Carolina Panthers land two-way difference-maker in 2025 mock draft

This would be an outstanding addition.
Travis Hunter
Travis Hunter / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers have their sights set on improving during the 2024 season. Others within the front office are planning further ahead.

Although the 2025 NFL Draft is some way off, that won't stop Carolina's scouts and personnel executives from getting a head start on evaluations. They'll already have countless prospects in mind. Narrowing these down in the months ahead is the primary task before the all-important evaluation process.

Dan Morgan wants to build through the draft and supplement through free agency. The Panthers are in a great position to do just that in 2025 with nine selections at their disposal. This also includes a second-rounder after striking a deal with the Los Angeles Rams during the 2024 process.

Carolina Panthers select Travis Hunter in 2025 mock draft

Draft analysts are already speculating which prospects could be under strong consideration. After trading out of the No. 1 pick in his latest mock, Ian Cummings from Pro Football Network had the Panthers picking Colorado's two-way difference-maker Travis Hunter at No. 2 overall. Something that would give Carolina an elite-level athlete capable of taking the league by storm.

"Travis Hunter is the kind of talent you draft and then figure out where he plays later. The [Carolina] Panthers could use him at both wide receiver and cornerback. However, his rare separation upside and ball skills could play well particularly at WR with Bryce Young and Xavier Legette."

Ian Cummings, Pro Football Network

Hunter is a rare athlete. Deion Sanders believes he can play both ways at the next level. But there will come a time when he'll have to pick a position and specialize in it.

That'll be the big conundrum. Hunter looks capable of becoming a shutdown cornerback - something the Panthers desperately need to go alongside Jaycee Horn. However, his genuine playmaking ability and manipulation of opposing defensive backs make him an intriguing wideout in the pros.

One look at Hunter's on-field prowess is enough to suggest he can make a real go of things in the NFL. He was the No. 1 high school recruit in the country. Another strong campaign with the Buffaloes in 2024 makes him a legitimate top-five candidate next spring.

While having a high-end pick indicates the Panthers made minimal strides under head coach Dave Canales in 2024, this wasn't going to be a quick fix. If it ends up landing them a player with Hunter's immense promise, it'll make another painful campaign worth it.

A lot can happen between now and then. Stocks will rise and fall once the college football season begins and assessment events such as Pro Days and the NFL Scouting Combine arrive. But if the Panthers are in a position to acquire someone with Hunter's skill set, they'd be foolish not to consider the possibility.

Players like Hunter don't come along every day. He's exciting, can make game-changing plays on any given down, and has the sort of alpha mentality Morgan is looking to install across the roster.

Whether it's at cornerback or wide receiver, Hunter is going to be a star. If the Panthers make expected improvements under Canales' guidance, he could be gone before they go on the clock.

Nobody knows for sure.