Draft week is finally here! The Panthers still hold the No. 8 overall pick but are reportedly interested in moving back. First-year GM Scott Fitterer is accustomed to trading back from his time with the Seattle Seahawks. Having said that, the hope is that Carolina will not have another top-ten draft pick in the near future. With that in mind, I believe that the Panthers hold onto the No. 8 pick as long as a suitable player is still on the board.
Round 1, Pick 8: OT Penei Sewell (Oregon)
Maybe I'm being too optimistic believing that Penei Sewell will fall to the Panthers at eight. But the only real threat to this not becoming a reality is the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 5. The Bengals could easily fall for Joe Burrow's former college teammate, Ja'Marr Chase, thus giving Carolina a draft day gift. Sewell is arguably the second best overall player in the entire draft. The Panthers' top offensive line talent, Taylor Moton, is currently under the franchise tag. They have to start building a dominant unit up front so that they don't waste the talent of their young playmakers.
Round 2, Pick 39: LB Jabril Cox (LSU)
Adding Denzel Perryman in free agency was a good start but the team still needs LB help. Jabril Cox would fit perfect with the position-less style defense that Matt Rhule and Phil Snow ran last year. He can cover receivers and tight ends as well as stuff the run. Cox and Jeremy Chinn could wreak havoc lining up all over the field.
Round 3, Pick 73: CB Tyson Campbell (Georgia)
Think back to the legion of boom days with the Seahawks and Fitterer is going to want to recreate that in Carolina. That Super Bowl winning defense featured big, long and strong defensive backs that weren't afraid to hit. Tyson Campbell fits this mold.
Round 4, Pick 113: OL Deonte Brown (Alabama)
So we got the LT spot taken care of with Sewell in the first. Now, we need an upgrade on the interior of the OL. Deonte Brown was a four-year starter for the Crimson Tide leading the way for running backs like Josh Jacobs, Damien Harris and Najee Harris. I can see him leading the way for Christian McCaffrey.
Round 5, Pick 151: WR Anthony Schwartz (Auburn)
Carolina lost speedster Curtis Samuel to free agency earlier this offseason. Insert the fastest player in this years draft, Anthony Schwartz. Schwartz ran a 4.25 unofficial 40 yard dash at Auburn's pro day. He projects to be a gimmick-type player but one that Joe Brady can utilize nonetheless.
Round 6, Pick 193: QB Sam Ehlinger (Texas)
A team that misses out on one of the top-five QB prospects might just call the Panthers about Teddy Bridgewater on day two or three of the draft. If that's the case, then Carolina might need to address the backup spot. Sam Ehlinger was a four-year starter at Texas and has a lot of attributes that could make him a quality NFL backup. He has above-average athleticism and a decent arm. Sitting behind Sam Darnold for a few years could be exactly what he needs to start his career.
Round 6, Pick 222: DE Tarron Jackson (Coastal Carolina)
The Panthers have quietly built one of the better defensive lines in the NFL over the past few seasons. Even if Jackson is nothing more than a depth move I still believe he can come in on third downs and pressure the quarterback. Jackson had 8.5 sacks last season and that wasn't even his best mark. He had 10 in his junior year.
You can follow us for future coverage by clicking "Follow" on the top right-hand corner of the page. Also, be sure to like us on Facebook & Twitter:
Facebook - @PanthersOnSI