2020 NFL Draft: Top team needs for the Carolina Panthers

Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images
Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images /
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2020 NFL Draft Kristian Fulton
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The Carolina Panthers have some holes to fill when the draft kicks off next week, so I listed some of their most pressing needs, mainly on defense.

The 2020 NFL Draft is only a week away and we will see an unprecedented process play out as the Carolina Panthers, as well as the other 31 teams, will have a virtual draft from their homes. Commissioner Roger Goodell will be announcing the picks from his basement in Bronxville, NY and there will be cameras in the homes of coaches and general managers giving the fans an entirely new experience. As they say “The show must go on” and indeed it will.

As far as who or what positions the Carolina Panthers could target, most mock drafts have them selecting defensive lineman Derrick Brown from Auburn in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He’s a dominant player and Carolina could use another body on the line, but should it be a top priority for them? And what are the top needs for the Carolina Panthers? Let’s discuss.

1. Cornerback

To me, cornerback is the top need for the Carolina Panthers. They lost James Bradberry when he left in free agency for the New York Giants and I’m not sure that Donte Jackson is the answer. Jackson did have three interceptions last year for Carolina, however, when looking at his advanced stats in 10 starts he allowed 61% of completions and five touchdowns on 59 targets. That isn’t what you want to see from your outside corner.

Surprisingly Ross Cockrell is still unsigned and could still be an option for the Carolina Panthers. In 11 starts, Cockrell was targeted 67 times for a completion rate of 55.2% which is pretty respectable. He also had two interceptions and eight passes defended and helped out with 62 total tackles.

Even if the Carolina Panthers decide to bring back Cockrell, they’ll need to add to the position. That’s where the draft will come into play. I’d like to see Carolina try to trade down a few spots and see if they could accumulate some extra picks. I could also see them targeting Florida cornerback C.J. Henderson as he continues to rise up draft boards.

Potential cornerback targets: C.J. Henderson, Florida (1st round), Kristian Fulton, LSU (1st round-trade down), Jeff Gladney, TCU (1st-2nd round trade option), Damon Arnette, Ohio State (Day two), Jaylon Johnson, Utah (Day two), Noah Igbinoghene, Auburn (2nd round), Trevon Diggs, Alabama (2nd round).