Carolina Panthers 7-round 2024 NFL mock draft: Board manipulation edition

Dan Morgan has another chance to impress...
Ja'Lynn Polk
Ja'Lynn Polk / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers select Ja’Lynn Polk

  • Wide Receiver | Washington Huskies
  • Round No. 2 | No. 61 overall

If the Carolina Panthers or any draft analyst has a conviction on a particular prospect, they shouldn't shy away. That’s how one feels about wide receiver Ja’Lynn Polk.

There’s no question that the Panthers need wide receivers. Adam Thielen and Jonathan Mingo are the only two to be on contract through the 2024 season. While it’s reasonable to expect newly acquired Pro Bowler Diontae Johnson to receive an extension at some point during the season if he impresses, this franchise needs to have another playmaker on a rookie contract.

Polk’s ball skills are outstanding. His skill set is among the best in this draft class with the likes of Marvin Harrison Jr. and Keon Coleman, two of my highest-graded receivers in this area. He rarely drops passes thrown his way due to strong mitts, phenomenal hand-eye coordination, terrific body control, and contortion ability.

The Washington prospect has shown to win from any alignment - whether that’s the X, Z, or slot. The former Texas Tech transfer saw mostly vertical stems, though this was due to the offense run by the Huskies. There are some concerns about his route tree being limited. However, Polk has the short-area quickness and initial burst to be consistent in any task he is assigned to run.

Polk isn’t the best athlete, nor does he have elite explosiveness. However, what he provides with his ball skills, alignment versatility, and his current skill set as a route runner and separator seem to indicate he can be a quality playmaker in any NFL offense, including the Panthers.