One cause for concern with every Carolina Panthers draft pick in 2024

Nobody's perfect. These are areas of concern for the new members of the Carolina Panthers.
Jonathon Brooks
Jonathon Brooks / Sara Diggins/American-Statesman / USA
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The dust is settling from a whirlwind 2024 NFL Draft and fans are beginning to get more familiar with the new additions to their favorite teams. The Carolina Panthers came away with seven new players, despite entering the event with only six selections.

Acquiring an additional pick was always a possibility. But the detail around the overall process is a pretty nice feather in first-year general manager Dan Morgan’s hat.

The league-worst Panthers were slated not to have a first-round pick after the 2023 deal to move up and select Bryce Young with the No. 1 overall selection. However, Morgan and company managed to move up one spot from their No. 33 positioning and select wide receiver Xavier Legette, trading with the Buffalo Bills.

The team wasn’t done there. They kept the wheeling-and-dealing going by trading back from No.39 to No.52 with the Los Angeles Rams. In that transaction, the new regime recouped a 2025 second-round pick. That’s quite the proverbial cherry to place on top of the sundae.

Carolina's front office also traded back from their third-round slot to bring back one of the later-round assets they gave up in their previous moves. Coming full circle, the team managed one pick in each of the seven rounds.

With that bit of context in place, now feels like a good time to take a gander at the prospects that Carolina is hopeful will walk through those Bank of America Stadium doors and provide a spark towards the goal of restoring glory to the wallowing franchise. But just as with any facet of life, there are initial pros and cons to each of the young players.

I don’t want this to be a pessimistic work. I’m a believer that when you’re aiming to truly improve and become better, self-awareness is an integral component of the equation. The following is aimed to serve as an honest evaluation - in quick-hit form - of one potential area of concern for every Panthers' draft pick in 2024.

Let’s get into it.

Carolina Panthers drafted Michael Barrett

  • Linebacker | Michigan Wolverines
  • Round No. 7 | No. 240 overall

Michael Barrett is a player who could find initial housing as a special teams player on the Carolina Panthers roster. Selecting linebackers, tight ends, and secondary defenders always makes a lot of sense for these late-round picks for that same reason. But honestly, that’s not all Barrett could develop into. He was a good player at Michigan and plays with a ferocious competitiveness that I’d find hard to believe won’t translate.

Now the rub. He lacks the preferred size, length, and athleticism for an off-ball linebacker. Lacking one or two elements could make sense for a prospect falling into the later portion of a draft, but the trifecta is likely why it took until the final round for the former Wolverine to hear his name.

If effort and instinctual feel for the game can be enough to compensate for being physically behind the eight-ball, keep an eye out for this young man during camp and preseason.