With the draft just one day away, here’s how the Carolina Panthers could approach the three-day affair.
Head coach: Matt Rhule
General manager: Marty Hurney
2019 record: 5-11
2020 Draft Picks
Round 1, Pick 7
Round 2, Pick 38
Round3, Pick 69
Round 4, Pick 113
Round 5, Pick 152
Round 6, Pick 184
Round 7, Pick 221
Linebacker: The Panthers struggled last year on defense. They lacked speed and talent, especially once Luke Kuechly retired. He brought firepower to that defense and was the captain on that side of the ball. If the Panthers want any shot of succeeding in 2020, they will have to add to the defense. Linebackers are one of the most important players on the field and they have to be smart, physical, and talented.
Carolina could use a good young talented linebacker like Isaiah Simmons from Clemson. He would be a great fit for that defense and could be a future franchise player. Carolina needs to have that defense ready for this year, especially the way the NFC South is playing out. They will need to get big stops and force turnovers to keep other teams off the board.
Cornerback: Carolina also needs help in the secondary. Last year, they let up too many big plays. They need to keep the ball in front of them, break up long passes and get some interceptions. Last year, the secondary looked confused a lot and it cost them quite a bit. They need to stop other teams on third down and force more fumbles and field goals.
This secondary could get a boost by adding a guy like Jeffrey Okudah from Ohio State or C.J. Henderson out of Florida. These young talents have speed and range. They can help out Carolina’s secondary and make them a stronger team. They are hard-working and good, coachable players. The organization would love to have someone like Okudah or Henderson to add to their team. The Panthers have the potential to move in the right direction.
Defensive Line: The defensive line will be a huge make or break position for the Panthers in 2020. They will need to get after every quarterback they face. They need to be able to put pressure on the passer and force mistakes. They will also need to gather some sacks and force fumbles. Getting after the quarterback will make them hurry throws and make bad choices. That can lead to interceptions or batted-down balls. If Carolina can add to their line, they have the potential to be a solid defense.
Adding an athlete like Derrick Brown from Auburn could really spark that line. The Panthers would be smart to pick up someone like him who is big and physical. Carolina will need to blitz a lot and read other offenses. They have potential.
Carolina’s Top 5 Targets
Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina