Carolina Panthers secure dynamic second-level playmaker at No. 72

Dan Morgan was always going to draft a linebacker...
Trevin Wallace
Trevin Wallace / Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

After some wheeling and dealing in the second round, the Carolina Panthers ended up picking another dynamic running back - Texas' Jonathon Brooks - to make Bryce Young's life easier. The quarterback now has two more weapons in his arsenal, but Dan Morgan had to start focusing on the defensive side of the football at some stage.

That might not be his primary concern given his intent to find good football players and worry about the rest later. But there were still some intriguing options available when the time came for Carolina to kick off the third round.

Carolina Panthers draft Trevin Wallace at No. 72

Unless the Panthers decided on another major move, this would be their last involvement before attention turned to Day 3. It was important for Morgan to maximize his final selection in the top 100, which he spent to bring Trevin Wallace into the organization at No. 72 overall after trading down from No. 65 with the New York Jets.

This is the stage of the NFL Draft where it gets a little harder to find prospects who can slot into starting roles right away without developing certain problem areas significantly. But in Wallace, it seems like Morgan might have a diamond in the rough.

Wallace's game is predicated on speed and physicality. He's a significant asset on blitz packages and more than holds his own in coverage situations. There is some work needed in terms of tackling technique, but his hybrid-style qualities look like a readymade replacement for Jeremy Chinn, who bolted for the Washington Commanders in free agency.

The Panthers have Shaq Thompson and Josey Jewell managing the second-level interior. This means the Panthers can bring Wallace along gradually, but expect the Kentucky prospect to make a huge impact on special teams while he integrates into the defensive rotation.

Morgan is moving with purpose and is bothering very little with team needs at this stage. This was a vast rebuilding project facing the new front office supremo, so acquiring prospects that fit the new ethos was arguably more important than focusing specifically on one need just because things weren't going their way at any stage.

Unfortunately, such calmness was not evident during the Scott Fitterer years - a man who became far too reactionary and mortgaged the franchise's future in pursuit of improving his prospects. That is not the way to progress an NFL organization. Morgan saw that first-hand.

In Wallace, they have another high-character individual with experience against outstanding college competition - something that will serve him well when the time comes to impose himself within Carolina's new-look locker room.

Tempering expectations initially would be wise, but don't be surprised if Wallace comes on quickly.