4 NFL Draft prospects the Carolina Panthers hope fall out of the first round

It's a waiting game for Dan Morgan...
Adonai Mitchell
Adonai Mitchell / Jay Janner / American-Statesman / USA
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After months of speculation and hearsay, the 2024 NFL Draft is officially upon us. For the Carolina Panthers, it's nothing more than a waiting game unless Dan Morgan decides to trade back into the first round.

The Panthers are infamously giving up the No. 1 overall selection to the Chicago Bears as part of their trade-up for quarterback Bryce Young last year. Nobody in the building thought the compensation would be this steep - but that's what happens when NFL teams become desperate and wrongfully assess the capabilities of their roster.

There's nothing Morgan can do about that now. He was part of the process that determined going up for Young was the right move, but just how much say he had is another matter. This is a good chance to alleviate any remaining concerns and prove beyond doubt he was the correct man to get this franchise back on track.

It seems unlikely that the Panthers will trade up considering the holes across their roster and the relatively limited resources available. It'll be a waiting game, but there promises to be plenty of drama that could see prospects with top 32 grades fall into their laps.

With this in mind, here are four prospects the Panthers hope fall out of the first round during the 2024 NFL Draft.

Carolina Panthers must hope Graham Barton falls

  • Center | Duke Blue Devils

Admittedly, this is a long shot. But if Graham Barton was to make it out of the top 32 picks on Day 1, it might not take long for the Carolina Panthers to turn in their card at No. 33 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Barton is transitioning to the center position after a standout college career. His size, active hands, ability to communicate effectively, and exceptional athleticism make him a potential Week 1 starter with enormous upside. This is also an underrated position of need.

Austin Corbett is switching positions in 2024. While there's a chance this move goes according to plan, it's also worth remembering he's never played an NFL snap at center and is coming off two knee injuries in consecutive seasons. Morgan and his staff should not hesitate if they feel like a better, longer-term option can be acquired.

Barton's drawn plenty of interest throughout the pre-draft process, so it wouldn't be the biggest shock to see him taken in the 20s. If not, he immediately enters the Panthers' train of thought.