Carolina Panthers 7-round 2024 NFL mock draft: Clearer needs edition

The needs are becoming clearer...

Brandon Dorlus
Brandon Dorlus / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers draft Graham Barton

  • Center | Duke Blue Devils
  • Round No. 2 | No. 33 overall

Austin Corbett looks set to make his transition from the right guard position into the center spot in 2024. The Carolina Panthers spent big bucks in free agency to acquire two new starting guards. They feel like the former second-round selection out of Nevada is the perfect candidate to replace Bradley Bozeman, who was released as part of the team's long-term financial planning.

While Corbett is talented, this comes with an element of risk attached. The player doesn't have much experience as an NFL center. He's also coming off two significant knee injuries in consecutive seasons. Therefore, it would be wise for those in power to get a long-term option in place if things don't go according to plan.

If someone like Graham Barton was available when the Panthers go on the clock at No. 33 overall, it's something that should provoke discussion. The Duke prospect's stock has soared throughout the evaluation process thanks to the immense athleticism at his disposal. Something that cements what we see on the field.

Barton is a fluid mover who's got experience anywhere across the protection. His explosiveness to the contact point is impressive. He's also got the physical traits that would fit into Dave Canales' zone-blocking concepts seamlessly.

Once some technical flaws are worked out, someone is going to have a real player on their hands. Whether the Panthers want to take an offensive lineman so early from a deep class is debatable, but the notion couldn't be dismissed entirely.