After selecting South Carolina corner Jaycee Horn with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on Thursday night, the Carolina Panthers kicked things into another gear over the final two days of the event.
Over the final two days of the draft, the Panthers made several trades and wound up adding 10 more players thanks to the maneuvering of new general manager Scott Fitterer. Here’s a quick look at the players Carolina selected over the final two days of the draft.
Round 2, Pick 59: Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU
After trading back twice in the second round, the Panthers made one of the second rounds best value picks by taking 6-foot-3 Terrace Marshall Jr. at No. 59 overall.
The LSU receiver was considered by some, including Pro Football Focus, as a top-30 prospect in the draft thanks to his size and 4.3 speed, but Clark’s stock fell some as scouts dug into his injury history, which includes a broken leg and ankle issues. Still, the Panthers were excited to link Marshall with offensive coordinator Joe Brady once again.
Brady was the passing game coordinator at LSU in 2019 when the Tigers won the national championship. That year, Marshall caught 46 passes for 671 yards and 13 touchdowns in 12 games.
Round 3, Pick 70: Brady Christensen, T, BYU
After failing to address the offensive line in the first two rounds of the draft, the Panthers added a big body in the third round by was of BYU tackle Brady Christensen, who stands 6-foot-6 and 305 pounds. This past season, Christensen had the responsibility of protecting the blindside of quarterback Zach Wilson, who went No. 2 overall to the New York Jets on Thursday.
Christensen moves well despite his size and has decent footwork, but he fell in the draft because he only has 32¼ inch arms, which ranked him among the fourth percentile of tackles coming out this season. He might have to slide to guard to be most effective, though he will likely have to bulk up to deal with the bigger NFL defensive tackles.
Round 3, Pick 83: Tommy Tremble, TE, Notre Dame
Arguably the most intriguing selection from the Panthers during the three-day draft was Tommy Tremble, a 6-foot-4 tight end out of Notre Dame. Carolina needed a pass-catching threat at tight end with how much Ian Thomas has struggled the past few seasons, but Tremble isn’t known for his receiving skills by any stretch, as he only caught 35 passes for 401 yards and four touchdowns during his career in South Bend.
That said, Tremble is seen as the best blocking tight end in the draft, and he can act as a lead blocker from several spots, either attached to the end of the line or in the backfield as an H back. Tremble should open up the Panthers running game even more in 2021, something that should have fans buzzing with the return of Christian McCaffrey.
Round 4, Pick 126: Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State
The Panthers needed a backup running back after the departure of Mike Davis this offseason, and they got a capable one in the fourth round in Oklahoma State stud Chuba Hubbard.
Hubbard — who is from Canada — could have been in the conversation as the first RB taken in 2020 had he come out following a 2019 season at Oklahoma State that saw him lead all FBS players in rushing yards (2,094) and touchdowns (21). Hubbard was limited to seven games in 2020 while dealing with an ankle injury, but he still posted 625 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns.
Round 5, Pick 158: Daviyon Nixon, DT, Iowa
The Panthers picked up another potential breakout candidate in the fifth round in Iowa defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon. After starting his career in the junior college ranks, Nixon played the past two seasons at Iowa and was named the 2020 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.
A three-technique tackle standing at 6-foot-3 and 313 pounds, Nixon racked up 45 total tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks in just eight games. He also showed off his athleticism by intercepting a pass and returning it 71 yards for a touchdown. Despite being a late-round selection, Nixon has as good a chance as anyone selected by Carolina to make an impact from Day 1. His presence should help mitigate the loss of former Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kawann Short.
Round 5, Pick 166: Keith Taylor, Washington
The Panthers added some secondary depth with the No. 166 pick by selecting Washington corner Keith Taylor. At 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, Taylor possesses a long frame like Jaycee Horn that should prove helpful against bigger, stronger receivers.
Taylor’s strengths are as a press-man defender where he can disrupt his matchup by being physical at the line of scrimmage. He’s also shown the desire to make stops in the run game and is seen as a sure tackler. Taylor should see action in passing-down situations as a rookie in 2021.
Round 6, Pick 193: Deonte Brown, G, Alabama
Carolina added another big body on the offensive line by grabbing Deonte Brown at the tail end of the sixth round. The 6-foot-3, 365-pound guard is known as a road-grader who can help carve out holes in the running game.
Normally the Panthers like offensive linemen with positional versatility, but Brown played neither tackle nor center during his time at Alabama. His best chance to see playing time early on will be if new additions Pat Elflein or Cam Erving struggle to open the season.
Round 6, Pick 204: Shi Smith, WR, South Carolina
Carolina opted to bring on one of Horn’s former teammates in the sixth round, as the Panthers selected South Carolina receiver Shi Smith at No. 204 overall. During his four years with the Gamecocks, Smith racked up 174 catches for 2,204 yards and 13 touchdowns.
At 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds, Smith will do most of his damage at the next level out of the slot. Smith’s short-are quickness and speed allow him to create separation at the top of his routes, but he’ll likely need to add some pounds if he’s going to spend the majority of his routes running over the middle of the field.
Round 6, Pick 222: Thomas Fletcher, LS, Alabama
The Panthers haven’t had a new long-snapper in 12 seasons, but they now have their man of the future in Thomas Fletcher. Considered the top long-snapper in the draft, Fletcher will back up long-time Panther J.J. Jansen for at least one season.
Jansen has been with Carolina for the past 12 seasons and signed a deal with the team this spring to come back in 2020. Jansen should be a strong mentor for Fletcher as he transitions to the professional level.
Round 7, Pick 232: Phil Hoskins, DT, Kentucky
The Panthers spent their final pick of the 2021 draft on another big-bodied defensive lineman. This time Carolina went with Kentucky DT Phil Hoskins, who stands at a physically-imposing 6-foot-5 and 315 pounds.
Hoskins missed the entire 2019 season with a knee injury but came back in 2020 to start 11 games and total 30 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss and one sack. He’ll likely see some time as a depth defensive tackle during the 2021 season.