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3 Players Panthers Could Target If They Trade Down in 2021 NFL Draft

Devon Platana
A look at three players that the Carolina Panthers could select if they move back in the 2021 NFL Draft, including Jaycee Horn.
A look at three players that the Carolina Panthers could select if they move back in the 2021 NFL Draft, including Jaycee Horn. / Joe Robbins/Getty Images

One of the more intriguing teams entering the 2021 NFL Draft happens to be the Carolina Panthers. They have the No. 8 pick in the first round, however, there's always the possibility that the Panthers could move down in the draft via trade.

The possibility of that happening seems more realistic by the day. ESPN reporter David Newton reported on Friday that Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer said that the team is "open to moving back" from No. 8. He added that "at least five teams" have called to inquire about the pick.

With that being said, here are three players that the Panthers could target if they wind up trading down in the draft.

Panthers Draft Rumors

3. Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

Jaycee Horn, Seth Williams
Jaycee Horn could be a player that the Panthers target if they move back in the draft. / Joe Robbins/Getty Images

When the offseason began, addressing the cornerback position was one of the Panthers' top priorities. They signed former Denver Broncos CB A.J. Bouye to a two-year, $7 million contract, but he's coming off a season where he was suspended for six games and had an overall ProFootballFocus grade of 55.6. If the Panthers want to be safe, they could target South Carolina CB Jaycee Horn. He recorded 2 interceptions, 16 total tackles and 6 passes defended in just seven games last season, making him one of the top cornerback prospects. It's not insane to think Carolina could target Horn at No. 8, so trading down and still landing the 21-year-old would be a huge win.

2. Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC

Alijah Vera-Tucker
Alijah Vera-Tucker would be a solid choice for the Panthers to target if they trade back in the first round. / Katharine Lotze/Getty Images

If the Panthers want to improve their offensive line, there are several solid options in the first round including USC OL Alijah Vera-Tucker. He's about as versatile of a prospect as it gets, having the skill to play both guard and tackle. Vera-Tucker only allowed five sacks over the last two seasons, which would suit a Panthers team that needs to ensure Sam Darnold is protected properly in 2021.

1. Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Jaylen Waddle
Jaylen Waddle would be a good addition to the Panthers if they move back in the draft. / Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Make no mistake: D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson are two good NFL receivers, but the Panthers may need more than that. They lost Curtis Samuel in the offseason and could use a difference-maker like Alabama's Jaylen Waddle. He's seen as one of the better wide receivers in this class, earning All-SEC first- and second-team honors, respectively, over the last two seasons. He was also the 2019 SEC Special Teams Player of the Year, meaning the Panthers can use him in a variety of ways. Adding Waddle would give Carolina one of the most explosive WR trios in the league, and that's a great way to help Darnold's development.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. 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.