5 Carolina Panthers who could get cut after the 2024 NFL Draft

It's an uncertain time for veterans around the league...
LaBryan Ray
LaBryan Ray / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
3 of 3

Cade Mays - Carolina Panthers OL

Dan Morgan spared no expense to strengthen the interior offensive line when free agency began. The Carolina Panthers pulled off a coup with the signing of Robert Hunt. Damien Lewis - who worked closely with Dave Canales during their time together on the Seattle Seahawks - swiftly followed. This provides quarterback Bryce Young with two new starting guards capable of providing improved pass protection and physicality.

That said, this shouldn't stop Morgan from adding to Carolina's offensive line options during the draft. This is a deep class for protectors in all positions. The Panthers don't have the luxury of standing pat and ignoring an upgrade to the depth chart if an opportunity presents itself.

What this would mean for Cade Mays' future is up for debate. The former sixth-round pick found life difficult last season when given starting reps. He wasn't alone in that regard, but those in power must figure out whether there's untapped potential within the player or if he's a lost cause entering Year 3 of his professional career.

Again, there's no emotional attachment to Carolina's roster construction with Morgan and Dave Canales spearheading the project. Mays can expect a real fight for his roster spot once the draft concludes.

LaBryan Ray - Carolina Panthers DL

Despite signing A'Shawn Robinson in free agency, Carolina's defensive front looks a little light of legitimate depth heading into the draft. The Panthers should be a force against the run, but generating pressure from the front three might be difficult if another explosive presence cannot be found.

LaBryan Ray will be watching developments closely. The former Alabama star fought hard to earn an opportunity last season. He was handed another short-term deal after flashing on the rotation, but there are no guarantees regarding his roster status under the new coaching regime.

The Panthers could decide to stick with what they have. Those in power might also look to acquire a genuine nose tackle and shift Shy Tuttle into a versatile backup role. Either way, any additional incomings will leave Ray facing an uphill battle to make the 53-man roster in 2024.

If the Panthers use one of their selections on a defensive lineman, it could be a straight fight between Ray and Nick Thurman for a spot. This sense of urgency and raising standards increases competition. It's also been known to help players attain new levels of progress along the way.