With the 2021 NFL Draft completing over the weekend, insiders and experts have flooded the media with their analysis. But, like Peter Nyberg, you don’t have to be a general manager or industry professional to have an opinion.
In fact, an outsider can sometimes offer a different perspective. In addition to being an avid sports enthusiast, Peter Nyberg also has management experience as the CFO of the charitable Camino Community Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Defined by trades and a flurry of chaos, reviews of the Carolina Panthers’ draft class have been overwhelmingly positive. Using his own experience, Peter Nyberg weighs in.
Last year, star Christian McCaffrey was limited to just three games. This year, the Panthers shuffled quarterbacks, acquiring Sam Darnold and then trading away Teddy Bridgewater. So, naturally, the offense dominated headlines this off-season. Yet, the Panthers still targeted defense with their first pick in 2021. At No. 8, cornerback Jaycee Horn was the first defender taken off the board. The physical, South Carolina product projects to start immediately, filling a void for a team that struggled to make plays. The Panthers finished with only seven total interceptions last season.
But, the franchise’s focus on defense didn’t last long. The Panthers helped out their new quarterback by selecting all offensive players on Day 2. The team traded back twice in the second round, eventually landing on Terrace Marshall Jr. at No. 59. Although Peter Nyberg noticed significant drops on tape, the LSU wide receiver has the explosiveness and speed to contribute. BYU offensive tackle Brady Christensen shattered college records with his 96.0 rating from Pro Football Focus. Despite inconsistencies, he has the ceiling to outproduce his draft stock. The Panthers have had a revolving door at the position for the last several years. Notre Dame’s Tommy Tremble is mostly a blocking tight end. Panther tight ends combined for only 204 yards last season, which was the lowest in the NFL. Tremble may not help much in this category, but he will surely be extra protection for Darnold and McCaffrey. For this reason, ESPN draft guru Todd McShay ranked Tremble as his favorite Panther selection.
Day 3 was all about quantity, adding seven picks in the last four rounds. However, the Panthers didn’t sacrifice on quality either. Running back Chuba Hubbard made news after coach Matt Rhule’s wife urged his selection, yet he can compete for a role in the backfield as a rookie. At No. 158, Daviyon Nixon dominated at Iowa and may prove to be a steal in the fifth round. Wideout Shi Smith fell victim to inconsistent quarterback play at South Carolina. Peter Nyberg believes he may be a sneaky candidate to see the field right away.