Carolina Panthers 7-round 2024 NFL mock draft: Way too early edition

Ja'Tavion Sanders
Ja'Tavion Sanders / Tim Warner/GettyImages
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Carolina Panthers draft Josaiah Stewart

  • Edge Rusher | Michigan Wolverines
  • Round No. 4 (Pick No. 101)

Much like the situation at cornerback, it remains to be seen whether or not the Carolina Panthers have enough at the edge rushing position in 2023. They have the salary-cap space to strengthen their options if needed, but there hasn't appeared to be much urgency in that regard despite getting almost no consistent pressure opposite Brian Burns whatsoever last season.

Maybe Yetur Gross-Matos, Amare Barno, or Marquis Haynes Sr. can transition well to the 3-4 outside linebacker role. The Panthers also think a lot of D.J. Johnson, but how much the third-round pick can contribute right out of the gate has yet to be determined.

Couple this with some contractual decisions upcoming next year, and finding another gifted prospect from the college level is almost a necessity. Someone like Josaiah Stewart is well worth keeping an eye on ahead of his big transfer from Coastal Carolina to the fancied Michigan Wolverines.

Stewart caught the eye in 2021 as a defensive tackle en route to 16 tackles for loss and 13 sacks. His numbers dipped slightly when shifted to the edge last season, but the prospect is still developing his craft and might thrive with increased competition under Jim Harbaugh.

There are some concerns technically and Stewart also needs to refine his pass-rushing moves. Coping with a steep step-up in class is also going to have big-time ramifications on the player's draft standing.