The Carolina Panthers sit at pick number seven in the 2020 NFL Draft. It has been a wild and hectic offseason for the team. First, the team signs a new Head Coach in Matt Rhule among a plethora of other changes to the coaching staff. The Panthers then lose star Inside Linebacker, Luke Keuchly to retirement, and veteran Tight End Greg Olsen to Seattle. There are a lot of questions about how Carolina will handle the upcoming free agency and the Draft. In this Pre-Free Agency article, we will take a look at where the Panthers could go in the Draft with their early first-round pick.
Do the Panthers select Derrick Brown?
It was no doubt that the Panthers lacked something up the middle on the defensive side of the ball all last season. Even with the addition of Gerald McCoy, an early injury to Kawann Short and a few more injuries scattered through the season made life hard for the defense to stop the run. Sitting at the number seven spot, they stand a great chance to grab a terrific prospect by the name of Derrick Brown out of Auburn. Brown has been one of the most impressive interior defensive linemen this past season. He is disruptive up the middle, and because of his power, he requires to be double teamed by offensive linemen. This pick would be enormous pass rushing as well as in run defense.
Do the Panthers select Isaiah Simmons?
There is no doubt that with the absence of Luke Keuchly, there is now a gaping hole in the linebacker core for the Panthers. Shaq Thompson will likely have to move to the inside linebacker position. This move does not leave a whole lot of strong starting talent. There is a possibility that the Panthers will have a chance to grab one of the more athletic linebackers in the Draft with where they are positioned.
Isaiah Simmons is one of the most impressive defensive players in this Draft, next to Chase Young. Simmons turned heads with a 4.39 40 yard dash and an impressive showing at the Combine to complement what we have already seen on tape. Simmons can be anywhere you need him to be. He can be on the outside, inside, or he can even go into pass coverage. A player of his talent would prove valuable to Carolina’s defense, which, in a way, is rebuilding.
Do the Panthers select Andrew Thomas?
The offensive line for the Panthers has been a struggle since their last Super Bowl run. Quarterback Cam Newton has always struggled with not having the best protection. There is a slight chance that the Panthers could address this glaring issue with their first pick of the Draft. The Offensive Tackle position is stacked in this year’s Draft. There are guys like Jedrick Willis, Tristan Wirfs, and Andrew Thomas that might be available at number seven. Andrew Thomas is one of the better Offensive Lineman that should be available at number seven. He is a strong and powerful Offensive Tackle. He, at times, gets beat, but even when he does, he can recover with his strength. This prospect would be a solid pick for the Panthers
Considering the Panthers are on the verge of rebuilding, and a lot of questions surround the state of the team. They need every pick they can get to start putting the pieces back together. The Panthers still have a lot of talent on their roster, but they are a few pieces short from being back to a playoff-ready team once again. Hopefully, the free agency and the NFL Draft will help them get a few steps closer to where they once were.
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