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 Ryan Watts

  • Defensive Back | Texas Longhorns
  • Round No. 7 | No. 240 overall

In the seventh round, you’ll find players that will either provide depth, be on practice squads, or will be out of the league in a few years. There are those rare occasions where you’ll find a Day 1 contributor. If the Carolina Panthers can find someone who contributes, it'll be a nice bonus.

Don’t expect the Panthers selection here to be the next superstar or franchise cornerstone. While that would be great news and a huge find for Dan Morgan’s front office, this pick should be expected to be any position, even a quarterback.

In this mock draft, a defensive back is the play. This not only adds more depth to the safety room, but it could also be a potential contributor on special teams and developmental prospect to possibly stash onto the practice squad. 

Ryan Watts is 6-foot-3 and 208 pounds. He brings the size and athleticism that is worth a late Day 3 selection. There are traits worth developing and he already offers some willingness as a tackler in run support.

Morgan and special teams coordinator Tracy Smith could see value in Watts as a potential gunner on punt and kickoff coverages. This could be an asset to the depth chart considering the Panthers have yet to bring back Sam Franklin Jr. in free agency.