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 Elijah Jones

  • Cornerback | Boston College Eagles
  • Round No. 5 | No. 141 overall

According to Jadeveon Clowney, he's not the only former South Carolina college star looking to join the Carolina Panthers this offseason. The edge rusher revealed he'd been in discussions with Stephon Gilmore, who also appears receptive to a return despite leaving under a cloud in 2022 free agency.

This would provide the Panthers with the dependable veteran cornerback they desperately need. Gilmore is firmly in his career twilight, but the production remains encouraging. Providing the money works for all parties, those in power would be foolish not to explore the possibility in greater detail.

If the Panthers don't sign Gilmore before the draft, their need for a cornerback becomes greater. Either way, someone like Elijah Jones makes a ton of sense at this stage of the all-important selection process.

Jones is 6-foot-2 with a 4.44-second speed clocked in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. This allows him to get wide receivers off their routes in press coverage and also cope seamlessly tracking quicker pass-catchers downfield.

The Boston College prospect also has the size and physicality to be an asset in contested situations, especially in the red zone. Bulking up slightly to become more impactful against the run would be beneficial, but there is a lot to like about Jones' upside if he's given time to develop.