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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Carolina Panthers should monitor Tetairoa McMillan

  • Wide Receiver | Arizona Wildcats

The Carolina Panthers traded into the first round to select wide receiver Xavier Legette. However, they could be on the lookout for another dynamic presence at the position next year based on how things look currently.

Adam Thielen could be a cut candidate given his advancing years. Diontae Johnson is a free agent in 2025 following his trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers. If Jonathan Mingo doesn't demonstrate improvements in Year 2 of his professional career, the weapons around Bryce Young won't be up to the required standard.

Tetairoa McMillan will be a name to watch. The Arizona prospect is 6-foot-5 with the athleticism to match. He's an absolute nightmare to cover at all three levels of the field. This is reflected in an exceptional campaign for the Wildcats in 2023, gaining 90 receptions for 1,402 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.

If the former four-star high school recruit improves his physicality and learns how to become a more dangerous threat after the catch, someone is going to have an outstanding NFL player on their hands. McMillan will be a sure-fire top-10 selection with the same production next season, which is where the Panthers are projected to be once again unless there's a monumental turnaround during Dave Canales' first campaign.

Carolina Panthers should monitor Parker Brailsford

  • Center | Alabama Crimson Tide

Austin Corbett will be making a transition to the center position in 2024 after the Carolina Panthers spent big money to land Robert Hunt and Damien Lewis in free agency. They don't have a long-term plan in place, which is something those in power must rectify as a matter of urgency when the next offseason rolls around.

Corbett is experienced and performs well as an interior blocker. However, the former second-round pick has suffered two serious knee injuries in consecutive seasons and doesn't have an ounce of experience manning the offensive line's anchor role in a competitive NFL environment. It could pay off, but one cannot see the switch as anything other than risky right now.

If Dan Morgan uses an early-round selection on a new center from the collegiate level in 2025, someone like Parker Brailsford should be monitored closely throughout the upcoming campaign. He's undersized at 6-foot-2, but the prospect's production is nothing short of outstanding. This is matched by superb communication pre-snap and the ability to identify where pressure is coming from consistently.

Brailsford has transferred to Alabama from the Washington Huskies for the 2024 season. If he thrives against SEC competition, then the Panthers could do far worse than examine his next-level credentials in greater detail.