2020 Carolina Panthers Draft Recap

Austin Mowell
Austin Mowell is an aspiring sports writer who is passionate about football and the NFL draft.

Today, we will be continuing our look at every team’s 2020 NFL class with a close look at the Carolina Panthers draft. 

The 2020 NFL Draft has come and gone, and 255 collegiate athletes have fulfilled their lifelong dream of hearing their name called to join an NFL roster. In this series, we will be looking at each NFL team’s individual draft and reviewing just how well the team did at adding the next wave of talent to their roster.

For part five of this series, we will be looking at the NFC South’s Carolina Panthers.

Panthers draft
Photo via Twitter.com

Panthers Draft: The Selections

1st Round, Pick 7: Derrick Brown, Defensive Tackle, Auburn

2nd Round, Pick 38: Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge Rusher, Penn State

2nd Round, Pick 64: Jeremy Chinn, Safety, Southern Illinois

4th Round, Pick 113: Troy Pride Jr., Cornerback, Notre Dame

5th Round, Pick 152: Kenny Robinson, Safety, West Virginia/XFL

6th Round, Pick 184: Bravvion Roy, Defensive Tackle, Baylor

7th Round, Pick 221: Stanley Thomas-Oliver, Cornerback, Florida International

 

Panthers Draft: The Dive

Derrick Brown

Overall value against my board: Even (7th overall)

The Panthers finished 2019 with one of the worst run defenses in the league, and they lost Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe to Dallas in free agency. Enter Derrick Brown, who was one of the most pro-ready football players in the class. Brown should provide an immediate impact for the Panthers as a run stuffing defensive tackle. He is also great at eating up double teams, which will open up one on one rush opportunities for standout pass rusher Brian Burns.

Yetur Gross-Matos

Overall value against my board: -12 (50th overall)

Yetur Gross-Matos is an intriguing player due to his immense physical upside. However, his lack of pass rushing polish is likely to keep him as a rotational piece for this team early on. YGM should have the inside track to the Panthers starting edge opposite Brian Burns for 2021 after a year of development behind Stephen Weatherly. If he continues to polish his game, he will form one of the most dynamic pass rushing duos in the league with Burns.

Jeremy Chinn

Overall value against my board: +8 (56th overall)

In 2019, the Panthers elected to select Will Grier in the 3rd round with Chauncey Gardner-Johnson on the board. This was polarizing amongst fans for good reason, but the team went heavy on the secondary in this draft starting with Chinn. An athletic freak with versatility to work as a box safety as well as in coverage, Chinn could be a day one starter for the Panthers. He has some room for polish in his coverage ability, but Chinn’s upside is incredible.

 

Panthers Draft: The Dive

Troy Pride Jr.

Overall value against my board: +7 (106th overall)

With James Bradberry leaving in free agency, the Panthers CB room was left in shambles. Donte Jackson regressed quite a bit in 2019, while Corn Elder was slotted in as the CB2 prior to the draft. Pride should find a path to starting early in his NFL career with a solid H/W/S combination. He is a good athlete that needs to iron out consistency at the next level in order to maximize his impact on this Panthers secondary.

Kenny Robinson

Overall value against my board: N/A

The only XFL player who was selected in the 2020 draft, Kenny Robinson is a ball hawking safety who projects very well as a single high safety. Despite signing a three year deal to return to the team in March, Tre Boston isn’t getting any younger. Robinson will be able to sit and develop behind one of the most reliable safeties in the game for a few years before getting his chance to start. At that point, he could be primed for greatness.

Bravvion Roy

Overall value against my board: -5 (189th overall)

We had to know Matt Rhule was not going to leave his first draft with at least one Baylor Bear in his grasp. Bravvion Roy was not talked about all that much throughout the draft process, but he will be a solid rotational piece for Carolina. He is solid against the run, but doesn’t have great starting upside due to his lack of length. Solid piece with a connection to coach Rhule here in round six.

Stanley Thomas-Oliver

Overall value against my board: N/A

The Panthers add their second cornerback of the draft here in the seventh round with the versatile Stanley Thomas-Oliver. Oliver made plays all over the field during his time at Florida International, and should make this Panthers roster as a depth cornerback. Carolina needs bodies in the cornerback room, so this selection makes sense.

 

Panthers draft
Top Carolina Panthers draft pick Derrick Brown will wear No. 95. (Phot via panthers.com)

Panthers Draft: Overall

Grade: B

The Carolina Panthers made history in this Draft, becoming the first team to use every selection they had on defense. With several great players already on the offensive side of the ball, this strategy did make sense. Their defense ranked near the bottom of the league in 2019, but they could have benefitted by adding another body to their group of offensive tackles.

This team added good value at several key need areas. Improving their run defense was priority number 1, and they did just that by taking Brown at pick 7. Yetur Gross-Matos and Jeremy Chinn represent upside and versatility for this defense, with Chinn making up for the decision to pass on Isaiah Simmons in favor of Brown. Several of these players could make immediate impacts for the team, but nothing really stands out as a splash when looking at this draft.

Don’t miss the rest of our 2020 NFL Draft coverage, and don’t forget to follow @NFLDraftLounge on Twitter and Facebook!

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