Panthers Take Defensive Star in Latest Sports Illustrated Mock Draft

Schuyler Callihan

This Tuesday, Kevin Hansen of Sports Illustrated released his latest 2020 NFL Mock Draft and has the Carolina Panthers passing on Auburn defensive lineman Derrick Brown to select Clemson versatile linebacker, Isaiah Simmons.

"With the retirement of Luke Kuechly, adding a talent like Simmons here makes sense. While Simmons won the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker, it’s his versatility that stands out. The converted safety had 104 tackles, eight sacks, three interceptions and two forced fumbles for Clemson in 2019," Hansen said on his analysis of the projected pick.

If you have read our weekly mock drafts here on Panther Maven, you'll notice that Isaiah Simmons is our prohibited favorite to be the Panthers first round pick. 

Simmons is extremely versatile and can line up at many positions across the defense. As Hansen eluded to, the Panthers have to find a way to make up for the loss of Luke Kuechly. Shaq Thompson could be the next leader of the defense, but he's going to need some help along the way. Getting a guy like Simmons would do wonders for this defense and although you can't truly replace Kuechly, you can do it by committee.

The Panthers will still have the ability to take a promising young defensive lineman beyond the first round, so letting a guy such as Simmons slip away would be a huge mistake. 

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