5 edge rushers Carolina Panthers must consider in the 2024 NFL Draft

The Carolina Panthers need more edge rushers.
Chris Braswell
Chris Braswell / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 3

Carolina Panthers fans will have to wait until their team makes a selection with the No. 33 and No. 39 overall picks in the 2024 NFL Draft. The franchise will kick off Day 2 at the top of the second round and they have a host of needs that could be addressed early.

There is an obvious need for a playmaking wide receiver. The Panthers want to add talent to a position that lacked the depth to compensate for it. Along with the need for a perimeter weapon, the team could improve their running back and tight end rooms, interior defensive line, linebacker, cornerback depth, and a potential starting center.

Long story short, they have work to do.

One area that they have room to improve is their outside linebacker unit. After trading star pass rusher Brian Burns, general manager Dan Morgan and vice president of football operations Brandt Tilis signed D.J. Wonnum and Jadeveon Clowney while also adding former first-round selection K’Lavon Chaisson as a potential backup.

There is an emphasis on defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero and his outside linebackers to be sound run defenders. Clowney is one of the best in the league at this and Wonnum is considered a rock-solid run defender as well. That said, the Panthers are currently missing a true pass-rush specialist and this year’s draft offers a decent amount of those. 

When it comes to who the front office may target in the draft at edge rusher, expect them to pursue someone with explosiveness, above-average lateral mobility, and at the very least a baseline pass-rush arsenal to develop. Without further ado, here are five edge rushers that fans should look out for ahead of the NFL Draft. 

Carolina Panthers could draft Adisa Isaac

A former four-star high school recruit, Adisa Isaac was projected as a future star rusher for the Penn State Nittany Lions before having to redshirt in 2021 due to a torn Achilles. When he returned, he still offered the same amount of explosiveness and burst off the line of scrimmage.

Issac would go on to lead the Nittany Lions in tackles for loss in 2022 and again in 2023. He was also the team lead in sacks on his way to multiple All-Big 10 honors.

This is a unique prospect. He shows glimpses of incredible get-off from the line of scrimmage and has shown to stress offensive tackles by covering a ton of ground within his first few steps. The edge presence displays enough play strength to stack and shed defenders while being able to keep a solid base while extending and exerting power at the point of attack.

Furthermore, Issac offers a good combination of length, bend, and explosiveness. This could catch the eye of Ejiro Evero and outside linebackers coach Tem Lubuka.

However, Issac is still a raw pass rusher. He can still struggle against the run due to inconsistent pad level and exposing his chest to stabs and punches that can cause him to lose his reps early.

He is also still developing a deeper pass-rush move arsenal, though he flashes some double swipes and rips to go along with bending the corner and decreasing surface area. Issac projects as a role player early on in his career while he develops to become a full-time starter down the line.