3 Top Prospects Who Could Surprisingly Fall to Panthers at No. 33

The Carolina Panthers do not have a first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft but a first-round talent could fall into their laps at No. 33 overall to kick off Day 2.
Brian Thomas Jr 11 runs the ball as the LSU Tigers take on Texas A&M in Tiger Stadium
Brian Thomas Jr 11 runs the ball as the LSU Tigers take on Texas A&M in Tiger Stadium / SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network / USA
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3. Graham Barton, C/G, Duke

Barton is one of the better offensive linemen in this year’s draft class, who has been mocked to go in the 20s in the first round. 

However, as we’ve seen in countless NFL drafts, there’s a chance that Barton could drop to the second round if teams go heavy on the defensive line or at wide receiver. The former Duke Blue Devil standout would be the perfect fit in Carolina as he can play guard or center.

The Panthers don’t need an offensive guard as they signed Damien Lewis and Robert Hunt to massive deals in free agency to help keep Young upright in the pocket. 

But Carolina could put Barton at center, even though they reportedly moved Austin Corbett from right guard to that spot. Corbett hasn’t taken a single snap at center in his NFL career, which is a bit nerve-wracking if you are a Panthers fan.

However, if the Panthers drafted Barton, they wouldn’t have to worry about that. The former Blue Devil star lineman is stellar in run-blocking and is athletic enough to hold his own in pass protection. He can also be trusted to complete pulls and connect on screenplays, which could be good if the Panthers use their running backs in the passing game.

While it would be hard to pass up a top-tier wide receiver or tight end, the Panthers would have to think about not taking Barton if he’s available at No. 33.

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