The Carolina Panthers filled a lot of needs while upgrading some spots on their roster in the 2021 NFL Draft. They decided to get a shutdown corner in the 1st round with South Carolina's Jaycee Horn and followed that up by drafting LSU wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. in the 2nd.
Many NFL Draft experts including Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay loved what the Panthers did in the draft from top to bottom. Even the folks at NFL.com thought highly of the job done by GM Scott Fitterer by giving the Panthers an "A" grade for the entire draft.
Here's the analysis behind the grade from NFL.com's Chad Reuter:
The Panthers used all seven of their 2020 draft picks on defense and they could not resist starting the 2021 draft with a defensive player, selecting a talented, athletic, press corner in Horn. They focused, rightly, on offense on Day 2, getting excellent value in Marshall (only injuries kept him from the first round), Christensen (solid, reliable tackle who will compete with Greg Little at left tackle) and Tremble (watch for him to contribute as a nice target for new quarterback Sam Darnold).
The Panthers found a replacement for Mike Davis in Hubbard, who saw his stock drop a bit in 2020 but has enough speed and toughness to excel. Nixon was an excellent find in the fifth round, potentially becoming a Grady Jarrett-type value because of his quickness and tenacity. Taylor joins Horn as another physical outside corner. Brown isn’t a great mover but will be a nice power scheme blocker. He’s tough to shake once engaged. Receiver depth was still a consideration late in the draft, and Smith’s toughness from the slot and as a returner belies his slight frame.
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