The 2021 NFL Draft is just over a week away and a lot of eyes will be set on seeing what the Carolina Panthers do with the No. 8 overall pick. The team finished 5-11 last season and missed the playoffs, but will look to improve in 2021 with possibly a game-changing rookie player involved.
Making sure you ace a first-round selection is important for any team, but especially one in the top 10. With that in mind, here are three players the Panthers need to avoid with their first-round pick.
1. Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
The Panthers could easily go defense in the first round and address a need at the cornerback position. Yet, Jaycee Horn should not be their top choice. It is likely Patrick Surtain II would still be available and he seems primed to contribute right away in the NFL. On the other hand, Horn may need a little time to develop as he was penalized a lot while playing at South Carolina. He is more of a mid first-round selection and wasn't the greatest tackler either. Horn needs to improve that part of his game to compete with the size of NFL players.
2. Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Giving quarterback Sam Darnold as many weapons as possible should be a top priority for the Panthers, but they should avoid wide receiver Jaylen Waddle in the first round. He is coming off of ankle surgery and was never really tested by shutdown coverage during his time at Alabama. Waddle does have tremendous speed, but he may not even be as well-rounded as his teammate and fellow draft prospect DeVonta Smith is. If Carolina opts to go wide receiver here, they should just hope Ja'Marr Chase or Smith are available.
3. Any Quarterback Prospect
This might've seemed like a given after the team traded for Darnold, but rumors continue to swirl around a possible Teddy Bridgewater trade. That may make the Panthers reconsider taking a signal caller like Trey Lance at No. 8. However, this class is so deep at the position that Carolina can wait until the second or third round before taking someone to be the backup. The amount of quarterbacks expected to go in the top-10 should allow the Panthers to grab an elite non-QB talent. They would be smart to do just that.
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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.