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 Cade Stover

  • Tight End | Ohio State Buckeyes
  • No. 102 overall

Following the disaster that was the 2023 Carolina Panthers offense, it’s unclear what or who will be starting at tight end next season. 

Hayden Hurst could return for another opportunity to prove himself as a reliable seam-beater. I believe he would fit well into Dave Canales’ system. Tommy Tremble is the consensus starter from most fans, a notion I do not disagree with. However, there needs to be an injection of youth.

That means Ian Thomas should be a cap casualty this offseason. I don’t anticipate Stephen Sullivan to return next season either despite signing a reserve/futures deal. If Hurst were to be traded or cut with a post-June 1st designation, Carolina needs to find a receiving threat and a developmental talent to grow as they look to see if Tremble is worth a second contract.

Cade Stover fits the bill. It wasn’t too long ago that Stover was a four-star high school recruit as an outside linebacker. Now, he is a two-time All-Big-10 selection with 25 career starts.

Stover is tough, physical, and explosive. There are obvious signs that he is still adjusting and getting comfortable playing the position. He has shown plenty of inconsistency as a blocker and receiver, especially in route concepts. However, that shouldn’t shy people away as what the Ohio State prospect offers now could get him on the field quickly.

At 6-foot-4 and 251 pounds, Stover offers great ball skills and explosiveness in and out of his breaks. He’s also a very willing blocker. When the player does drive his feet, he is very effective.

Once you turn on his tape, you will see why some people consider him one of the better tight-end prospects in this draft.