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NFL Pro Days begin this week, and they have never been more important.
With the NFL’s Scouting Combine canceled in Indianapolis, players will have to showcase their respective talents on their own college campuses.
The Panthers have many needs this offseason, including an offensive tackle, offensive guard, quarterback, tight end, defensive tackle, cornerback, linebacker and a receiver.
Panthers coach Matt Rhule has said he wants to get younger on offense after selecting seven defensive players in the 2020 NFL draft. There are a number of potential draft candidates who will participate this week.
Here are five players and four pro days you’ll want to watch this week:
Northwestern, March 9
▪ OT Rayshawn Slater
Slater is one of the most versatile offensive lineman in the draft, and he’ll likely be the second offensive tackle to come off the board in April. He’s projected to fall somewhere in the No. 8-15 range. The Panthers need help on the offensive line, particularly at left tackle. If the Panthers don’t choose a quarterback in the first round, offensive tackle is the next likely option.
Clemson, March 11
▪ WR Amari Rodgers
There’s a strong possibility Curtis Samuel may not return next season as he enters free agency. If they can’t sign him, the Panthers may look toward the draft for a receiver. Rodgers finished with 61 catches for 845 yards and six touchdowns during his senior season. He could be a Day 2 or Day 3 pick.
▪ OT Jackson Carman
Carman is said to be a potential Day 2 pick. And if the Panthers still have their second-round pick by draft day, Carman is a legitimate candidate.
Texas, March 11
▪ OT Samuel Cosmi
As mentioned before, the Panthers need an offensive tackle, and Cosmi is expected to be available on Day 2.
“He’s a really solid player and incredibly consistent,” Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports said.
North Dakota State, March 12
▪ QB Trey Lance
Here is a big one. Lance could easily be the Panthers’ future franchise quarterback in April. Nearly 30% of mock drafts have the Panthers drafting Lance, according to NFL Mock Draft Database, which aggregates drafts from various media sites. He will likely be available when the Panthers are up on the clock with the eighth pick, barring a huge pro day.
“Lance, physically speaking, is really impressive,” Eric Edholm of Yahoo! Sports said. “He’s got that Dak Prescott-type of frame and athletic traits. If you watch his film, it’s fascinating.”