Ranking every Carolina Panthers pick from the 2024 NFL Draft

Dan Morgan was busy throughout the selection process.
Ja'Tavion Sanders
Ja'Tavion Sanders / Aaron E. Martinez / USA TODAY NETWORK
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2. Jonathon Brooks - Carolina Panthers RB

  • Running Back | Texas Longhorns
  • Round No. 2 | No. 46 overall

More than a few eyebrows were raised when the Carolina Panthers traded up to take a running back in the second round. But when one examines how those in power handled their pre-draft assessments, adding another backfield threat was always a possibility.

Dan Morgan struck with conviction to bring Jonathon Brooks into the fold at No. 46 overall and keep him from the Dallas Cowboys' grasp. The Texas prospect might not be 100 percent right away as a rookie thanks to a torn ACL suffered last season. But if there are no further concerns, his effortless movement, explosiveness through gaps, and ability to be extremely elusive in open space make him a potential long-term, three-down option to place alongside quarterback Bryce Young.

Brooks has it all and the development as a route-runner out of the backfield indicates a starring role. The injury flag is a potential complication, but the Panthers seem confident enough that there will be no further problems if managed correctly by the coaching staff.

1. Ja'Tavion Sanders - Carolina Panthers TE

  • Tight End | Texas Longhorns
  • Round No. 4 | No. 101 overall

It's been a long time since the Carolina Panthers had a dependable presence at the tight end position. Greg Olsen's departure in 2020 was followed by a constant stream of failed acquisitions that couldn't come close to replicating what the popular figure brought to the table. This is something those in power addressed by finding one of the most dynamic options in the 2024 NFL Draft to hopefully solve this complication once and for all.

Initially projected as a second or third-round selection, Ja'Tavion Sanders fell into the Panthers' lap to kick off Day 3 at No. 101 overall. Dan Morgan was wise not to waste such a gift.

Don't expect Sanders to be a blocking asset, certainly not initially. But the Panthers don't need that - they need a dynamic route-runner with assured hands capable of giving Bryce Young a dependable target at all three levels of the field.

Sanders can do that immediately. His ball skills are off the charts. He's got quick-twitch agility to get out of his routes with a supreme conviction for someone his size. The former Texas star is a contested catch phenom who can also manipulate his body to emerge into a decent red-zone asset for good measure.

While tempering expectations initially would be wise, don't be surprised if Sanders becomes TE1 as a rookie and takes full advantage of whatever targets come his way.