2021 NFL Draft: Carolina Panthers seven-round mock draft

Carolina Panthers helmet (Photo by Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports)
Carolina Panthers helmet (Photo by Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports) /
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2021 nfl draft, carolina panthers, paddy fisher
2021 NFL draft prospect Paddy Fisher #42 of the Northwestern Wildcats tackles Ohio State wide receiver Parris Campbell Jr. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images /

Carolina Panthers 2021 mock draft: Round 5

Scouting Report. Ifeatu Melifonwu. 135. player. 87. College Stats. CB. Syracuse

Still lacking raw talent in the backend of the defense, the Carolina Panthers’ pass defense has been relatively unimpressive outside of cornerback Donte Jackson.

Having invested their initial 2021 NFL draft capital into more immediately pressing personnel needs though, the Carolina Panthers can look to a selection of athletic prospects in the latter portion of the draft for a potential high-yield selection

Lengthy and athletic, Ifeatu Melifonwu has been a multi-dimensional defensive contributor for the Syracuse defense with his ability to operate in coverage as a man-to-man athlete as well as an aggressive and willing tackler.

In a defense that has shown struggles in run defense, Melifonwu will bring immediate physicality to the edge whilst developing his abilities in man-to-man coverage.

Round 6

169. 87. Scouting Report. Northwestern. LB. Paddy Fisher. player. College Stats

After the retirement of franchise-legend Luke Kuechly, the Carolina Panthers’ defense has been unable to find a sustainable replacement for his unmatched run-stuffing ability.

Athletic fill-ins Shaq Thompson and converted safety Jeremy Chinn have both done a suitable job converting the Carolina front-seven to a modern defensive front. Despite this, the Carolina Panthers defense still yearns for a true run-stuffing inside linebacker.

Northwestern linebacker Paddy Fisher has been a tackle-factory for the Wildcats’ defense, raking in 401 total tackles through 48 games in his collegiate career, led by back-to-back 110+ tackle campaigns in his freshman and sophomore campaigns.

A classic inside linebacker with consistent physicality and motor, Fisher is a potential late-round solution to a missing role within the defense.

Round 7

College Stats. Ohio State. Luke Farrell. player. Scouting Report. TE. 198. 87

With their final selection of the 2021 NFL draft, acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles, the Carolina Panthers opt to a bottom-heavy tight end class in an effort to upgrade an otherwise short-staffed position group. Even with such a late selection in the position group, Carolina can find a willing contributor with day one value.

Having deferred to teammate Jeremy Ruckert in a passing offense with a reputation for not being overly friendly to tight ends, Ohio State product Luke Farrell was a willing and capable run-blocker in the Buckeye’s rushing offense, leading the way for 2021 NFL draft prospect Trey Sermon and Master Teague III.

At six-foot-six, 210-pounds, Farrell doesn’t jump off the page as an elite athlete but is more than capable of splitting the seam and generating yards after the catch against smaller tacklers with his physicality.

In conjunction with incumbent tight end Ian Thomas, Farrell is a day one run-blocker who can find his touches as a safety blanket in the passing game as the season progresses.