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The Carolina Panthers appeared ready to take Penei Sewell if the Lions passed

Sewell would’ve been wearing a different shade of blue if the Lions had passed on him.

NFL: NFL Draft Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We’re almost exactly a month from the 2021 NFL Draft, but behind-the-scenes videos continue to roll out from teams. In one of the best trends from franchise’s multimedia teams, we’re getting access to what happened on draft day, the likes of which typically never leave war rooms.

The Carolina Panthers are the latest team to reveal their draft-day happenings, and given that they picked right after the Detroit Lions, there are some notable moments for us Lions fans.

First, we see Panthers executives—the day before the draft—try to predict how the seven picks in front of them will fall. They’re quite accurate in their predictions, but they hit a snag when they get to the Lions.

“No one really knows what they’re going to do,” Panthers head coach Matt Rhule says. “Possible trade out. Possible (Penei) Sewell.”

Then comes the juicy part. Rhule turns to the whiteboard and lists the potentially-available prospects they’d like at Pick 8. The list:

Penei Sewell
Jaycee Horn
Patrick Surtain
Jaylen Waddle
DeVonta Smith

“That’s kind of the rankings,” Rhule says to the rest of the front office, signifying that if Sewell is there, he’s the pick.

Flashback to earlier in the video, we see the Panthers on draft day react to the Lions taking Sewell.

“Sewell’s going to the Lions,” Panthers GM Scott Fitterer tells the war room.

There’s no visible disappointment from the Panthers executives, as they quickly turn to what’s next for them.

“So what’s gonna happen is Sewell is gonna go. We’ll be staring at Horn,” Fitterer tells Rhule. “And then it’s gonna be what’s worth us moving off of Horn.”

The video then gives an awesome behind-the-scenes look as trade offers come in. The Vikings apparently offered picks 90 and 43 (Note: the Vikings did not have pick 43, so it’s possible there was another trade involved with the 49ers). But they’re quickly shot down.

In the end, the Panthers seemed pretty happy with landing Horn, who they call “one of our guys” right before making the selection. Still, it appears they may have been celebrating like the Lions were had Sewell fallen into their lap.

Here’s the full video:

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