Panthers Poach Elite Weapon for Bryce Young With First-Round Trade

The Carolina Panthers had to trade up but they finally got the dynamic playmaker they were looking for.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers entered the 2024 NFL Draft without a first-round pick. The first selection they had was the No. 33 overall pick, the first pick of the second round. The most recent reporting suggested that they were targeting a wide receiver with their selection and could potentially trade up into the first-round to ensure they grabbed him.

With the clock running out on Day 1 of the NFL Draft, the Panthers did exactly that. Instead of waiting for their turn in the second round, they pulled off a trade with the Buffalo Bills to move up one spot to draft South Carolina wideout Xavier Legette.

Panthers News: Carolina Selects WR Xavier Legette

This doesn't come as a surprise for Panthers fans. Legette himself had said that Carolina promised him that they would take him if he was on the board when it was their turn. Panthers top brass tried to deny this but it was clear that this was a smokescreen.

The Legette selection makes plenty of sense for the Panthers. Carolina seems to have decent pass-catcher depth but it's more quantity than quality. They added Diontae Johnson this offseason to the already existing group that includes Adam Thielen and last year's second-round pick Jonathan Mingo.

Considering the age-related decline of Thielen, none of those options are elite weapons for Bryce Young. Legette, on the other hand, has some of the most intriguing athletic tools in the draft. He averaged a whopping 17.7 yards per catch last season for a total of 1,255 yards and ran an impressive 4.39 40-yard dash at the Combine.

It would have been better to not give up further assets to acquire him, but Legette fills a need and has a high upside, two things the Panthers needed with this selection.

Final pick grade: A-

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