Panthers zeroing in on top target at No. 33?

The Panthers’ blockbuster acquisition of the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft left their 2024 first-rounder in the hands of the Bears. That means Carolina will not be on the clock until the opening selection of the second round this year, but a primary target for that pick appears to be in place.

Panthers zeroing in on top target at No. 33?

Among other roster holes, the Panthers could stand to add at the receiver position. To little surprise, Georgia’s Ladd McConkey is among the prospects which have been connected to Carolina at the No. 33 slot. Another, local prospect at the WR spot could be in play to begin Day 2, though. South Carolina’s Xavier Legette spoke about a potential Panthers selection, making it clear there is a strong interest from the team.

“I’ve met with the Panthers about four or five times,” Legette told John Crumpler of Texans Wire (video link). “The relationship, it just keeps continuing to grow. They’re really hoping I can make it the second round. They keep on telling me if I’m sitting at 33, they’re gonna take me.”

Legette spent his entire five-year college career with the Gamecocks, but it was only in 2023 that he served as a full-time starter. He became the team’s focal point in the passing game, recording 71 catches for 1,255 yards and seven touchdowns. Known to be a strong presence after the catch, the 6-1, 221-pounder averaged 17.7 yards per reception last year.

Those totals earned Legette second-team All-SEC honors and confirmed his status as one of the more intriguing options in a 2024 class loaded in receiver talent. He also has return value, and his special teams experience could help him earn a role right away on the Panthers or any other team he joins. Carolina saw Laviska Shenault depart in free agency, and DJ Chark remains unsigned.

The Panthers have not made a veteran signing at the receiver spot so far, but the team did add a starter by trading for Diontae Johnson. The former Steeler will be joined by the likes of Adam Thielen and Jonathan Mingo in the receiving corps, a unit which has plenty of room for improvement working with quarterback Bryce Young in 2024.

Carolina has, of course, hosted several non-WR prospects on ‘top 30’ visits recently. That includes offensive lineman Jordan Morgan and defensive end Marshawn Kneeland, both of whom could still be on the board when the first round concludes. The Panthers’ first draft action under new general manager Dan Morgan is set to take place at the opening of Day 2, and despite the team’s pre-draft evaluations Legette’s comments certainly put him in pole position to be Carolina’s selection.

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