'Most Exciting' Panthers Undrafted Free Agent Gives Offense Much-Needed Skillset

Jalen Coker led college football with 15 receiving TDs in 2023
Jalen Coker led college football with 15 receiving TDs in 2023 / Photo/Alan Arsenault / USA TODAY NETWORK

Panthers undrafted rookie WR Jalen Coker has already turned plenty of heads during Carolina's rookie minicamp and OTAs (offseason team activities), making a strong push to make the 53-man roster.

Some think he'll eventually take 2023 second-round pick Jonathan Mingo's job, and the praise doesn't stop there. Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report, in fact, called Coker the organization's most exciting undrafted free agent.

After leading the country with 15 receiving TDs in 2023, Coker's surge maybe shouldn't be a surprise.

WR Jalen Coker Called Panthers' 'Most Exciting' Undrafted Rookie

Panthers legend Steve Smith broke Coker's film down and loved what he saw, even favorably comparing Coker to Basketball Hall of Famer Tim Duncan with the way he fights for contested catches.

As Sobleski writes, "The thickly built 6'3" target has tremendous ball skills and can be an immediate threat in 50-50 situations or in the red zone. That's not something currently found among the previously mentioned wide receivers on the Panthers roster. The Holy Cross product won't be an every-down contributor if he makes the roster, but he has a very specific trait to flesh out the wide receiver room."

Adam Thielen and Diontae Johnson are route-running specialists. Rookie WR Xavier Legette has a physical skillset though Coker is taller, potentially giving him an advantage in the red zone.

Either way, there's nothing wrong with adding red-zone threats to the wide receiver room, especially considering the group lacks much back-end experience. Carolina should be much-improved next season and finding undrafted gems like Coker could be a big reason why.

We'll see if Coker winds up making the roster but he's one of the players I'm watching this summer regardless.

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