4 Carolina Panthers on the hot seat entering the 2024 NFL Draft

Jonathan Mingo
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Dan Morgan - Carolina Panthers GM

Dan Morgan's promotion to general manager came with some deserved skepticism attached. He was Scott Fitterer's most trusted associate and right-hand man throughout his disastrous three years in the role. Many thought becoming the Carolina Panthers' new front-office leader was a direct result of his close relationship with team owner David Tepper. Others believed there were better candidates elsewhere that could help ignite a complete reset.

Morgan looked to remove any remaining stench left by Fitterer quickly. He's made some tough choices, trading or releasing established veterans in pursuit of providing future financial flexibility. Improvements might not happen right away, but there appears to be a better thought process attached to the football operation than at any stage under Tepper's ownership to date.

Even the harshest skeptics are starting to come around. There is a lot of hard work remaining, but the vision alignment and collaboration between Morgan and Dave Canales was something previous regimes promised but never delivered.

However, this does nothing to alleviate the pressure from Morgan's shoulders heading into the 2024 NFL Draft. The Panthers have to make the best out of a bad situation with no first-round pick to call upon. Anything less could see doubts resurface about whether Tepper was right to promote from within rather than going for a completely different set of ideas.

Morgan knows what needs to be done and what characters he wants to bring into the organization. Staying calm, avoiding reactionary moves, and striking with conviction when opportunities arrive would be a good place to start. He's also a respected talent evaluator and highly regarded among league circles, so there needs to be a level of trust attached.

If Morgan can successfully navigate his first NFL Draft as the team's primary decision-maker, it's all systems go. He's planning with the future in mind and Tepper is reportedly willing to stop meddling, but choosing the correct prospects is the most important factor to this complex equation above all else.