Carolina Panthers way-too-early three-round 2021 NFL mock draft

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /
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Jalen Mayfield, Carolina Panthers
Michigan offensive tackle Jalen Mayfield (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

OT. Michigan. Jalen Mayfield. 2. player. Scouting Report. 811. Pick Analysis

After going so defense-heavy in the 2020 NFL Draft, I would not be surprised to see the Carolina Panthers look to address their offense early in the draft next year. This mock draft began with their new franchise quarterback and in the second round, they find an exciting offensive tackle to help protect him.

Jalen Mayfield is coming off of his first full season in college, as he started all 13 games for Michigan at the right tackle position last season. Mayfield is only entering his redshirt sophomore season and is the only full-time returning starter on the Michigan offensive line for the 2020 season. He will likely continue to play right tackle for the Wolverines and has a chance to put himself in the first round conversation for the 2021 NFL Draft with a strong season.

Mayfield shows an impressive combination of long arms, quick feet and powerful hands up front. He uses his length well in pass protection and does a great job of anchoring in and easily taking care of power rushers on the outside. He did struggle a bit against raw speed rushers in 2019, but Mayfield undoubtedly has the athleticism needed to grow in this area as he gets more experience.

He is a solid pass protector who could quickly grow into an exciting prospect in that area, but Mayfield is already a strong run blocker who can drive first-level defenders off of the ball and use his mobility to take care of blocks at the second level. He could quickly grow into a dominant run blocker at the next level.

While Mayfield does have to prove himself a bit against speed, he has an ideal offensive tackle frame, great natural athleticism and is powerful at the point of attack. This guy has everything needed to grow into a premier offensive tackle at the next level and would undoubtedly be an interesting target for the Carolina Panthers in the 2021 NFL Draft.