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Carolina Panthers Mock Draft Roundup 3.0

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2021 NFL draft, we will update our Carolina Panthers Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Carolina Panthers from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Panthers:

EDSFootball - Hanson (1/1)

9. Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern

In his first draft with the Panthers, Matt Rhule went all defense (literally). I initially slotted Trey Lance here, but the franchise uses this pick to protect Teddy Bridgewater -- not replace him (yet, at least).

As talented as Penei Sewell may be, not every evaluator has him ranked as their top offensive lineman. For example, NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah, one of the league's most connected and well-respected evaluators, has Slater ranked ahead of Sewell.
While I have those two swapped in my OL rankings, the point is Slater could be off the board earlier than this. Even if he lacks ideal length and may eventually kick inside, the way he held his own against Chase Young last year suggests that he can more than hold up at tackle at the next level. Both Russell Okung and Taylor Moton are impending free agents.

San Diego Union Tribune (12/31)

9. Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

Rasul Douglas is clearly the weakest link in a young, up-and-coming defense. He has allowed a 156.3 passer rating the last three weeks. Farley is a physical press corner with elite athleticism and size (6-foot-2, 197 pounds) who also opted out due to COVID.

Touchdown Wire - Schofield (12/31)

9. Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

The Carolina Panthers could go in a number of different directions with this pick. Many anticipate that they look to bring in another option at quarterback given that Teddy Bridgewater was a serviceable option this season, but with a pick inside the top 10, this is the time to strike at QB. They could also address linebacker or offensive line.

Another position they can address is cornerback. For most of the season the Panthers were somewhat stagnant schematically, using a lot of zone coverage looks. Adding a man coverage corner to give them versatility in the secondary would be huge for 2021, and they'll get that in Caleb Farley. He has the length and the coverage skills to be a lockdown player in the NFL.

PFF - Gayle (12/29)

9. Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

After firing GM Marty Hurney in late December, the new Panthers regime will need to make the decision to either build around Teddy Bridgewater and his $23M cap hit in 2021 or look to make an upgrade at the position this offseason. If they're indeed drafting at No. 9 overall, the prospects of Lance, Alabama's Mac Jones or Florida's Kyle Trask might not be enough for the front office to draft a rookie quarterback over Parsons.

The former Penn State off-ball linebacker is currently PFF's sixth-ranked prospect on the 2021 NFL Draft board. Parsons also finished the 2019 season as the highest-graded off-ball linebacker (91.6).

CBS Sports - Wilson (12/29)

9. Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

The Panthers could go a number of ways here, including targeting a QB or CB, but Kyle Pitts is not only the best tight end in this class, he might end up being the best receiver (think Darren Waller).

Pro Football Network - Miller (12/26)

9. Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

This 2021 2-Round NFL Mock Draft is officially off the rails. I do not want Lance to be an afterthought. Remember y'all, this is not real life. Let me explain.

Joe Burrow was a Day 3 player before Joe Brady got his hands on the offense at Louisiana State University. Lance has physical tools that make Burrow look like late-stage Drew Brees, just arm-punting the ball out in the general direction of the sideline.

This is a perfect situation for Lance to develop without having to play immediately. Teddy Bridgewater can bridge these waters until Lance can make it across to the other side. He has the same type of tools Lawrence does from a purely physical perspective, but he might be even more athletic.

PFF - Renner (12/23)

4. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

Fields doesn't fall too far, as Carolina has now fully hit reset after firing general manager Marty Hurney. The Panthers simply have to set their sights higher than Teddy Bridgewater and his 66.8 passing grade this season. They have too much talent offensively to be a below-average scoring offense.

Bleacher Report - Miller (12/22)

4. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

In April, the Panthers used every pick at their disposal on a defender. That will not be the case this year, as head coach Matt Rhule is in prime position to draft his quarterback of the future.

Previous update: Carolina Panthers Mock Draft Roundup 2.0

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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