Carolina Panthers 7-round 2024 NFL mock draft: Enemy deal edition

Nothing should be off the table...
Jared Wiley
Jared Wiley / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers draft Brennan Jackson

  • Edge Rusher | Washington State Cougars
  • Round No. 6 | No. 197 overall

Signing Jadeveon Clowney and D.J. Wonnum to compensate for Brian Burns' departure via trade to the New York Giants should help fortify the Carolina Panthers' pass rush. But considering the questions surrounding depth, identifying a high-upside edge presence at some time during the 2024 NFL Draft would be a shrewd move by those in power.

This is something Dan Morgan might address sooner depending on what options become available. In this mock draft, the Panthers opt to wait and take their chances with a physically gifted specimen who could thrive if given time to progress at his own pace.

Brennan Jackson has the sort of dog mentality Morgan is seeking in all his recruits. His effort is nothing short of relentless on every snap. He's an excellent run defender with the speed needed to chase down rushers quickly and efficiently. And yes, his football IQ is another strong positive working in the player's favor.

Jackson must pass medical assessments with some red flags attached and add some additional pass-rushing moves to his arsenal. But if the Panthers treat this as a development project, it'll provide the Washington State stud with enough freedom to bring his game along gradually while making an instant impact on special teams.

Carolina Panthers draft Ryan Watts

  • Safety | Texas Longhorns
  • Round No. 7 | Pick No. 240

After letting Jeremy Chinn walk in free agency and releasing Vonn Bell, the Panthers might add another safety from the draft despite signing Jordan Fuller. If nothing else, they could use a development piece capable of providing rotational reps over time and becoming a special team asset along the way.

Ryan Watts is worth a late-round flier with Carolina's final selection. He's an aggressive downhill force against the run who offers adequate backend support in obvious passing situations. His positional sense is accomplished after spending time as a cornerback earlier in his career. His physical frame looks to be a ready-made replacement for Chinn, although the recent departure boasts more in the way of explosive athleticism.

Watts can struggle to anticipate routes. This will get punished in the pros if there aren't strides made during his early development. But if everything comes together for the Texas prospect, he could become a diamond in the rough when it's all said and done.

If Dan Morgan walked away from his first draft as general manager with this sort of haul, nobody should be complaining too much. After that, the onus is on Dave Canales and his staff to mold each prospect accordingly.