Carolina Panthers 7-round 2024 NFL mock draft: New beginnings edition

A new era in Carolina has begun...
Troy Franklin
Troy Franklin / Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard / USA
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Carolina Panthers select Troy Franklin

  • Wide Receiver | Oregon Ducks
  • No. 36 overall

A key attribute of Dave Canales’ offense last season was the playmakers he had around Baker Mayfield, such as Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. During his time with the Seattle Seahawks, he coached Russell Wilson and Geno Smith to career years while also having them surrounded by D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.

Now coaching second-year quarterback Bryce Young, Canales must work with Dan Morgan to pair their franchise signal-caller with playmakers. In this scenario, the Carolina Panthers add a top free-agent wide receiver, but it doesn’t end there.

For an offense that lacked speed and everything else at the wide receiver spot in 2023, Troy Franklin provides that and then some.

The All-Pac 12 wideout isn’t your typical speedster. We know he can stretch the field thanks to long strides, incredible acceleration, and sustained explosiveness. However, one of Franklin’s key strengths is his route-running ability. 

Ample route tempo and short-area quickness early in routes? He can do that. Franklin understands how to attack leverage with not just his speed but his football IQ as a route runner. This is a trait that can go unnoticed and it is an important one that Young could lean on.

The former Oregon Duck isn’t the biggest receiver. His functional strength is average at best and shouldn’t be relied upon in 50/50 contested catch situations. That is not his game and I believe this could keep him from being a true No. 1 receiver in the NFL.

Franklin would be a great addition to the team as a No. 2 “Z” receiver who can stretch the field and take the lid off of defenses. His addition to Carolina’s offense would be quite significant considering last year’s unit.