The 2020 NFL Draft is officially behind us and now, we take a look ahead to the 2021 NFL Draft. It's never too early to look ahead at next year's draft is it? Below, I lay out my way-too-early mock draft for the Carolina Panthers.
RD 1, Pick 4: WR Ja'Marr Chase (LSU)
I know exactly what you're thinking - why in the heck a receiver at No. 4? Well, Chase just happens to be the most dominant receiver in college football and could've easily been the top receiver off of the board in this year's draft. He played under Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady and he gives the Panthers a BIG time playmaker.
RD 2, Pick 36: OL Josh Myers (Ohio State)
The Panthers elected to use all of their 2020 draft picks on the defensive side of the ball, despite the holes on the offensive line. I foresee the line struggling once again in 2020, making it a glaring need to add some help on the interior of the line. Myers has a lot of potential, but will he live up to the billing?
RD 3, Pick 68: CB Asante Samuel Jr. (Florida State)
Carolina is going to work on rebuilding their secondary, but aside from Troy Pride Jr., there's not much hope at the corner spot. Samuel Jr. had a decent sophomore campaign, but has a lot of room to improve and I believe that he will take that next big step in 2020.
RD 4, Pick 100: LB Chazz Surratt (North Carolina)
Surratt made the switch from quarterback to linebacker and it proves to be the best decision for his future. He finished this past season with 115 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks.
RD 5, Pick 132: RB Pooka Williams (Kansas)
The Jayhawk running back is easily the most overlooked back in the country and not because of his small stature, but because of where he plays. No one really pays attention to Kansas, but if you ever turn on a game of theirs, he'll jump off the screen. This dude can absolutely fly and has some elite make-you-miss type of moves in the open field. McCaffrey needs some help in that backfield.
RD 6, Pick 164: DL Kyree Campbell (Florida)
Campbell hasn't got his chance to shine just yet in that Gator defense, but much of that is because of the NFL talent they have had on the roster during his time in Gainesville. 2020 seems like the perfect opportunity for Campbell to step up and prove his worth.
RD 7, Pick 196: OL Drew Himmelman (Illinois State)
Russell Okung won't be in Carolina forever and if Greg Little shows little to no improvement, Carolina could be looking for another offensive tackle for Okung to groom along.
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