5 prospects the Carolina Panthers must avoid during 2024 NFL Draft

There are too many red flags surrounding these prospects...
T'Vondre Sweat
T'Vondre Sweat / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers must avoid Payton Wilson

  • Linebacker | NC State Wolfpack

Payton Wilson is a good football player. He was a prolific linebacker at North Carolina State who grew up idolizing legendary second-level enforcer Luke Kuechly. In terms of sentimental value, this pick would carry a lot of weight among sections of the team's fanbase.

Unfortunately, reality is not always that simple.

Wilson is projected to be a second or third-round selection according to most analysts. His on-field credentials and exemplary character away from the gridiron make him almost tailormade for the Carolina Panthers' ambitious project under Dan Morgan. That said, some significant causes for concern must be investigated further before the new general manager potentially gives this prospect his seal of approval.

The biggest red flag centers on Wilson's injury history. He's had two serious knee complications throughout his playing career. There's also the shoulder issue suffered by the player - something that adds more worry to how his body might hold up to the NFL. Wolfpack fans might disagree, but these are legitimate worries all the same.

The prospect will be 24 years old by the time he gets drafted. Not exactly uncommon considering how much longer college players are staying with their respective programs thanks to the COVID year and the introduction of lucrative NIL deals, but the Panthers could be looking for someone younger with more upside at this stage of their vast rebuild.

If everything checks out on the health front and Morgan is satisfied the Panthers can get bang for their buck with Wilson, the chances of him being drafted by Carolina increase. If they go in this direction and he suffers more heartache on the injury front, it would be nothing short of disastrous.

Wilson is a tackling machine - an old-school linebacker who will no doubt catch Morgan's eye. But there are enough reasons to believe he might not end up with his fairytale move to the Panthers when push comes to shove.