Weird things happen on draft day. From Laremy Tunsil’s gas-mask to Mario Williams over Reggie Bush, unforeseen and random things occur every year, upsetting what seemed like conventional wisdom going into the draft.
This year, the Carolina Panthers are in line to pick at No. 8 overall. If the board falls their way, the best place to spend that draft capital will be on a new potential franchise quarterback. Things aren’t exactly going their way on that front, though. The 49ers’ trade with the Dolphins up to No. 3 means Carolina’s options have narrowed and a move up might be the only chance of landing one of this year’s top-four QB prospects.
While the developments on the quarterback front aren’t good, there is a silver lining: all the attention on QBs could mean that an elite prospect at another position could fall to No. 8.
For example, a new 2021 mock draft from Pro Football Focus has Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell going to them at that spot.
“This is an offensive line that still clearly has holes following a first wave in free agency in which the Panthers added only Cam Erving and Pat Elflein. Sewell provides a better option at left tackle than Erving or Greg Little for whoever is behind center in Carolina next season.”
If the Panthers can’t get a Trey Lance or Justin Fields, then this is their best-case scenario in the first round. Sewell is the top left tackle prospect in this class and is expected to be a high-level starter in the NFL right away. Carolina could plug him in Week 1 and not have to worry about the position for a decade if Sewell stays healthy.
At Oregon’s pro day Sewell checked in at 6-foot-4 and 331 pounds. He showed off stunning athleticism at that size, posting 30 bench press reps, a 5.09 40-yard dash, a 28-inch vertical and a 7.8 three cone drill.
That athleticism also leaps out on film. Sewell has made a habit of exploding into the second level and obliterating defenders. Observe.
If the Panthers are fortunate enough to get him, you’ll hear no complaints from us.