Carolina Panthers draft weapon gets seal of approval from team legend

The first-round pick got a glowing recommendaion from a Carolina Panthers legend.
Luke Kuechly
Luke Kuechly / Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

It's been a long time since the Carolina Panthers had anything to legitimately cheer. The franchise is at rock bottom with nowhere to go but up. Despite last season rapidly descending into embarrassment once again, there's a growing sense that improvements can be made under new head coach Dave Canales.

The Panthers made some significant investments on offense in the hope of improved fortunes. Dan Morgan's not leaving anything to chance regarding quarterback Bryce Young's development. The latest big addition to the ranks came in the form of wide receiver Xavier Legette at No. 32 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Legette might be a little raw from a route-running standpoint, but he's a supreme threat that can be used in a variety of ways. The former South Carolina standout has enough speed to become a vertical threat. He's dangerous with the football in his hands thanks to his unique blend of size, physicality, and explosiveness. The wideout's athleticism and vice-like ball skills can become an asset in red-zone situations with a little extra refinement.

Carolina Panthers legend gives Xavier Legette his seal of approval

There will be no bedding-in period for Legette. Canales has already stated his desire to get him plenty of work alongside Diontae Johnson and Adam Thielen in 2024. During an appearance on the Kay Adams Show, former Panthers great Luke Kuechly believes the rookie has what it takes to become an instant success based on comments via USA Today Sports.

“I think what he does for us is we’ve got a vertical threat that can get down the field now. And I think last year, when you watch games and you watch the Panthers, everything was so compressed and tight to the line of scrimmage. Safeties were at 10, 11 yards. They weren’t scared of guys getting down the field. And what that does in the pass game, it closes windows.”

Kuechly added that Legette's versatility and overall talent should become a problem for opposing defenses if his gifts are harnessed correctly by Carolina's coaching staff. While some question why it took the player so long to break out in college, this was Morgan's guy and he struck with conviction to ensure he became part of the team's long-term plans.

Carolina's offense was far too mundane and predictable last season. Legette's got the scope to change that if others also live up to their end of the bargain. If the improved protection holds up and the playmakers acquired this offseason hit the ground running, it would be a huge disappointment if Young didn't make the required progress after a first year to forget in Charlotte.

Legette is a difference-maker. He could also be scratching the surface of his true potential after gaining significant confidence during his final campaign with the Gamecocks.

This is also a decent environment for the player to be walking into. We said the same about Young last offseason, but Canales has bundles of energy, is ambitious, and will have a plan in place to maximize the exceptional physical gifts at the player's disposal.

If Kuechly is right, the Panthers have a home run on their hands.