Ranking top 12 wide receiver prospects: Who will the Carolina Panthers draft?

The Carolina Panthers would be wise to take advantage of an outstanding draft class.
Adonai Mitchell
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10. Xavier Legette

This is another ranking on this list that will also rattle some Carolina Panthers fans. However, it’s crucial to know that based on my board, WR6 and WR10 are only separated by just two points, which is also how close the South Carolina Gamecock was to earning a first-round grade.

Let’s also get this out of the way, Legette is a good receiver prospect. 

There are plenty of reasons to be excited about his skill set at the next level, especially when Carolina has shown plenty of interest in him throughout the offseason. However, there are concerns that cannot be overlooked.

The second-team All-SEC receiver is inconsistent as a route runner and his route tree needs more expansion. He doesn’t have great lateral quickness and won’t win with short-area ability at the line of scrimmage. Being a high-hipped, muscular-built receiver, Legette will take extra steps when breaking the stem of his route.

Even so, Legette is a fun player to watch. He offers the ball skills and tracking ability, second-level acceleration, separation ability on vertical planes, and solid run-blocking ability to be a playmaker at the next level.

Legette won’t be a WR1 anytime soon. He can win as a big slot early on and use his physicality to win as either the X or Z at the line of scrimmage, and he’ll likely be one of Carolina’s top targets in the second round if available.

9. Ja’Lynn Polk

If you have followed my work throughout the offseason, you will know that I am higher on Washington Huskies playmaker Ja’Lynn Polk as someone who could be a great fit for the Panthers.

I think three traits could pique Carolina’s interest in Polk: the ability to win from any alignment, ball skills, and run blocking. These are things that the former Texas Tech transfer does very well.

Polk has arguably the top-three best hands in the entire draft. With almost 10-inch hands, the prospect has amazing ball-tracking skills and body control to snag any pass that comes his way on all three levels of the field due to high-level hand-eye coordination.

On top of that, Polk has shown to win from any alignment due to his already rock-solid release packages and separation ability on any level of the field. He needs to grow his route tree and overall consistency in these areas, but the baseline skill set he already possesses will get him on the field early in the NFL.

Polk is also very competitive with terrific play speed and blocking skills. He does a good job playing with sound technique and creates lanes for his running back to hit on the perimeter. He projects as an immediate three-level threat receiver at the next level and should be considered a legitimate dark-horse pick if the Panthers draft a wideout in the second round.