7 cornerback prospects the Carolina Panthers could draft in 2024

Nate Wiggins
Nate Wiggins / Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Carolina Panthers could draft Mike Sainristil

He's not the biggest cornerback to ever emerge from the collegiate ranks, but Mike Sainristil is gaining traction at the right time. The 5-foot-9 defensive back boasts exceptional ball skills and athleticism, which stems from his background as a wide receiver before converting to the secondary.

This previous knowledge of playing wideout allows Sainristil to anticipate routes with exceptional frequency. He quickly emerged into a key cog in Michigan's defense en route to a national college football championship. His contribution against the run defies a man his size and there is ferocious speed attached to the player when he's asked to blitz.

Of course, his lack of legitimate length could impact his effectiveness against more physically imposing wideouts at the next level. Sainristil relies heavily on anticipation, which is something NFL teams will look to exploit.

Despite these negatives, Sainristil looks like a solid mid-round candidate for the Carolina Panthers - one who offers something a little different from what they already have.

Carolina Panthers could draft Khyree Jackson

Perhaps the Panthers could decide on taking an athletic specimen who's rough around the edges a little further down the draft order. In this scenario, someone like Khyree Jackson comes with more positives than most.

At 6-foot-4, the Oregon prospect is a dominant-looking defensive back with quick-twitch movements that make him a force to be reckoned with. He tracks the football superbly downfield and has no trouble jamming opposing wide receivers at the line of scrimmage to knock them off their desired path. His tackling is also another underrated element of his game that deserves respect.

For all Jackson's positives, he is technically flawed. His backpedal isn't the quickest and he also has trouble when beaten initially off the snap. There's a lot of hard work ahead for whichever team drafts him, but his athletic intangibles suggest improvements can be made gradually while the player makes an immediate impact on special teams.