Panthers Pull Off Major Trade in Mel Kiper's Latest Mock Draft

This would be a big win for Carolina if the draft falls the way Kiper predicts.
Mel Kiper Jr. predicts that the Panthers will draft WR Ladd McConkey to give QB Bryce Young a proven weapon
Mel Kiper Jr. predicts that the Panthers will draft WR Ladd McConkey to give QB Bryce Young a proven weapon / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Draft buzz is heating up with just over two weeks until the first round and Mel Kiper Jr.'s latest mock draft on ESPN has the Panthers pulling off a massive trade.

Kiper predicts that the Panthers will trade the No. 33 overall pick to the New York Giants for pick No. 47 and a second-round selection in the 2025 draft. At pick No. 39, Kiper has Carolina bolstering the wide receiver room with Georgia's Ladd McConkey, then taking offensive lineman Jackson Powers-Johnson at No. 47 out of Oregon to potentially replace Bradley Bozeman.

Getting an extra 2025 second-round pick would be a big win for the Panthers' rebuilding efforts, especially if they're still able to land two impact players at positions of need.

Panthers Pick WR Ladd McConkey and OL Jackson Powers-Johnson in Mel Kiper Mock Draft

McConkey is considered to be a first-round pick by many analysts, so him still being on the board at No. 39 would be a great break for the Panthers. As Kiper writes, "McConkey is a versatile and shifty receiver who caught 119 passes and had 18 touchdowns over three college seasons. He can play inside and outside, and he has the speed -- he ran a 4.39-second 40 at the combine -- to blow by cornerbacks."

Regarding Powers-Johnson, Kiper writes, "Do the Panthers trust Austin Corbett to be an above-average starter after moving him from guard to center? I'm not so sure. Powers-Johnson might be an immediate upgrade on departed starter Bradley Bozeman. The Rimington Trophy winner allowed just two total pressures last season."

Carolina obviously has a lot of needs across the roster and while they've done a good job bringing in some talent in the offseason, hitting on these draft picks is crucial for the Panthers to quickly get competitive again.

They need to find out if Bryce Young can truly be the QB of the future. Getting Diontae Johnson was a great start, but the Panthers still need to upgrade the wide receiver position. Bolstering the offensive line is important as well, so I'd be happy with these selections if I were Carolina.

If a trade option like this does wind up on the table, GM Dan Morgan at least has to consider it.

We'll see what happens in the draft but either way, you can claim FanDuel Sportsbook's $200 sign-up bonus available now! New users in North Carolina who bet $5 or more (with a $10 deposit) on their first wager will get $200 in bonus bets guaranteed. Win or lose, you'll get the bonus - click here to sign up for FanDuel now!

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