UDFA tipped to make strong push for Carolina Panthers roster spot in 2024

Could this undrafted free agent rise from obscurity this offseason?
The 2024 NFL Draft stage
The 2024 NFL Draft stage / Eric Seals / USA TODAY NETWORK

Being an undrafted free agent is an often thankless task. After failing to hear their names called during the NFL Draft, they must fight with everything to maximize the opportunities that come following this disappointment. Simply put, each prospect must harness this negativity and turn it into a positive.

Some make it. Some don't. But the league is littered with examples of unheralded players overcoming significant adversity to carve out successful careers for themselves. In some instances, they make Pro Bowls, All-Pro, or even the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The Carolina Panthers will be hoping some rough diamonds emerge into potential contributors from their 2024 undrafted free-agent class. Thomas Valentine from Pro Football Focus thinks one player, in particular, stands a good chance to make the 53-man roster against all odds.

Andrew Raym could make push for Carolina Panthers roster spot

After much deliberation, the analyst pinpointed Andrew Raym as someone with the tools to force his way into the team's plans. This bears more significance when one considers the gamble Carolina is making at the center position with Austin Corbett.

"The [Carolina] Panthers offensive line struggled to protect Bryce Young in his rookie season and, as a result, underwent extensive surgery in the offseason, but the addition of Andrew Raym as an undrafted free agent is a shrewd depth move. The center earned a 70.3 pass-blocking grade in 2023 and could find his way into an important role on the depth chart this season."

Corbett is looking to provide an extra sense of stability within Dave Canales' zone-blocking concepts after the Panthers released Bradley Bozeman. He's got the experience and talent to make a success of this switch, but his injury concerns and lack of experience at the offensive line anchor spot raise some severe red flags until further notice.

As it turns out, Raym is the only specialist center on Carolina's roster right now. The former Oklahoma star coped admirably with the daunting task of replacing Creed Humphrey once he left the Sooners for the NFL. It was surprising to see the lineman go undrafted, which was a reflection of how strong this class was across the protection rather than any major concerns about his long-term upside.

The Panthers are giving Brady Christensen reps at the center position in the event Corbett fails to meet expectations or suffers further complications on the health front. But again, he's got little to no experience manning the critical spot. This could also play into Raym's hands with a smooth transition throughout the summer.

Raym must seize this opportunity. He'll get a fair shake under the watchful eye of Canales and his staff, but he needs to impose himself immediately and demonstrate growth as the summer progresses. After that, everything else is out of his hands.

Several undrafted free agents have made Carolina's roster in recent years. All eyes and hype are seemingly centered on wide receiver Jalen Coker, but don't be shocked if Raym is also under strong consideration for a depth spot once the team's training camp concludes.

It could go either way, in all honesty. But it'll be something for fans to keep a close eye on during a critical preparation period for the organization.