3 Prospects Panthers Should Trade Up For in NFL Draft

The Carolina Panthers do not have a first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, but they have two second-round picks, which could help them move up for a player that they want.
Nov 11, 2023; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks wide receiver Xavier Legette
Nov 11, 2023; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks wide receiver Xavier Legette / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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The Carolina Panthers are in a unique position heading into the 2024 NFL Draft as they don’t have a first-round pick, which currently belongs to the Chicago Bears (No. 1 overall). However, Carolina has two second-round picks (Nos. 33 and 39), which they could use to upgrade a couple of positions of need.

However, the Panthers could use one or both second-round picks to move up in the latter half of the first round. Some of the most recent mock drafts have Carolina targeting a receiver to open up Day 2. 

Luckily for the Panthers, this is a tremendous receiver class and they should be able to land a star-studded pass catcher to pair with second-year quarterback Bryce Young. At the same time, the Panthers need an offensive threat at tight end as Tommy Tremble and Ian Thomas haven’t done much to stand out over the last few years.

That said, let’s look at a few prospects that the Panthers could up for in the 2024 NFL Draft as they try to set a new tone in the Dave Canales era.

1. Xavier Worthy, WR

The former University of Texas standout set the NFL scouting combine on fire with his 40-yard dash time of 4.21 seconds, which broke the record set by former Cincinnati Bengals wideout John Ross (4.22 seconds in 2017).

If you watched the Longhorns this past season, you knew Worthy was fast and a big play waiting in the passing game. However, seeing him run a 4.21 40-yard dash boosted his draft stock and has him possibly being drafted in the first round.

The Panthers will have to trade No. 33 and a pick next year to move ahead of teams such as the Buffalo Bills (No. 28) and Kansas City Chiefs (No. 32), who could take Worthy. Carolina has the second-best odds (+650) on FanDuel to land the speedy wide receiver.

The 6-foot-1 wide receiver had a productive three-year career at Texas that saw him score a career-high 12 touchdowns as a freshman in 2021 and record a career-best 75 receptions for 1,014 yards as a junior in 2023. Worthy also had five touchdowns this past season and helped the Longhorns win the Big 12 and get to the College Football Playoff.

Worthy would be a perfect complement to what Carolina already has at wide receiver in Diontae Johnson, Adam Thielen, and Jonathan Mingo. Johnson and Mingo could create big plays down the field, but Worthy would give Canales a true down-the-field threat.