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 Jared Wiley

  • Tight End | TCU Horned Frogs
  • Round No. 5 | No. 141 overall

The Carolina Panthers require more depth in the tight end room. It wouldn’t be ideal to have Ian Thomas as your No. 2 tight end entering the regular season, even if that is a real possibility. Plus, Tommy Tremble is entering a contract year and the team needs insurance for the potential reality that the fourth-year pass-catcher doesn’t meet some loftier expectations.

Enter, Jared Wiley. The first-team All-Big 12 is a great hands catcher with ample hand-eye coordination and body control to pose as a middle-of-the-field target. His long arms make for a great catch radius that allows him to snag passes away from his frame with consistency.

The team could be looking for more of a receiving tight end in the draft. Wiley’s play style reminds me of Mike Gesicki. 

This could be a natural fit in the Panthers' offense and allow Wiley to develop, adding more play strength and improving his run-blocking technique overall. 

Carolina Panthers select Xavier Thomas

  • Edge Rusher | Clemson Tigers
  • Round No. 5 | No. 142 overall

Is this the year the Panthers end the drought of not drafting a Clemson prospect? It’s hard to say if that will be the case. However, the team needs an edge rusher despite the additions of Jadeveon Clowney and D.J. Wonnum. If they are to draft one, expect to be one with explosiveness, bend, and pass-rush production.

Xavier Thomas makes a lot of sense if the Panthers want to go with a local route. The super-senior and former five-star high school recruit tallied 17.5 sacks during his Tigers career, displaying great cornering ability, hip flexibility, bend, and explosiveness to off-set and overwhelm opposing offensive tackles. 

The former freshman All-American displays a baseline pass rush arsenal that will allow him to be a potential stable in a defensive rotation. Thomas won’t ever be a true three-down defender but could be a steady pass-rush specialist similar to former outside linebacker Marquis Haynes Sr.'s role on the roster.

Carolina Panthers select Evan Anderson

  • Defensive Tackle | Florida Atlantic Owls
  • Round No. 7 | No. 240 overall

In reality, I do not expect the Panthers to keep their seventh-round selection. However, if they do it should be utilized to select either potential special teams contributors or depth along the defensive line. In this instance, the team uses this pick on a potential contributing nose tackle to fill gaps in the run game. 

At 6-foot-1 and 321 pounds, Evan Anderson displays a wide frame and natural leverage to anchor in the run game. There are flashes of a sufficient bull-rush that would allow him to penetrate pockets, though they weren't consistent enough to be considered mid-round value. However, he holds his own as a two-gap defender, displaying the skill set to be a rotational defensive tackle at the next level.

Anderson’s physical and athletic profile is worth taking a chance on if you’re the Panthers. At worst, the former FAU All-AAC defensive lineman doesn’t make the team. At best, he could make the roster and be a potential impact zero-technique or one-technique who could spend time on the practice squad to continue his development as an NFL defensive lineman.