Carolina Panthers 7-round 2024 NFL mock draft: Pre-combine edition

The NFL Scouting Combine has finally arrived...

Payton Wilson
Payton Wilson / Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports
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Javon Baker. player. Javon Baker. 102. 455. . Wide Receiver. javonbaker. .

Carolina Panthers select Javon Baker

  • Wide Receiver | UCF Knights
  • Round No. 4 | No. 102 overall

I apologize for taking so long to mock a wide receiver to the Carolina Panthers, but the value here is tempting. This is a player I have heard offers a similar play style to Cincinnati Bengals star receiver Ja'Marr Chase. When you pop on this guy's film, it makes a ton of sense.

There's no question the Panthers should target a receiver or offensive lineman early in the draft. However, a scenario should be considered where Dan Morgan and Brandt Tilis find some playmakers through free agency, leading to less pressure in adding a receiver early. In this scenario, a potential diamond in the rough like Javon Baker is something to consider.

Baker's measurements are eerily similar to Chase's. The senior 6-foot-1, 208-pounder impressed at the Senior Bowl earlier in the month and raised the eyebrows of many in Mobile. This is a guy who averaged almost 22 yards per reception, which should give you a glimpse of what type of prospect he is.

While he's not the biggest receiver, Baker competes and wins at the catch point consistently. The former Alabama transfer displays ample body control and ball skills that allow him to succeed in 50-50 jump balls and make adjustments on the fly.

Bryce Young's former teammate could benefit from more refinement in plenty of areas. However, what Baker offers now could allow him to see targets early in his career considering the state of the Panthers' skill positions.