During the 2020-2021 season, the Carolina Panthers found out many things about their young roster. While rookies like Derrick Brown and Jeremy Chinn showed out in their first season of NFL action, it became clear throughout the season that the Panthers desperately need to find another cornerback to pair with developing star Donte Jackson. The team tried to fill the gap left in the wake of James Bradberry‘s departure in free agency by bringing in Notre Dame product Troy Pride Jr. in last year’s draft. However, Pride never showed that spark of greatness the Panthers were hoping to see, leaving the team right back where they started as they prepare for 2021. With that being said, the Panthers could look to bolster their cornerback room in the 2021 Draft, and Virginia Tech product Caleb Farley could be a potential name to keep in mind heading into the festivities.
Caleb Farley: Potential Panthers Draft Prospect
Name: Caleb Farley
Weight: 207 lbs.
College: Virginia Tech
Hometown: Maiden, North Carolina
- Farley is an athletic freak. As far as cornerbacks go, Farley would normally be considered too tall, as most cornerbacks his size struggle with quick movements and speed. However, Farley is different. His elite athleticism combined with his impressive speed and ability to stick to his man in coverage make him the complete package for teams looking for help at the cornerback position.
- Farley has everything NFL teams are looking for when it comes to ball skills. His game-changing ball skills combined with his incredible reach make him a threat to any quarterback that dares to throw his way.
- When facing the run, Farley is quite impressive. His ability to work through blockers and get to the ball carrier is uncanny. Add in Farley’s outstanding ability to face down a ball carrier and deliver a solid tackle and it’s easy to see why he’s flown up draft boards as of late.
- Farley’s skills in press coverage are second to none. His ability to stay in position in coverage and remain composed while also being able to track down the ball and make a play on it is otherworldly.
- While Farley’s athleticism allows him to stifle most receivers, the occasional mistake does occur. Farley’s play recognition does leave a bit to be desired. At times, he also tends to allow wideouts to find open space and make a play on the ball in his zone.
- While his technique is solid for a player who’s still in the early stages of learning his position, he still has several areas he needs to improve on. One of those areas Farley should look to improve on is his tackling. At times, Farley can land a weak tackle on ball carriers, leaving the potential for his tackle to be broken, which could result in a huge loss of yardage downfield.
- Farley’s injury history is definitely a red flag for team’s looking closely at drafting him in April. In 2017, Farley tore his ACL, but was able to return to action the following season. However, he also underwent surgery in 2019 to cut down on the number of muscle spasms he was suffering due to a pinched nerve in his back.
Projected Draft Position: First Round
Veteran Comparison: Jimmy Smith
When looking at Farley on paper, he looks like a star in the making. His elite athleticism paired with his impressive coverage skills make him a top cornerback in this year’s draft. Assuming many of the top quarterback prospects are off the board at number eight, the Panthers will likely look to bring in the Carolina native to help provide secondary help for their young defense.
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