2020 NFL Draft: 5 first-round targets for the Carolina Panthers

Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images /
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Taking a look at five possible prospects that the Carolina Panthers could target in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

The 2020 NFL Draft is right around the corner and there seems to be a bit of a consensus of who the Carolina Panthers could take in the first round. However, nobody truly knows how the board will fall in front of them so I decided to list some prospects Matt Rhule could target at No. 7 overall.

The Carolina Panthers made some headlines this offseason, namely agreeing to a massive contract with Matt Rhule to become the franchise’s new head coach and lead voice. Rhule got off to a fast start agreeing to a player-for-player swap of starting pro bowl guard Trai Turner for Russell Okung.

This was questionable for a few reasons, one being Carolina is getting an older player coming off a season where he missed ten games after suffering from a pulmonary embolism due to blood clots. It was a scary situation, but he did recover and played six games for the Chargers.

Okung is a former two-time Pro Bowl tackle, one of which came in 2017 under new Carolina Panthers offensive line coach Pat Meyer. Maybe reuniting the two could give Okung a nice bounce-back season.

Carolina’s offense seems set for the 2020 season, especially after this free agency period. They brought in Teddy Bridgewater and let go of former MVP quarterback Cam Newton. It may have been a tough decision, but it was the right call.

Bridgewater is reunited with new offensive coordinator Joe Brady as the two spent some time together in New Orleans. There was another key reunion in Carolina when they brought in former New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson. Rhule coached Anderson when the two were at Temple.

As for the offensive line, the Carolina Panthers have two key departures inside with the trade of Turner and former guard Greg Van Roten who signed in New York with the Jets. John Miller figures to fill one of the guard spots, but they’ll like have to address the interior line at som point in the 2020 NFL Draft. Their tackle spots are covered with Okung and Taylor Moton as well as their center spot with Matt Paradis.

The Carolina Panthers really have to do some work on the defensive side of the ball in the 2020 NFL Draft. In the first round, they’ll like likely address one of their holes on the defense, but they’ll have to continue plugging their holes in the middle and later rounds as well. Carolina needs, in no particular order, an interior lineman, linebacker, cornerback and safety. Luke Keuchly announced his retirement, James Bradberry walked in free agency and Eric Reid was cut. All three of those players were starters last season.

Replacing Keuchly will be the toughest task for the Carolina Panthers as he was on his way to a Hall of Fame career, but for now, they just need a competent starter. The good news is that Carolina could have a chance to fill either one of these positions in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

There are some big-time prospects that the Carolina Panthers could target in the first round, but who they select will be determined by who is still available for them at No. 7 overall. There are a bunch of scenarios that I have run and any of these should make Panthers fans happy. Some may need some crazy trades to happen in front of them to happen, but it is realistic. So, here are your five prospect targets for the Carolina Panthers.