Carolina Panthers 7-round 2024 NFL mock draft: Post-free agency edition

Needs are becoming clearer...

Jermaine Burton
Jermaine Burton / Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News / USA
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Carolina Panthers draft Caelan Carson

  • Cornerback | Wake Forest Demon Deacons
  • Round No. 3 | No. 65 overall

The Carolina Panthers traded Donte Jackson to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the acquisition of Pro Bowl wide receiver Diontae Johnson. While he did have his fair share of ups and downs, the veteran cornerback was quite sufficient in coverage this past season.

Those in power must find competition and a potential starter opposite of Jaycee Horn at some stage during the 2024 NFL Draft. Acquiring Dane Jackson and re-signing Troy Hill isn't going to cut it.

Could Wake Forest’s Caelen Carson be the answer? It’s unrealistic to expect a potential third-round cornerback to come in and solve the potential issues alongside Horn. However, the prospect could see more playing time during his rookie campaign than expected due to the changes that have occurred in Carolina’s defense.

Preliminary viewings of the former Demon Deacon show adequate size and functional athleticism. Carson flashes disruption at the catch point while showing the ability to fight through contact in run support. These two things are crucial when playing under defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero within his creative 3-4 base scheme.

At worst, Carson would bring quality depth to the Panthers' secondary hat looks a little threadbare right now. At best? He develops into a sufficient CB2 option.