Each day leading up to the 2021 NFL Draft, we will take a look at prospects that should be on the Carolina Panthers' radar. We will look at roughly eleven prospects per round to give a better idea of potential draftees beyond just the first round.
Here's our schedule for the next 80 days:
1st Round: Feb. 8th - Feb. 21st
2nd Round: Feb. 22nd - Mar. 6th
3rd Round: Mar. 7th - Mar. 18th
4th Round: Mar. 19th - Mar. 28th
5th Round: Mar. 29th - Apr. 7th
6th Round: Apr. 8th - Apr. 17th
7th Round: Apr. 18th - Apr. 27th
Prospect No. 70: OL Cole Van Lanen
Height: 6'5" Weight: 312 lbs
Draft range: 6th-7th
Analysis: Wisconsin has been known to produce some quality offensive linemen over the years and Cole Van Lanen could be one of the next. Not only is Van Lanen big and carries a ton of strength but is very agile and athletic allowing him to take on any breed of pass rusher. There are some fundamental things that he will need to improve on to become a force in the NFL but the talent is certainly there.
Continuing the trend of outstanding offensive line play at Wisconsin, left tackle Van Lanen has been a beacon of consistency for the unit over the last couple seasons. Boasting a prototypical well-proportioned frame, Van Lanen certainly looks the part of a future NFL offensive lineman. He is a smooth athlete who shows adequate foot quickness in pass protection and working to the second level laterally in the run game. This allows him to stay patient with a compact and stable base. Van Lanen is a battle-tested offensive lineman who has been in big-time battles during his time in the Big Ten. He has a powerful lower half, showing the ability to create some movement early on in reps. His power can be compromised with less than ideal pad level. It can make Van Lanen’s balance inconsistent, leading to far too many reps on the ground. His hand usage in both the run and pass game can leave a lot to be desired. He can leave his hands too low, contacting low and late on opposing defenders. Van Lanen doesn’t do exceptionally well working in space. He does his best work playing in tight quarters, bringing to question a potential move inside at the next level. Even so, Van Lanen is the type of offensive lineman who could potentially back up multiple positions on the offensive line. With his combination of size, power and quick feet, he could serve as the preferred swing option with starter upside in the right situation.
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