Carolina Panthers 7-round 2024 NFL mock draft: Final countdown edition

We are getting ever closer to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Tanor Bortolini
Tanor Bortolini / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers select Mike Sainristil

  • Cornerback | Michigan Wolverines
  • Round No. 3 | No. 65 overall

Rumors have been swirling about the possibility of Michigan defensive back Mike Sainristil being one of the Carolina Panthers' first selections. It would make sense on the preface to add playmakers on both sides of the ball, though the nickel cornerback could be a reach to some based on his size and play strength concerns. 

It is a legitimate possibility and makes a lot of sense. However, Sainristil’s value makes more sense toward the backend of the second round or early in the third, though I am not opposed to him being the team’s first selection. He’s a good prospect overall and someone that can have an immediate impact.

Sainristil stands out in a lot of ways. As a former wide receiver, the ball skills and aggression at the catch point translated to 12 passes defended and six interceptions. He also has elite football acumen, which allows him to be very disciplined in both man and zone coverage.

Despite being an older prospect, Sainristil plays bigger than his 5-foot-9, 182-pound frame, which is noticeable as a tackler in run support. The first-team All-American defensive back projects as a starting nickelback in the NFL, leaving Troy Hill as a depth piece and putting into question whether or not the Panthers sign Stephon Gilmore after the draft.

Carolina Panthers select Tanor Bortolini

  • Center | Wisconsin Badgers
  • Round No. 4 | No. 101 overall

It’s hard to foresee Austin Corbett being the Day 1 starting center considering his lack of experience and latest injury history. The Carolina Panthers should address the position at some point during the 2024 NFL Draft - whether that’s at No. 33 overall or No. 240 overall.

Thankfully, this center class features plenty of prospects that project as potential starters at the next level. Tanor Bortolini fits the bill.

Throughout his career with the Wisconsin Badgers, Bortolini offers great positional versatility to play all five spots along the offensive line. He displays natural leverage and anchoring ability that allows him to flash as a potential concrete wall in the middle. Furthermore, the prospect boasts above-average movement skills, football intelligence in run and pass game assignments, and enough physicality to fit in Dave Canales’ zone-blocking scheme.

Bortolini graded out as an early third-round player on my big board for the reasons above. The only reason why he wasn’t higher is due to his near-average play strength and balance inconsistencies. However, this is an interior offensive lineman who projects as a future starting center with the opportunity to compete for significant playing time early this season.