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 Khristian Boyd

  • Defensive Line | Northern Iowa Panthers
  • No. 180 overall

Fortifying the defensive front is another underrated need for the Carolina Panthers. Derrick Brown looks like an absolute superstar following his record-breaking campaign in 2023. Aside from that, the jury is still out.

Shifting Shy Tuttle to a 3-4 defensive end permanently should be considered. This leaves a gaping hole at the nose tackle position, which proved to be Carolina's undoing on a few occasions despite Ejiro Evero's defense performing well overall in difficult circumstances.

Taking a flier on someone like Khristian Boyd could be worth its weight in gold. The Northern Iowa prospect has the size to operate almost anywhere on a 3-4 defensive front. He might be considered too tall for the nose tackle spot at 6-foot-4, but the Panthers aren't exactly gambling anything big by finding out one way or another in this scenario.

Boyd has the sort of dog-like qualities general manager Dan Morgan is looking for. His work ethic is tireless for a man his size. Once he gets his hands on opposing offensive linemen in tight situations, there's very little they can do to get the upper hand. This is matched by a strong lower body that makes it incredibly difficult to shift off the block.

There is some work to do from a pass-rushing perspective, but Boyd looks like a good 3-4 fit on Evero's front. He might not start right away - which isn't surprising for Day 3 selections more often than not - but it's not like the Panthers are blessed with great depth in the defensive trenches as it stands.