Carolina Panthers WR Xavier Legette gets another glowing reference

The Carolina Panthers are expecting big things from Xavier Legette.
Xavier Legette
Xavier Legette / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

There is a growing sense that the Carolina Panthers might have something special on their hands with Xavier Legette. Those in power identified the wide receiver as a high-priority target during the pre-draft evaluation process. After general manager Dan Morgan sensed that another team was going to make a move - he traded up one spot to ensure he got his guy.

Legette took a while to break out at South Carolina, but there were plenty of mitigating factors in play. Once the physical specimen was allowed to become an offensive focal point, he seized the opportunity with both hands and made himself a ton of money in the process.

It's been a smooth start to Legette's time with the Panthers. He's already a fan favorite thanks to his personable demeanor and tireless work ethic. Dave Canales is also deploying the player in multiple alignments throughout early workouts, which could be a sign of things to come when competitive action returns in Week 1 at the New Orleans Saints.

Xavier Legette named Carolina Panthers' most dangerous newcomer

There will be times of struggle and Legette has some growing to do as a route-runner. That said, there's nothing to suggest he cannot feature prominently during his rookie campaign while polishing problematic areas.

This was a sentiment echoed by Ryan Fowler from The Bleacher Report. He named Legette as Carolina's most dangerous newcomer in 2024, highlighting the variety of ways the athletic figure can be utilized to help provide this offense with a much-needed spark.

"After 2023 No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young had a rough rookie season, the Carolina Panthers clearly prioritized adding more playmakers around him this offseason. Not only did the Panthers acquire veteran receiver Diontae Johnson in a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but they also traded up to take Xavier Legette at No. 32 overall. Legette looks the part of a starting NFL receiver at 6'3" and 227 pounds, and he racked up more than 1,200 receiving yards at South Carolina last fall. He should contribute in a variety of ways early as a rookie."

Ryan Fowler, Bleacher Report

Canales will have a plan in place for Legette. There isn't a significant amount of pressure on the rookie to become a No. 1 option thanks to the presence of Diontae Johnson and Adam Thielen. However, getting the football into his hands quickly and maximizing his exceptional ability to create yards after the catch would be a good place to start.

Any help Legette can provide Bryce Young will be a bonus. The quarterback looks to have a much-improved supporting cast after some hefty investments by the front office. If the Heisman Trophy winner and his new rookie pass-catcher develop early chemistry, it'll stand the Panthers in tremendous stead long term.

Tempering expectations surrounding Legette would be prudent initially. He remains a little rough around the edges, but the upside is absolutely off the charts once he puts everything together.

Just how long that will take remains to be seen. One doesn't have to look far around the league for example of rookie wideouts thriving right out of the gate. If Canales can scheme things effectively to benefit the player, it would be a big disappointment if he couldn't make his presence felt.

There is an inner hunger and fierce desire within Legette that's hard not to love. Hopefully, this can enable the explosive wideout to hit the ground running in pursuit of helping the Panthers - and Young, in particular - bounce back accordingly.