3 tight ends Carolina Panthers can draft to replace Hayden Hurst

The Carolina Panthers desperately need a pass-catching tight end.

Hayden Hurst
Hayden Hurst / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers could draft Ja'Tavion Sanders

Bryce Young needs better weapons and improved protection. He needs explosive playmakers who can create separation and make things happen consistently. The Carolina Panthers went a long way to achieving this feat by signing offensive linemen Robert Hunt and Damien Lewis in free agency. But much more is needed at the skill positions.

The Panthers cannot rely solely on Tommy Tremble taking strides forward with Hayden Hurst no longer around. If Ja'Tavion Sanders was available at a decent spot during the 2024 NFL Draft, those in power need to discuss the benefits of adding him to Dave Canales' offense.

Sanders is a magnificent performer. His route-running is exceptional and could increase further with additional NFL experience. The ball skills he brings to the table are extraordinary more often than not. He's got the straight-end speed to cause havoc from the slot or even lined up out wide if the mismatch is there.

While any team drafting Sanders wouldn't be getting much from a blocking capacity initially, the Panthers have Tremble and Ian Thomas to make up for this deficiency. If the Texas prospect makes a smooth transition, he has the scope to be the Day 1 starter and a valuable target for Young.

There are other options to note. Whichever way the Panthers decide to go, it must be correct after so many personnel failures following Greg Olsen's departure.