3 Players the Panthers Need to Avoid With Their First-Round Pick
By Zach Brunner
It's a new beginning for the Carolina Panthers, with the team welcoming a fresh coaching staff and Teddy Bridgewater as the starting quarterback. The Panthers were not afraid to let players from the past regime go, which has created needs at a number of different positions.
With many of the long time Panthers players out the door and a new coaching staff, the need for this team to perform well from the get go is important in keeping the fans on their side. This makes nailing their first-round pick that much more important.
With that in mind, here are three players the Panthers need to avoid with their first-round pick in 2020.
1. Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
Tristan Wirfs is arguably the top offensive line prospect in the draft. While the Panthers could use Wirfs' talents up front, their larger needs lie on the defensive side of the ball. Offensive line is also deep in this draft, so they can afford to address this later on.
2. K'Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
Nearly every team could use more production off the edge, and the Panthers are no different. However, there are plenty of edge rushers still available in free agency that Carolina could call up, so there's no point in addressing that need with such an early draft pick, despite K'Lavon Chaisson being a talented, interesting prospect. He would also be a reach at No. 7, with most projections landing him somewhere in the teens of the first round. A player like Derrick Brown or Isaiah Simmons would be much more suited to the Panthers' needs at linebacker and run stuffer with the No. 7 pick.
3. Antoine Winfield Jr., S/CB, Minnesota
The Panthers have needs at both cornerback and safety, but they shouldn't reach for Antoine Winfield Jr. because of his flexibility to play both. They also shouldn't get mesmerized by his name, with his father having a productive pro career. While Winfield is talented and incredibly instinctive, he showed moments of being mismatched athletically in college (he's only 5'9" ). The mismatch only becomes greater in the NFL, especially playing in a division with Michael Thomas, Julio Jones and Mike Evans.
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