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 Ladd McConkey

  • Wide Receiver | Georgia Bulldogs
  • Round No. 2 | No. 39 overall

Surrounding quarterback Bryce Young with everything needed to excel in Year 2 of his professional career has been the biggest priority above all else this offseason. The Carolina Panthers cannot afford to waste his rookie contract with poor roster construction. Their transition of investment in recent weeks suggests they think the same.

Robert Hunt and Damien Lewis were signed to fortify the offensive line interior. The Panthers also picked up wide receiver Diontae Johnson via trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers, who's one of the best route-runners around and represents an immediate upgrade on anything Carolina has currently.

More is needed, but there's growing speculation that the Panthers might not be seeking the big-bodied wideout most fans envisage. According to Joe Person of The Athletic, those in power are looking at guys who can create separation quickly and make things easier for Young during his critical sophomore campaign.

Ladd McConkey ticks those boxes and then some. The Georgia prospect is an electrifying route-runner who knows how to manipulate body movement to his advantage. He's explosive out of his cuts with outstanding ball skills. This is matched by surprising speed to make him a downfield threat and someone who can gain yards after the catch.

Whether McConkey makes it this far into the second round is debatable. There's also a good chance Carolina takes him at No. 33 overall if he's high on their board.