Alabama Football: Mac rises in 2021 NFL Mock Draft 4.0

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7. Detroit Lions: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

Offensive line isn’t the highest need on Detroit’s board, and they would love to take a wide receiver here. However, Penei Sewell has fallen in their lap, and they have to take him.

Sewell is shockingly athletic for his size, and he had an entire season to prepare for the NFL. He’s not the perfect prospect, but he is the type of cornerstone that can save your franchise quarterback. Since the Lions have Goff under contract for a few years, they don’t have to take a quarterback. Instead, they can take OT1 and feel good about where they stand after the first round.

This could also be where a trade happens, but I decided not to do trades with this mock draft. At this point, they are so hard to predict, and one move can disrupt everything.

8. Carolina Panthers: Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern

This is where things get interesting. The Carolina Panthers have not tipped their hand, and almost every option is on the table for them. They could give Sam Darnold a weapon. They could draft some quarterback competition. If the Patriots or Bears want a quarterback, they could trade back. Defense will always be an option for Matt Rhule as well. However, I have them taking Slater, the second-best tackle in the draft.

Carolina needs to put Sam Darnold in a place to succeed. He hasn’t had that since he was at USC, and bolstering the offensive line would be a step in the right direction.

This could also be where Alabama football’s DeVonta Smith comes off the board, but I have them taking OT2 instead. They can give Darnold some weapons later in the draft.