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

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Renardo Green
Renardo Green / Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers select Ricky Pearsall

  • Wide Receiver | Florida Gators
  • Round No. 3 | No. 65 overall

I’m sure you’ve heard this numerous times throughout the draft process, but this wide receiver class is one of the deepest it has been in a decade. For example, your fifth-ranked wide receiver would be the top-ranked player at his position in most drafts. That’s how good this group is and the Carolina Panthers shouldn’t have any trouble finding a contributor early in the draft.

In this mock draft, a run at wide receiver leaves Ricky Pearsall as the top offensive prospect available, which falls under the notion of the best player available. The former Florida Gator would be a high second-round pick in most classes but lands with Carolina in this scenario to give Bryce Young another weapon to add to his arsenal.

Pearsall is a receiver with great zone awareness. He’s a crafty route-runner with good short-area quickness and quality ball skills. At the moment, he would be the Panthers' second-best receiver - at worst - in 2023. 

The former three-star high-school recruit has a knack for making big-time catches, including the one-handed grab against the Charlotte 49ers early last season.

Pearsall offers near-elite athleticism and plenty of long speed to create yards after the catch. He needs to clean up some wasted movement in his releases and route-running and improve his overall play strength. Even so, the wideout's inside-out alignment versatility makes this a quality selection to kick off the third round.