Carolina Panthers must monitor this edge rusher closely ahead of 2024 NFL Draft

Bralen Trice
Bralen Trice / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers were advised to keep an eye on Washington's edge rushing prospect Bralen Trice during the 2023 college football campaign.

We are a long, long way from the 2024 NFL Draft. The Carolina Panthers' interest isn't going to be anything like what we've witnessed in previous years, which puts it even further to the back of everyone's minds.

Carolina's drama occurred earlier this spring when they made their bombshell trade up to No. 1 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft for Bryce Young. Something those in power are hoping can finally provide them with the franchise quarterback not seen since Cam Newton was taking the league by storm.

Of course, the cost to do business with the Chicago Bears wasn't cheap. Among other things, the Panthers are without a first-round pick in 2024, which hinders their chance of strengthening other problem position groups when the time comes.

Carolina Panthers must monitor Bralen Trice before 2024 drraft

According to Tankathon, the Panthers have six other selections at their disposal. Which prospects come under the microscope remains to be seen, but Doug Wasserman from Pro Football Focus highlighted edge rusher Bralen Trice as someone Carolina should have their eye on during the college football season.

"The Panthers don’t own a first-round pick in 2024 after sending it to Chicago to secure Bryce Young in the 2023 NFL Draft. While they could surprise their NFC South rivals if Young produces a Rookie of the Year-type season, it’s more likely that they will need to develop their roster for one more year before making a push for playoff contention. Washington outside linebacker Bralen Trice is someone who could intrigue Carolina as a fit opposite Brian Burns. Like Burns, Trice beats tackles off the edge with speed and length. He broke out in 2022 with a 91.3 pass-rush grade and led the nation with 70 total pressures. Trice would be an excellent fit for a team that desperately needs a second dynamic pass rusher."

Doug Wasserman, Pro Football Focus

It's no secret that the Panthers are in desperate need of a long-term pass-rusher to put opposite Brian Burns. Marquis Haynes Sr. and Yetur Gross-Matos are also out of contract next spring, so this could genuinely be priority No. 1 for Carolina depending on who they pick up when the free-agent frenzy arrives.

Trice has the size and athleticism that looks well-suited to a 3-4 outside linebacker role at the next level. The Washington prospect is progressing on an upward trajectory, which was further reflected by nine sacks and 12 tackles for loss during his second season as a starter.

It's hard to gauge where prospects will land at this juncture. There is a full college season to play and the strenuous pre-draft assessment process to go through, which will send stocks up and down depending on how aspiring NFL stars fare from one event to the next.

There's no doubt Triice is someone most teams around the league will have scouts going to watch at some stage in 2023. Given the potential need and the upside attached to this particular prospect, the Panthers would be wise to do the same.

Burns will be a wealthy man by this point and Haynes might do enough for a new deal if he copes with increased responsibilities. D.J. Johnson is another factor in this equation that mustn't be ignored, with the third-rounder hoping to make an impact gradually once he gains more experience.

Nobody knows for sure if this will be enough to cause havoc in opposing backfields. This makes watching Trice and others in case things turn sour of critical importance.