5 early prospects Carolina Panthers should watch for the 2025 NFL Draft

The scouting has already begun for the 2025 NFL Draft.
Travis Hunter
Travis Hunter / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
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Once the 2024 NFL Draft concluded, scouts and front-office personnel around the league have no time to revel in their success. Work has likely begun surrounding the 2025 evaluation process - another important milestone for the Carolina Panthers as part of general manager Dan Morgan's ambitious long-term plans.

If the Panthers were on damage limitation this offseason, things look more promising next time around. According to Spotrac, there is $53.78 million in salary-cap space with the promise of more once sacrifices are made. Morgan also has nine draft selections to call upon across the seven rounds to assist further.

Much will depend on where the Panthers end up picking. They were the NFL's worst team last season and many project them to be around that mark again. Things should improve under head coach Dave Canales, but the level of progress will dictate whether this struggling organization is on the right path to prosperity.

Carolina's scouting department will assess hundreds of hopefuls from the college ranks over the next year. Here are just five names that should already be firmly on their radar before the 2025 NFL Draft.

Carolina Panthers should monitor Kelvin Banks Jr.

  • Offensive Tackle | Texas Longhorns

The Carolina Panthers made some significant investments in their offensive line this offseason. These centered on solidifying the interior for quarterback Bryce Young, which means Taylor Moton and Ikem Ekwonu will once again be the team's starting tackle tandem barring a drastic shift in course.

Moton's been the model of consistency and durability since entering the league. His production was solid last season as all around him crumbled, but 2025 will be the final year of his contract unless an extension is agreed beforehand.

As for Ekwonu? His sophomore regression was alarming. The former first-round pick struggled with his technique and became a surprisingly weak link on the blindside. Unless significant improvements arrive next season, the Panthers might have to alter their approach regarding the North Carolina State product.

While he's a little undersized for an NFL offensive tackle at 6-foot-4, Kelvin Banks Jr. is an exceptional pass protector and represents a true mauler in the run game. His athleticism is absolutely off the charts and the Texas prospect also plays with the agility and violence that will make him a hot commodity during the 2025 NFL Draft cycle if additional improvements arrive.