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Panthers Make Bold Trade For Star Playmaker In Latest Mock Draft

The latest NFL mock draft has the Carolina Panthers trading up to select a speedy wide receiver who could open up the offense.
Panthers Draft

Mock draft season has not been too interesting for the Carolina Panthers, as the team does not have a first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. However, they have two second-round picks, and could easily package one of them in a trade if the right prospect is available. While Carolina isn’t ready to compete for a Super Bowl quite yet, they did a good job of addressing their needs in free agency. The team secured the offensive line with Robert Hunt and Damien Lewis, acquired a solid receiver in Diontae Johnson, and replaced Brian Burns with Jadeveon Clowney and D.J. Wonnum.

While this roster is far from perfect, there are no more glaring holes that must be addressed with the first pick in the Panthers mock draft. So, with that in mind, Carolina is free to select whoever they want when they’re on the clock. Fortunately, talent and need could overlap, as this is a loaded wide receiver class. Diontae Johnson and Adam Thielen are fine players, but neither guy is a long-term solution and both lack game-changing speed. In Eric Edholm’s latest mock draft, the NFL analyst has Carolina trading up to select Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy.

Carolina Panthers Select Xavier Worthy In Latest Mock Draft

Xavier Worthy the Player

In terms of raw potential, Xavier Worthy has the physical traits to be one of the most dangerous players in the 2024 NFL Draft. The Texas product set the record for the fastest 40-yard dash in NFL history, and that speed shows up on the field. The wide receiver easily blows past defensive backs and is a threat to score every time he touches the ball.

Running fast in a straight line does not make you a can’t-miss prospect. After all, John Ross held the record before Xavier Worthy and his career didn’t go too well. However, the Panthers get more than just a fast athlete in this mock draft. While speed is his calling card, he’s also a solid route runner who can create separation with quick breaks and lateral agility.

Of course, there is a reason that Xavier Worthy is still available when the Panthers could trade up in the NFL Draft. The Texas product is notably undersized for the position, which means he’s not the type of player who can win in contested situations. Additionally, he drops more passes than you’d like, which is never a good thing. Still, no prospect is without flaws, so Xavier Worthy deserves to be selected in the back of the first round. The only question is whether or not he makes sense for the Panthers.

Does This Panthers Mock Draft Make Sense?

This mock draft has the Panthers trading a second- and fourth-round pick with the Detroit Lions to select Xavier Worthy with the 29th-overall pick. From a value standpoint, this checks out, as Drafttek’s value chart has the 33rd-overall pick and 101st-overall pick worth a combined 676 points, while the 29th-overall selection is valued at 640 points. The Panthers are losing a little bit of value here, but it’s well within the margin of error for an exercise like this.

As for Xavier Worthy himself, the wide receiver could be a perfect draft pick for the Panthers. Bryce Young excelled at throwing it deep during his time at Alabama, but he was one of the least efficient deep passers in the game as a rookie. Now that he has a player capable of getting open deep, he should look more like his collegiate self.

Edholm’s mock draft has five receivers going off the board before Worthy. So, while this is a loaded wide receiver class, the Panthers might not have the opportunity to wait for the best player to fall to the 33rd-overall pick, especially with the Chiefs likely to draft a wide receiver in the wake of the Rashee Rice accident.

Main Photo: Ricardo Brazziel – USA Today Sports

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