4 prospects the Carolina Panthers could reach for at No. 33 overall

Could the Carolina Panthers take someone sooner than anticipated?

Roman Wilson
Roman Wilson / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers could draft Edgerrin Cooper

  • Linebacker
  • Texas A&M Aggies

Dan Morgan was a ferocious linebacker at the peak of his powers. He's brought that mentality into his newfound responsibilities and made no secret of his desire to restore the culture that's been sorely lacking across the Carolina Panthers under previous regimes.

The Panthers also happen to have some issues at the linebacker spot. Inspirational presence Frankie Luvu left for the Washington Commanders in free agency despite a desire to keep him around. Josey Jewell came in, but it remains to be seen whether he can fill the gaping void alongside Shaq Thompson, who is set to return from a long-term injury but isn't getting any younger.

Finding something more long-term could be an option for the Panthers at some stage during the draft. Someone like Edgerrin Cooper ticks all the boxes as a complete package. Whether those in power reach for defensive help rather than prioritize other needs is another matter.

Cooper is a sideline-to-sideline force that excels in every phase. He's a phenomenal asset against the run, can rush the passer with ruthless conviction when called upon, and more than holds his own in coverage for good measure. There are very few flaws to his game and his aggression won't go unnoticed by Morgan during pre-draft assessments.

If the Texas A&M prospect is available at No. 33, he might not last until No. 39. Morgan knows that too, so this represents a wildcard that cannot be dismissed.