5 linebacker draft prospects the Carolina Panthers must consider in 2024

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Carolina Panthers could draft Edgerrin Cooper

A lot of draft analysts have Edgerrin Cooper as the top off-ball linebacker in this class out of Texas A&M. He has plenty of athleticism to affect the game in the run or pass. He totaled 83 tackles with 17 tackles for loss, two pass deflections, two forced fumbles, and eight sacks during his final campaign with the Aggies, which is a testament to his ability to make plays consistently. 

Cooper has good speed as he ran a 4.51-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. One thing the linebacker can improve on is his pass coverage ability. His ability to sack the quarterback is impressive for an inside linebacker - something that could see him fill the void left by Frankie Luvu if the Carolina Panthers went in this direction. 

He is a raw athlete, but if Cooper can clean up some of his inconsistencies, he could be an impact player right out of the gate. At the very least, the prospect will be a stud on special teams with his speed and athleticism. 

Cooper is just 22 years old and will most likely go in the second or third round. He’s got a chance to be a team's starting middle linebacker and the Panthers could consider him in a potential trade-back type scenario. 

Carolina Panthers could draft Junior Colson

Fresh off of ending his college career with a national championship with the Michigan Wolverines, Junior Colson enters the NFL Draft as a potential late second or early third-round pick. He has a good football IQ and size standing at 6-foot-2 238 pounds measured at the NFL Scouting Combine. 

Colson has proved to be durable in his college career and excels at finishing tackles, rarely missing his attempts. He can look to improve his instincts in the run game, but he's pretty polished aside from that. 

Last season Colson produced 95 tackles - with only 44 of them being solo - along with two tackles for loss and two pass deflections. His stats don’t blow anyone away, but he has the physical tools to be a solid linebacker for years to come. 

Colson is only 21 years old, so he still has plenty of time to develop at the next level with NFL coaching. The Panthers could choose to take a flyer on him in the third round of the upcoming draft.