The Carolina Panthers first round draft pick currently sits at eighth-overall in this year’s NFL draft. There is so much speculation about which player they should use that pick for or whether they should move up and give other picks away to get a quarterback. Let’s look at three potential first-round picks for the Carolina Panthers.
Three Options for the Carolina Panthers First Round Draft Pick
Rashawn Slater, Tackle, Northwestern
The first potential Carolina Panthers first round draft pick is the tackle out of Northwestern, Rashawn Slater. Slater carries his 315 pounds on a 6 feet 3-inch stature. This works well for the Panthers. Although he is a little bit heavier, he is also quicker which bodes well for the Panthers given they have had a few slow linemen. It will be interesting to see what they would do with him if they pick him up.
As a product from Texas, Slater learned to play both sides of the ball which also bodes well for a Panthers team that is usually riddled with injury, especially on those lines. This is a great player for the Panthers and although most people think they should pick a quarterback first, I think taking an offensive lineman like Slater would be their best bet.
Kyle Trask, Quarterback, Florida
If they don’t end up acquiring Deshaun Watson in the offseason, Trask is a quarterback they should look at to be the Carolina Panthers first round draft pick. His height is something that will work for the Panthers because he would be allowed to see the field with no problem. He threw for over 4,000 yards his senior year and threw 43 touchdowns. The only question is how would he play in the big games. The NFL is a totally different beast. Would he be able to sustain in that setting?
As one of the three potential first-round picks for the Panthers, David Tepper is going to make certain that he chooses the right man to lead his team. If Trask is going to be the one, he has to prove to Tepper that he is capable of being a franchise quarterback–something the third-year owner is desperately seeking.
Tommy Tremble, Tight End, Notre Dame
For the sake of not going total defense–because the Panthers did that last year–let’s look at Tremble. Looking at three potential first-round picks, he wouldn’t be on the top of that list as a tight end at 6’4″ and 248 pounds. He is a good pick for the Panthers because, outside the fact that they are desperately seeking a tight end, he is a physical blocker.
Tremble said that he knows he’s not as big in stature as other tight ends, but as a former high school running back, he has never shied away from contact.
Not only is he a physical blocker, but because of his running back history, he possesses the ability to muscle through defenses to get those extra yards after the catch. His career stats aren’t that great–35 receptions, 401 yards, and four touchdowns–but he is also just a sophomore coming out of Notre Dame.
What to Know
There are many players that could be considered first-round picks for the Panthers and with how much the team has already changed and will continue to change, there is really no telling who the Panthers will choose with that pick.
The bigger picture is that obviously the three potential first-round picks could get swept away by the seven teams ahead of Carolina, depending on where their focus is heading into the draft in April, but they are all playmakers.
Slater, in my opinion, would be the best choice for the team because again, in order to obtain a franchise quarterback that offensive line has to be fixed. He creates the best opportunity to at least start that process.
Trask is a viable option and one that the Panthers wouldn’t have to risk trading any of their other picks to get. With Trevor Lawrence and a slew of other quarterbacks ahead of him, he would certainly be available at the eighth pick.
As for Tremble, it’s a long shot for the Panthers to take him at such a high pick, but considering the need for a tight end and looking at his abilities over just two seasons with the Fighting Irish, it is a gamble worth considering.