Carolina Panthers get primary weapon for Bryce Young in 2024 mock draft

Bryce Young needs more help at the skill positions...

Xavier Worthy
Xavier Worthy / Mikala Compton/Austin American-Statesman
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Even though the Carolina Panthers don't have a first-round pick, they managed to acquire assistance for Bryce Young in a recent 2024 NFL mock draft.

One thing that's played a leading role behind the Carolina Panthers' early demise in 2023 centers on the offensive side of things. The protection isn't up to the required standard, the running game hasn't clicked as many had hoped, the schematic concepts have been suspect on occasion, and certain individuals within the wide receiver room aren't worth their preseason hype based on the opening three games.

This is making life more difficult for rookie quarterback Bryce Young. His first two games didn't exactly set the world alight, but those giving up on the No. 1 overall pick so soon without examining the mitigating factors involved simply don't know anything about the game.

Perhaps general manager Scott Fitterer's decision to sell fans a dream of contending placed expectations higher than this team could manage. But it's evident that the likes of Laviska Shenault Jr., Terrace Marshall Jr., and even Jonathan Mingo don't look capable of becoming long-term answers.

Carolina Panthers select Xavier Worthy in 2024 mock draft

Couple this with D.J. Chark being out of contract and Adam Thielen's advancing years, it's not hard to see why wide receiver could be Carolina's biggest need next spring. Something that was recognized by Ian Valentino from Pro Football Network, who mocked Texas star Xavier Worthy to the Panthers at No. 35 overall in his latest two-round 2024 mock draft.

"Could Xavier Worthy be the next iteration of the “Slim Reaper?” It will be fascinating to see if he can bounce back from a production perspective in 2023. Inconsistent QB play led to struggles in that respect, but his tape remains outstanding. Like DeVonta Smith, Worthy’s lack of mass and natural flexibility allow him to snap off routes consistently. Like Smith, he’s more impressive after the catch than expected. He’s shown the ability to win from the slot and outside against all coverage variations."

Ian Valentino, Pro Football Network

Worthy might not be the most physically imposing wide receiver that's ever taken the field, but he more than makes up for this with explosiveness and elusiveness in equal measure. He is an assured pass-catcher with slick route-running credentials, which would make him a huge asset for Young in this scenario.

This is a deep class of wide receiver prospects in 2024. Unfortunately for the Panthers, they don't have a first-round selection thanks to their trade-up for Young, which does complicate matters unless they recoup some draft capital by dealing an established veteran if their losing run continues.

Another option the Panthers have is spending big money on a wide receiver in free agency. Charlotte isn't the most appealing city compared to others, so Carolina would probably need to overpay for someone like Tee Higgins given their recent poor run.

Regardless of which way the Panthers go and who makes the decisions, something has to be done if those already around don't make improvements. The fact Thielen is the team's primary threat is a damning indictment on the younger receivers that simply haven't cut the mustard as yet.

Looking at someone like Worthy, it's not hard to see how he could help. If offensive coordinator Thomas Brown is still around by that point, he's the perfect guy to scheme such a player open and play to his strengths.

There's a lot of football to be played between now and when the draft arrives. But it doesn't take a genius to figure out that Young needs more playmakers who can create the separation needed to maximize his skill set.

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