign.
My take: Inside depth was a necessity, and the Panthers discovered a strong choose in Brown, who’s 6-foot-4 and 350 kilos, although some say heavier. His nickname is “Cornbread” for a purpose. There are experiences he was as heavy as 360-plus. However what the Panthers have to love is Brown did not quit a sack the previous three years, in keeping with Professional Soccer Focus, so it is one other choose to make quarterback Sam Darnold’s job simpler. The Panthers even have to love his place flexibility. He has began on the best and left aspect. He had some points, suspended going into the 2018-19 faculty playoffs for failing a compulsory drug take a look at. However total, Brown is a strong participant.
Try the highlights from South Carolina WR Shi Smith’s faculty profession.
Spherical 6, No. 204 total: Shi Smith, WR, South Carolina
My take: The Panthers are leaning heavy on gamers they coached or acquired to see on the Senior Bowl on Day 3. Smith is the third one taken, becoming a member of Brown and Taylor, though Taylor wasn’t on Rhule’s workforce. In Smith, the Panthers get one other weapon for quarterback Sam Darnold. He is a smallish extensive receiver at 5-foot-9 and 186 kilos, however keep in mind arguably the most effective draft choose in Carolina historical past was 5-foot-9 Steve Smith, drafted within the third spherical in 2001. Like Steve Smith, Shi is scrappy with good fingers and can present depth at a key place for a pass-happy offense.
Spherical 6, No. 222 total: Thomas Fletcher, LS, Alabama
My take: Hey, J.J. Jansen cannot deep snap endlessly. He is 35 and the Panthers wanted to try a future substitute. Fletcher was thought-about the most effective, if not the most effective, in faculty. It could appear to be a luxurious, however while you stockpile all of the picks that common supervisor Scott Fitterer has, it is value taking an opportunity on a place that as a rule will get ignored. Plus, Jansen makes $1.2 million a 12 months with a cap hit in 2021 of simply shy of $1 million. Fletcher can be a less expensive possibility sooner or later.
Spherical 7, No. 232 total: Phil Hoskins, DT, Kentucky
My take: Extra inside line assist at a place of want. Measurement was an enormous issue right here for a participant who is likely to be considerably of a challenge. He is 6-foot-5 and 313 kilos, and he has an 83 3/8-inch wingspan. He can plug up the center and might be a strong rotational participant. He was granted a sixth 12 months of faculty eligibility after being suspended the primary two video games in 2019 due to an instructional difficulty and missed the remaining due to an harm. Coach Matt Rhule has a historical past as a university coach of efficiently giving gamers a second probability. Huge receiver Robby Anderson is a major instance.