Carolina Panthers 7-round 2024 NFL mock draft: Dog hunting edition

Dan Morgan
Dan Morgan / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers draft Marshawn Kneeland

  • Defensive Line/Edge Rusher | Western Michigan Broncos
  • No. 179 overall

As with the offensive line, the Carolina Panthers could address their edge rushing/defensive line options much earlier in the 2024 NFL Draft. This is almost entirely dependent on the situation with Brian Burns, who is looking for a lucrative extension after having his contract managed terribly by the previous regime.

If Burns signs a new deal, that doesn't detract from the need to get another prolific pass-rusher to put alongside the former first-round pick. Frankie Luvu has some qualities normally associated with edge players. Yetur Gross-Matos' encouraging progress this season also warrants another look if the money is right for all parties.

Getting a veteran with proven credentials via free agency would be wise. It might also be worth exploring the possibility of acquiring a development project from the college level and seeing if Ejiro Evero's staff can mold them into a valuable contributor.

There are bigger and more coveted prospects than Marshawn Kneeland. But this is the sort of versatile prospect Dan Morgan is looking for as he looks to bring more dogs into the building.

Kneeland isn't particularly exceptional at anything, but he does everything well. The Western Michigan prospect can thrive on the edge as a pass-rusher and run-stopper. There is also enough to suggest he could move inside when the situation dictates and play a role.

The incoming college hopeful boasts a nice blend of quickness and fluid movements. He's something of a rough diamond - especially given the concerns about his ability to generate pressure consistently against more imposing offensive linemen. Allowing him to grow into a 3-4 defensive end under Evero could reap long-term rewards.