Carolina Panthers 7-round 2024 NFL mock draft: Best player available edition

The Carolina Panthers have a lot of holes to fill this offseason.

Brandon Dorlus
Brandon Dorlus / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers draft Junior Colson

  • Linebacker | Michigan Wolverines
  • No. 135 overall

You always have to be prepared for the scenario that one of your star defensive players could test free agency and land on a new team. Regardless of whether Frankie Luvu returns to the Carolina Panthers or not, adding depth at a position where the team needs to prepare for life after Shaq Thompson is an underrated need.

I thought Deion Jones and Kamu Grugier-Hill did a solid job this season. It remains to be seen whether they return in 2024. Even so, adding a three-down linebacker such as Junioir Colson would be a plus for Ejiro Evero’s defense if the coordinator is retained.

Any time I watched Michigan’s defense, Colson always seemed to stand out. He’s your prototypical linebacker at 6-foot-3, 247 pounds. He moves well for his size, showcasing discipline in coverage drops and the lateral quickness to hit his landmarks in zone coverage. 

There’s also plenty to like with Colson against the run. He brings plenty of pop at the point of attack and plays his run fits well.

The second-team All-Big-10 linebacker is a smart defender who could see playing time sooner than later. However, he’ll need to clean up his tackling technique and work to be more consistent in working off blocks.