NFL Draft 2022: Carolina Panthers Draft Analysis From The College Perspective

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Draft 2022: Carolina Panthers Draft Analysis From The College Perspective

Carolina Panthers

NFL Draft 2022: Carolina Panthers Draft Analysis From The College Perspective

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2022 NFL Draft: From the college perspective, Carolina Panthers draft analysis, picks, best value selection, and biggest reach


NFL Draft 2022: Carolina Panthers Draft Analysis

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2022 NFL Draft Analysis
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Carolina Panthers Draft Picks: NFL Draft 2022

1 (6) OT Ikem Ekwonu, NC State
3 (94) QB Matt Corral, Ole Miss
4 (120) LB Brandon Smith, Penn State
6 (189) EDGE Amare Barno, Virginia Tech
6 (199) OG Cade Mays, Tennessee
7 (242) CB Kalon Barnes, Baylor

Carolina Panthers Draft Analysis: NFL Draft 2022

– If Ikem Ekwonu had been selected with the No. 1 overall pick, would anyone have blinked? Not even a little bit. Pass rushers are nice, but to have landed a potential franchise-changing left tackle is even better. Guys like him are rare, and the Panthers got him at the 6.

– If Matt Corral had been selected in the late first round, would anyone have blinked? Instead of using the 6 on a quarterback – like almost everyone (hand raised) thought the Panthers were going to do, they got their elite left tackle and still managed to get a strong quarterback prospect at a bargain-basement price at the 94. However …

– If Corral doesn’t work and isn’t the team’s new star QB, there’s a shot this is an empty draft after Ekwonu.

Cade Mays was a wonderful flier in the sixth round, the pass rushers are fine, but when you only have one pick before the 94, getting just one good starter other than the first rounder is gravy.

Carolina Panthers Best Value Pick, Biggest Reach, Late Flier: 2022 NFL Draft

Best Value Pick: 1 (6) OT Ikem Ekwonu, NC State

Biggest Reach: 4 (120) LB Brandon Smith, Penn State (but not really)

Late Flier That Might Work: 6 (199) OG Cade Mays, Tennessee

Carolina Panthers Needs, Pre-Draft Analysis: NFL Draft 2022

– The 6. That’s it. That’s the draft. That’s everything for a Panther franchise that desperately needs a jumpstart under Matt Rhule. There isn’t a pick until the fourth round – 137th overall – after the 6, so if this isn’t a home run, the draft will probably be a waste of time.

– It’s okay, though. The Panthers went massive in free agency for defensive backs – they’re not going to take Cincinnati’s Sauce Gardner or LSU’s Derek Stingley Jr. at the 6 – worked on the kicking game, and kept WR DJ Moore around.

– They need an offensive tackle, and help for the defensive line would nice, but there might be a revolt if the Panthers don’t go with a quarterback. If not, it means the Sam Darnold era keeps on going – there was a vote of confidence from new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo – but …

So who’ll be there in the first round for Carolina? The quarterbacks in this draft aren’t worth the No. 6 pick. That won’t stop the Panthers from taking Liberty’s Malik Willis or Pitt’s Kenny Pickett, but don’t be totally stunned if they go for the best player available – like if Alabama OT Evan Neal is still around – or trade down a bit

Carolina Panthers 2021 Draft Picks

1 (8) CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina
2 (59) WR Terrace Marshall, LSU
3 (70) OT Brady Christensen, BYU
3 (83) TE Tommy Tremble, Notre Dame
4 (126) RB Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State
5 (158) DT Daviyon Nixon, Iowa
5 (166) CB Keith Taylor, Washington
6 (193) OG Deonte Brown, Alabama
6 (204) WR Shi Smith, South Carolina
6 (222) LS Thomas Fletcher, Alabama
7 (232) DT Phil Hoskins, Kentucky

2022 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings, Analysis
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