NFL writer makes bold prediction for Carolina Panthers WR Xavier Legette

The wide receiver has a huge opportunity in 2024.
Xavier Legette
Xavier Legette / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Xavier Legette was a high-priority target for the Carolina Panthers. The physically imposing wide receiver came to life at South Carolina during a 2023 breakout campaign. His personable demeanor and exceptional athletic attributes left those in power with no doubt about his potential in a professional environment.

The Panthers didn't leave anything to chance in pursuit of securing their guy. When general manager Dan Morgan feared someone would move up for Legette - which turned out to be the New England Patriots according to reports - he traded up to No. 32 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft to seal the deal.

Legette's been dealing with a hamstring issue throughout early workouts. The Panthers need to manage this carefully, but all signs point to the wideout becoming a key piece in head coach Dave Canales' offensive puzzle with a smooth transition.

Xavier Legette can become Carolina Panthers WR1 in 2024

Schuyler Callihan from Fan Nation went one step further. The writer believes Legette can become quarterback Bryce Young's No. 1 target at some stage during his rookie campaign. This is a bold prediction when one considers the presence of Diontae Johnson and Adam Thielen on the wide receiver depth chart.

"The size, speed, athleticism, and attention to detail this young man has is incredible. I try not to get to bold with predicting how rookies will do when to this point we've only seen them in shorts and helmets, but the game just looks easy for him. He has the look of a guy that's been in the league for a handful of years and has full confidence in every aspect of his game. As far as what he actually brings to the offense, he's the most versatile receiver on the roster. He can stretch the field vertically, win 50/50 balls, carve defenses up in the middle of the field, rack up yards after the catch, work in the slot just as well as the outside - a pure nightmare for opposing defenses. I wouldn't expect it to happen overnight, but don't be surprised that if halfway through the season [Xavier] Legette becomes that guy for [Bryce] Young."

Schuyler Callihan, Fan Nation

It's not hard to see why Legette is gaining rave reviews. However, there is a lot of hard work ahead to reach some lofty expectations.

Legette needs to polish his route-running. He's got the tools to be more explosive out of his route stems. The wideout also needs to enhance his ability to manipulate defensive backs and find soft spots in coverage. Until then, Canales will find ways to get the first-year pro heavily involved.

Any help Legette provides will be a bonus. The Panthers got almost nothing from their pass-catchers aside from Thielen last season. Couple this with bland schematic concepts and a woeful offensive line, Young walked into the worst possible situation.

The Panthers believe they have something special with Legette. Tempering expectations right away would be prudent. At the same time, Canales' progressive methods and the player's outstanding gifts could be a match made in football heaven.

Versatility is key for Legette during his early development. Once he becomes more polished, that's when he'll take off.

How long it'll take for this scenario to become reality is another matter.