Panthers select Virginia Tech DE Cade Mays with 199th overall pick

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In 2000, the New England Patriots drafted Tom Brady with the 199th selection. In 2022, the Carolina Panthers drafted Cade Mays with the 199th selection. The comparisons should probably end there, though, since Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time and Mays is an interior offensive lineman.

Cade Mays was heavily recruited entering college as a five-star recruit. Although he originally signed with Georgia, the versatile lineman transferred to his hometown team Tennessee for his final two college seasons. Between the two teams, Mays played at every spot along the offensive line.

The 6-foot-6, 325-pound interior lineman was named to the 2021 All-SEC Second Team before impressing scouts at the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl. Though questions remain about his long-term viability at a single position on the line, the Panthers likely hope to use him as guard or center depth.

Carolina has prioritized bolstering its offensive line this offseason. After Sam Darnold and Cam Newton both struggled to find time in the pocket last season, the Panthers immediately turned to free agency, signing interior linemen Austin Corbett and Bradley Bozeman. Now, Mays is the second lineman drafted by Carolina after they selected OT Ikem Ekwonu in the first round.