The Panthers didn't get an offensive tackle in the first round of the draft, taking Washington linebacker Shaq Thompson with the 25th selection after Arizona scooped up former Mallard Creek left tackle D.J. Humphries a pick earlier.
After a run on tackles – three were taken in the first 13 picks – Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman decided against trading up to get Humphries, considered by at least one prominent analyst to be the best pure left tackle in the draft.
And with Gettleman saying the team won't trade up in the second or third rounds, either, there might not be any quality tackles left when the Panthers pick late in the second round Friday with the 57th overall pick.
"I just think it's important for us to keep the first three picks. I really do," Gettleman said. "There is great value there and I'm not a big mover that way. And again, part of it is when I told you guys the other day, I don't subscribe to that 'you're one player away' theory.
"We've finally gotten to a point where we got nine picks. Any legitimate movement in the first round would have cost us a two. I'm comfortable sitting with the way our board is."
A look at the positions and players the Panthers could address in the second and third rounds:
The La'el Collins situation changed the first round. Once considered a top-12 pick, Collins fell out of the first round and might not hear his name called Friday.
If Collins had not been connected to the murder of a pregnant woman in Louisiana, he almost certainly would have been drafted ahead of the Panthers, who likely would have had a chance to draft Humphries.
Police have said Collins is not a suspect in the shooting death of a woman believed to be his ex-girlfriend. Collins' attorney contacted the security directors for every team to explain the situation, NFL.com reported.
Collins is the best player available – at any position – after the first day. But the Panthers are expected to steer clear of Collins, who is scheduled to meet with authorities after the draft.
It will be interesting to see if a team gambles on Collins this weekend, but it likely won't be the Panthers.
"I feel terrible for the woman. I feel awful for the kid," Gettleman said Thursday. "It's a bigger part of it. It's bigger. It's just frightening, this is a really frightening situation. It's difficult. He is a very talented kid. The draft is far from over."
After Collins, the highest-rated tackles still available are Pittsburgh's T.J. Clemmings, Oregon's Jake Fisher and Penn State's Donovan Smith. Among those three, Smith is probably the one who could last until 57.
Smith is talented, but is viewed as an underachiever by some scouts.
One lineman to watch is Utah's Jeremiah Poutasi, who worked out for the Panthers last month. He has the size (6-5, 335) that Gettleman likes and has played both tackle spots, although a lot of scouts think he'll be a guard.
Arizona State's Jaelen Strong and Ohio State's Devin Smith figure to be long gone when the Panthers pick in the second round.
But East Carolina's Justin Hardy and Kansas State's Tyler Lockett are a couple of intriguing second-day possibilities.
Hardy, the all-time FBS receptions leader who worked out for the Panthers, doesn't have blazing speed or great size. But he's a reliable pass-catcher who is not afraid to make plays in traffic.
Lockett was one of the Big 12's most prolific receivers who also has return skills.
The Panthers won't have a shot at Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah and Miami's Duke Johnson without trading up. That leaves Indiana running back Tevin Coleman, who also could be gone at No. 57.
T.J. Yeldon could be available, but Alabama running backs do not have a good track record in the NFL.
A couple of names to keep an eye on: Northern Iowa's David Johnson and Southern Cal's Javorius Allen, who rushed for nearly 1,500 yards and had 458 receiving yards in his final season with the Trojans.
Gettleman can't get enough pass rushers, and the Panthers could use another one with Greg Hardy gone and Charles Johnson getting older.
Nebraska's Randy Gregory is the best edge rusher available after slipping out of the first round. Gregory tested positive for marijuana at the combine, but more troubling is his slight frame: He weighed only 235 pounds at the combine.
UCLA's Owa Odighizuwa didn't put up big numbers in college, but he has a solid frame, long arms and an explosive first step. LSU's Danielle Hunter had the fastest 40 (4.57 seconds) among defensive linemen at the combine and has huge upside that has led to comparisons to Jason Pierre-Paul.