Jason Hewitt's Carolina Panthers Seven-Round Mock Draft 3.0

How will Carolina draft after the Darnold trade?
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Round 1, Pick 8: OT Rashawn Slater (Northwestern)

The Panthers could pursue another quarterback through the draft, but I believe that they made their bed when they traded for Sam Darnold, so they should lie in it. The best three quarterbacks in the draft (Lawrence, Fields, and Wilson) will probably be gone before the No. 8 pick at this point, so Carolina should focus on building an elite offensive line. Slater's ability to play multiple positions will be extremely beneficial for this team. He arguably has the best technique out of any offensive lineman in the draft (Yes, including Sewell) and he should make an immediate impact on this roster.

Round 2, Pick 39: OT Dillon Radunz (North Dakota State)

This is a fantastic draft class when it comes to the offensive line, and Scott Fitterer should take advantage of that. The Panthers should give Darnold every possible opportunity to succeed in this offense so that there are no excuses for him this season. With that being said, Dillon Radunz is a fantastic tackle prospect who could be an absolute steal at No. 38. Trey Lance was able to make many explosive plays because of Radunz's dominance on the line of scrimmage. Radunz's aggression in the run game and poise in pass protection are too impressive to overlook. While Slater is more than capable of starting at tackle, his versatility will allow him to thrive on the inside while Radunz holds it down on the outside.

Round 3, Pick 73: TE Brevin Jordan (Miami)

It's time for the Panthers to find a true replacement to Greg Olsen, and Brevin Jordan could be the perfect player to fill that role. Jordan is a playmaker who has great size and athleticism at the tight end position. He's able to line up at multiple spots in Joe Brady's formations and is an absolute monster after the catch. Jordan could be a dangerous weapon for Sam Darnold to utilize in 2021.

Round 4, Pick 113: CB Trill Williams (Syracuse)

The Panthers may have addressed the cornerback position in free agency, but that doesn't mean that they're done with adding depth. Trill Williams would be a solid pick in the later rounds. His long 6'0, 208 lb. frame along with his low 4.4s 40-time may catch Fitterer's eyes as a nickel corner. He plays a versatile and physical brand of football that seems like a perfect match with Phil Snow's defense. 

Round 5, Pick 151: FS Caden Sterns (Texas)

Sterns could be a great complement to Jeremy Chinn in the secondary. While Chinn is great in the run game and okay in the passing game, Sterns is the complete opposite. Sterns has proven to be fantastic in both man and zone coverage while his run-stuffing abilities could improve. He could be a solid NFL free safety who could start sooner than later because of his coverage skills.

Round 6, Pick 192: RB Chris Evans (Michigan)

Now that Mike Davis plays for the Atlanta Falcons, the Panthers will have to find somebody to be Christian McCaffrey's backup. There is an interesting case for drafting Evans here. He passes the eye test with flying colors and could be a great third down back in the NFL. However, he was placed on academic suspension in 2019 and didn't earn as much playing time for the Wolverines in 2020. He's certainly a risk, but Matt Rhule seems like the perfect coach to guide him as a professional. 

Round 6, Pick 220: LB Grant Stuard (Houston)

Stuard is undersized at the linebacker position with his 5'11, 230-pound frame. However, he plays with maximum effort all the time, which perfectly aligns with Matt Rhule's hard-nosed football ideology. Stuard plays with explosiveness, but his lack of size may limit him on defense. His contributions on special teams are what stand out, and he could potentially be an ace in that role with the Panthers. 

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