Carolina Panthers 7-round 2024 NFL mock draft: What would you do edition

Cedric Gray
Cedric Gray / Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers draft Ladd McConkey

  • Wide Receiver | Georgia Bulldogs 
  • Round 2 | No. 33 overall

The Carolina Panthers desperately need help at wide receiver. They simply lack the playmakers to allow second-year quarterback Bryce Young to develop into the star many believe he can be. With that said, there needs to be context when referring to the type of playmakers they should be looking for.

I believe Dan Morgan should pursue a top free-agent wide receiver if they are available. However, do they need an explosive, flashy, absurdly high-ceiling player at this spot? One could argue that they don’t need to draft someone with just high-end speed and quickness. 

We must remember Young doesn’t have an arm like Josh Allen. He does a great job of layering his throws and was very accurate downfield during his Alabama days. But he simply does not have a big arm. That’s why I chose a good receiver prospect that is seen by some within the fanbase as a controversial pick.

I’m going to be high on Ladd McConkey as a prospect. He’s a talent more than worthy of being drafted this high or in the first round itself. The former Georgia Bulldog is a smart receiver who finds soft spots in zone coverages and is a very nuanced route runner who creates natural separation.

The kicker here with the 5-foot-11, 187-pound McConkey is that he can create separation downfield with burst and acceleration. He’s great after the catch and can weave his way in and out of tackles.

The two-time national champion doesn’t have the rare speed and high ceiling that Troy Franklin or Xavier Worthy have, and that’s okay. McConkey’s skill set will work perfectly with Young and offers the athleticism, route running ability, and versatility to have a lengthy NFL career.