Photo courtesy of LSU athletics
The Carolina Panthers moved up and down, making four trades and selecting three players on a wild second day of the NFL Draft.
Here’s a look back and a little bit about each of them:
Round 2, Pick 59: Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU
The Panthers started the day with two picks: a second-round pick (39) and a third-round pick (73). If Carolina had drafted Terrace Marshall with pick No. 39, nobody would have batted an eye. They didn’t though. The Panthers traded back with the Chicago Bears. The Panthers traded the 39th overall pick (second round) and the 151st pick (fifth round) for the 52nd pick (second), the 83rd pick (third), and the 204th pick (sixth).
Fans patiently waited until the 52nd overall pick for the Panthers to make their first selection of the day, but the Panthers traded back again — this time with the Cleveland Browns. Carolina traded the 52nd overall pick (second round) and the 113th overall pick (fourth round) for the 59th overall pick (second) and the 89th overall pick (third).
When the 59th overall pick arrived, the Panthers submitted the pick immediately, attaining one of the steals of the second round: Terrace Marshall Jr. Marshall was overshadowed by Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase at LSU in 2019 and was plagued by poor quarterback play for much of 2020; however, he is a stud. Marshall is tall (6-foot-2), quick (4.4-second 40 yard-dash), and versatile, capable of playing in the slot or outside. He is a route running specialist, who can run any route in existence.
Marshall immediately becomes the third best receiver on the Carolina depth chart, replacing Curtis Samuel there.
Round 3, Pick 70: Brady Christensen, LT, BYU
Due to their second-round trades, the Panthers started the third round with three picks. As the first one approached, the Panthers made their third trade of the day. They traded up with the Philadelphia Eagles from 73 to 70.
The Panthers traded the 73rd overall pick (third round) and the 191st overall pick (sixth round) for the 70th overall pick (third). Carolina immediately drafted Brady Christensen, BYU’s left tackle.
After protecting Zach Wilson’s blind side in 2020, Christensen caught the eye of many of the scouts that Wilson’s arm talent brought in. Christensen is massive at 6-6 and 300 pounds. He moves well for his size. He was the highest graded offensive tackle in 2020, rarely making any mistakes and often giving Wilson plenty of time to find and make the right throw.
The biggest knocks on Christensen were his level of competition and his age. Christensen took a two-year missions trip to New Zealand and is now 24 years old.
He is older than the quarterback that he will be blocking for, even though Sam Darnold has played three years of NFL football. Christensen is capable of coming in and starting right away at left tackle, but he has to beat out Greg Little and Dennis Daley to make that happen.
Round 3, Pick 83: Tommy Tremble, TE, Notre Dame
The Panthers stayed put at No. 83 and selected more help for Darnold. Tommy Tremble is immediately the best blocking tight end on the team — a vacancy left by Chris Manhertz. Tremble’s receiving prowess is currently untapped potential, as Notre Dame rarely threw to him; however, Tremble flashed some run-after-catch ability when he did get the ball.
Some analysts questioned if Tremble was the best tight end on the board when the Panthers selected him, with Brevin Jordan still available. Miami utilized Jordan as a receiver more frequently than Notre Dame did Tremble, but Tremble is a much better fit for this team. Tremble’s floor is an elite blocking tight end, but if the Panthers can develop his receiving ability, he is capable of being a starter for a very long time.
Tremble’s blocking upside should allow him to get playing time as a rookie, but Dan Arnold will be difficult to beat out as the No. 1 receiving tight end on this team. The Panthers will not ask Tremble to do too much as a rookie other than block. He will be able to learn the playbook and develop as a receiving threat. Tremble could be the starter as soon as 2022.
Day 3 Outlook
The Panthers traded way back from the 89th overall pick.
Carolina traded the 89th overall (third round) to the Houston Texans for the 109th overall pick (fourth round), the 158th overall pick (fifth round), and a fourth round pick in 2022.
The Panthers start Day 3 with five picks: a fourth-round pick (109), a fifth-round pick (158), and three sixth-round picks (193, 204, 222). They have no pressing needs, but the interior of the offensive line and the defensive side of the ball. That is where Carolina will most likely look to add depth.