4 unheralded Carolina Panthers rookies who can surge up depth chart in 2024

Opportunity awaits these Carolina Panthers rookies.
Michael Barrett
Michael Barrett / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Jalen Coker - Carolina Panthers WR

Dan Morgan made his primary objective clear this offseason. The Carolina Panthers would do whatever it took to make quarterback Bryce Young's life easier. This started with hiring head coach Dave Canales and continued through the 2024 NFL Draft.

Considering the investment made in Young and how disappointing things became throughout his turbulent rookie campaign, there was no other option. That could mean some defensive regression after the Panthers lost some established stars. Still, the franchise had to give the No. 1 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft a fighting chance of redeeming himself with a more productive supporting cast.

A big element of this centered on the wide receiver position. The Panthers acquired Diontae Johnson via trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers and moved into the first round for Xavier Legette at No. 32 overall. Couple this with Adam Thielen sticking around and the promise of further development from last year's second-rounder Jonathan Mingo, things are looking up for Young within a scheme being devised to suit his strengths.

The Panthers also believe Jalen Coker could carve out a role for himself. Many expected the former Holy Cross standout to be taken at some stage on Day 3. Playing at a small school and his lack of elite-level speed meant he didn't hear his name called, but Morgan acted swiftly and gave the undrafted free agent a nice cash sum to bring him into the fold.

As previously mentioned, Coker isn't the quickest wideout to emerge from the collegiate level. However, he knows how to create separation and boasts superb ball skills capable of making the toughest catches look routine. This also represents a significant opportunity for the rookie when one considers how others on the depth chart constantly flatter to deceive.

If Coker catches the eye and relies on what got him this far, he'll have a chance. His route tree must improve under Carolina's exceptional coaching staff, but becoming the No. 5 option isn't out of the question if everything goes according to or better than anticipated throughout the summer.