Carolina Panthers 7-round 2024 NFL mock draft: Decision time edition

The time is almost upon us...
Renardo Green
Renardo Green / Jack Williams/Tallahassee Democrat / USA
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Carolina Panthers draft Jordan Jefferson

  • Nose Tackle | LSU Tigers
  • Round No. 5 | No. 142 overall

A'Shawn Robinson joined the Carolina Panthers in free agency and will be a tremendous addition to Ejiro Evero's defensive front. Many thought he would be deployed as the team's nose tackle in 2024 - a notion that received some pushback from the player when speaking to the media.

This makes finding a nose tackle an overlooked priority during the 2024 NFL Draft. Shy Tuttle's production as the anchor last time around wasn't nearly consistent enough. It's also a position where value can be had further down the pecking order if the right prospect is identified.

Looking at the possibilities of who could be available for the Panthers at this stage of the selection process, those in power could do far worse than Jordan Jefferson. The imposing defensive lineman transferred from West Virginia to LSU in time for the 2023 season and thrived despite the steep increase in competition. Something that makes him an intriguing mid-round option who could be developed into a future starter.

Jefferson is a huge obstacle on the block thanks to his blend of size, power, and core strength. He's got heavy hands and is technically sound. This is matched by the upper-body explosiveness to make things extremely uncomfortable for opposing interior offensive linemen.

Another thing that jumps out when watching Jefferson is the prospect's motor. He plays with high energy and displays the necessary conditioning to keep this going over four quarters. While he does struggle against double teams, there wouldn't be much chance of those occurring frequently with Robinson and Derrick Brown alongside him in this scenario.

If Jefferson can improve his pass-rushing repertoire and consistently lower his pad level to the point of attack, this has the makings of a high-value pickup on Day 3. One that could solve one of the biggest complications remaining for Evero as the defensive coordinator looks to further boost his head coaching credentials next season.