Carolina Panthers 7-round 2024 NFL mock draft: Trading Brian Burns edition

Brian Burns
Brian Burns / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers draft Brian Thomas Jr.

  • Wide Receiver | LSU Tigers
  • No. 29 overall

So, the Carolina Panthers have a first-round pick. They gave up one of their best players to get it, which would be a contentious issue among the fanbase when one considers how many established stars have been allowed to leave in recent years.

Dan Morgan and Brandt Tilis have to make the best out of a bad situation this offseason. They inherited an ungodly mess from Scott Fitterer and Samir Suleiman, whose incompetence knew no bounds as the Panthers descended into the league's worst football team.

Not offering Burns a long-term extension his representatives consider worthy could indicate a shift in course. There wouldn't be much money to go around if he played on the franchise tag. Therefore, it could jeopardize the chances of putting the right pieces around quarterback Bryce Young this offseason.

One thing this hypothetical trade does is increase the chances of landing one of the elite wide receivers emerging from the college ranks. If Brian Thomas Jr. was available at this point, it might not take long to turn in their card.

This is projected to be one of the deepest wide receiver classes in recent memory. There's a chance Thomas goes much higher than this due to the outstanding physical attributes at the wideout's disposal, but one or two might slip through the cracks and end up being late first-rounders when they were projected to be taken further up the pecking order.

Thomas has the physical profile and explosiveness to become Young's best threat in the passing game. More is needed, but this would be a great place to start.