Carolina makes a near-perfect decision at the tail end of the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft

Minutes before midnight Thursday, Dan Morgan and the Carolina Panthers brain trust traded into the last pick of the first round to get the guy who has long been rumored to be a perfect fit in Charlotte.

At pick No. 32, Carolina selected South Carolina wide receiver Xavier Legette, who not even a week ago said the Panthers were going to draft him were he available when the team’s pick came up.

To draft Legette, Carolina traded the No. 33 overall pick and a 2024 fifth-round pick. In return, the Panthers nabbed the No. 32 overall selection and a 2024 sixth-round pick.

Legette is an immediate upgrade in the Panthers’ wide receiver room that has been refurbished to help second-year quarterback Bryce Young.

Legette joins Adam Thielen and Diontae Johnson as the best receivers on the roster.

But what does he bring to the team? Legette brings size to the wide receiver position. He is 6-foot-1, 221 pounds. He ran a 4.4 40-yard dash, which indicates he has the speed to be a quality NFL-level receiver.

His best quality is that he wins one-on-one matchups downfield – something no Panthers receiver did well during the 2023 season.

“I think it’s about just not getting playmakers for (quarterback) Bryce Young,” Morgan said last week ahead of the NFL Draft. “It’s about getting playmakers for our team, for our organization. Who’s best going to fit our team, who’s going to make plays – who’s going to put the ball in the end zone on the offensive side of the ball?

“And then them having that passion for the game, that hungry mentality, that dog mentality, and that’s what we’re looking for.”

It is clear, for the Panthers, Legette has always fit the bill.

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