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
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Carolina Panthers could draft Laiatu Latu

This is a completely different direction from what I was focusing on with a rotational pass-rush specialist, but I can’t shake the feeling with UCLA’s Laiatu Latu. This is the best pass rusher in the 2024 NFL Draft who might have an outside possibility of falling out of the first round due to his medical history. 

The former Washington star was out of football for two years and at one point, medically retired due to a neck injury. When Latu returned to the gridiron, he became one of the best pass rushers in football - a two-time first-team All-Pac 12 and consensus All-American.

The 10th-ranked prospect on my board and No. 1 ranked edge defender, Latu possesses above-average bend and explosiveness while providing the best pass-rush arsenal in the draft. His bag is deep with moves and secondary counters two-hand swipes, dip-rip, ghost moves, swim moves for inside rush counters, and cross-chops. 

Carolina Panthers could draft Chris Braswell

When discussing the top half of Round No. 1, Alabama’s Dallas Turner usually pops up as the potential first defensive playmaker off the board. His pass rush partner, Chris Braswell, is expected to be a top 75 selection and reportedly had a 30-visit with the Carolina Panthers.

Braswell, like Turner, was a five-star high school recruit and was the second-best pass rusher in his recruiting class behind someone you may be familiar with, former No. 3 overall selection Will Anderson Jr. The prospect had a knack for the football in 2023, leading the Crimson Tide in forced fumbles - in part due to his frame and above-average length.

The redshirt junior may not have great hip flexibility to reduce surface area around the apex. That said, he does show the ability to corner well due to his explosive first step and the speed to stress the blocking angles in pass protection.

Braswell is inconsistent as a finisher once around the quarterback and must add more density to his frame. However, he offers plenty of lateral quickness and the speed-to-power ability to be a rotational third-down specialist early in his career before turning into a potential starter during his rookie contract.