Time for another mock draft? We're doing a countdown until the NFL Draft with a mock draft each day! So, tune in at sometime each day to find more approaches the Panthers could take next in this year's draft. This mock draft was done using NFL Mock Draft Database.
Trade! Round 1 Pick 17: K'Lavon Chaisson EDGE LSU
If the Panthers decide they want two speed rushers off the edge, Chaisson is your guy. Chaisson and Burns could wreak havoc on opposing offensive lines, especially ones without much finesse. Chaisson has the LSU connection with Joe Brady, albeit on the other side of the ball. He also has great character, as evidenced by him wearing #18. The defensive line mostly needs a retooling, with only Kawaan Short and Brian Burns being reliable starters. Hopefully, this duo will take down Matt Ryan, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees as much as possible.
Round 2 Pick 38: Jaylon Johnson CB Utah
One of many draft eligible players hailing from Utah this year, Jaylon Johnson has the chance to make a huge impact on the Carolina Panthers. During an appearance on Baldy Breakdowns, Matt Rhule said this, "..not only the quarterbacks but the receivers that we have to face, it will truly be a challenge for our defense and I think it really factors into the draft." This quote may imply the Panthers will look at corner early and often as Donte Jackson is the only viable starter currently on the roster. Jaylon Johnson is an extremely good press corner, and possesses great anticipation and ball skills. He would immediately provide a spark to the secondary much like Tre Boston did last year.
Check out every ball thrown Johnson's way in 2019:
Round 2 Pick 51: Justin Madubuike DL Texas A&M
The Panthers absolutely have to address the defensive tackle spot early in the draft. Madubuike has some nice quickness and athleticism that will help get past blockers without too much engagement. His pro comp is Davon Godchaux, who is a nice run defender for the Miami Dolphins. Run defense is definitely something the Panthers need to work on after finishing 29th in rush defense in 2019.
Round 3 Pick 69: Troy Dye LB Oregon
Make no mistake about it. Troy Dye is an athlete. NFL analyst Lance Zierlein noted that Dye's skillset is best suited as a middle linebacker, but could make money as an outside 'backer as well. His pro comparison is Texans linebacker Zach Cunningham, who has surpassed 100 tackles the past two seasons. Dye could potentially serve as the replacement plan for recently retired future HOF linebacker Luke Kuechly.
Round 4 Pick 113: Alex Taylor OT South Carolina State
Alex Taylor is an intriguing developmental prospect for Matt Rhule's Panthers. He's a very athletic tackle after playing basketball in high school at 6'8. Taylor fits the mold of Pat Meyer's offensive linemen. His long arms and athleticism reminded Zierlein of Vikings up and coming right tackle Brian O'Neill. If the Panthers decide to not extend starting lineman Taylor Moton, I'm sure Alex Taylor would have a shot at the job. Of course, if they do, maybe he could develop as a guard with that insane athleticism!
Round 4 Pick 123: Tyler Johnson WR Minnesota
Tyler Johnson is a sleeper in the mid to later rounds. The Panthers need a younger wideout that can Moss other cornerbacks, and Johnson would be that guy. Lance Zierlein describes him as a "Contested-catch warrior who plays the game like a big brother imposing his will on his younger brothers on the playground." With all the former basketball players on the Panthers, they could build a full team. Add Johnson to that mix. Zierlein also said that his "play strength is reminiscent of AJ Brown." Johnson could serve as a possession receiver in the slot in Joe Brady's offense.
Round 5 Pick 148: Julian Blackmon S Utah
Much like versatile safety Juston Burris, I believe Blackmon has the ability to play strong safety, nickel, and outside corner. He is a hard-hitting safety who has moderate recovery speed, which may have contributed to his position in the box. A knee injury may let him slide onto Day Three, but if recovers, the Panthers should have yet another versatile player on their defense.
Round 5 Pick 152: Harrison Hand CB Temple
Of course, there had to be a player with a Matt Rhule connection. Harrison Hand is that guy after spending two years at Baylor, and then returning to Temple. He may have the ability of a backup, but due to the scarcity of cornerbacks, may be forced into action. Hand is a guy who rarely causes pass interference calls as he's able to "face-guard deep balls." Hand will have an advantage as formerly one of Phil Snow's guys, and knows the system.
Round 5 Pick 180: Justin Strnad LB Wake Forest
Strnad is one of my favorite sleeper picks in the later rounds due to his coverage and tackling ability. Shaq Thompson and Tahir Whitehead aren't known for their coverage, but that's something Strnad excels at. After sustaining a bicep injury his senior season, his stock might fall and drop him later in the draft. However, I think the Panthers would be happy to pick him up!
Round 6 Pick 184: Gabriel Davis WR UCF
After all these wide receivers collected in free agency this offseason, you'd think the Panthers wouldn't get 2 receivers in the draft. However, you may be surprised. Joe Brady's offense calls for a lot of receivers and the coaches may like the talent and potential of these younger receivers better than the production of the older players. With that said, Davis' pro comp is former Cowboys receiver Terrance Williams, who enjoyed some good years in Dallas. Gabriel Davis is a "sideline threat with a good feel for creating space short and long through hand fighting." He is a project player who may impress in preseason, but may take some time to start in the regular season.
Round 7 Pick 221: DeeJay Dallas RB Miami
Dallas could be a practice squad player, or could earn his way to a final spot on the 53. Dallas would be a great special teams contributor with his explosiveness and wiggle. He is a hard player to bring down due to his outstanding contact balance. He has some upside as a player in the later rounds, who sustained a dislocated left elbow his last year.