Panthers Sign First-Team All-American WR With Free Agent Steal

Jalen Coker led college football with 15 receiving TDs in 2023
Jalen Coker led college football with 15 receiving TDs in 2023 / Allan Jung/Telegram & Gazette / USA

The Panthers have made significant improvements to their wide receiver room throughout the offseason, notably snagging Xavier Legette in the NFL Draft and signing Diontae Johnson in free agency.

GM Dan Morgan's work isn't finished though. Carolina still needs to flesh out depth at the position, especially given Adam Thielen's age and injury history. That's what makes undrafted free agent WR Jalen Coker such an exciting prospect.

A 2023 FCS First-Team All-American, Coker is a dynamic athlete who easily could've been a mid-round draft pick. He's an ideal low-risk, high-upside signing for a Panthers team in need of playmakers, with the profile to contribute to an offense devoid of proven talent.

Panthers Sign Exciting WR Jalen Coker as Undrafted Free Agent

Coker led the nation with 15 receiving TDs in 2023, amassing 164 catches for 2,715 yards and 31 TDs over his career. He had a vertical jump of 42.5 inches, tying for the highest mark of any player while ranking in the 99th percentile.

Players like Terrace Marshall Jr. haven't delivered on their draft capital, so there's a legitimate path for Coker to making the 53-man roster. His physicality allows him to fight for contested catches shine in the red zone, hence the incredible TD mark.

As Carolina tries to rebuild its roster into a contender, these are the types of physical freaks the organization should target. Athleticism like Coker's doesn't grow on trees, so to find him as an undrafted free agent is a big win for Morgan and his staff.

His biggest limitations come with speed and route-running. Thielen and Johnson are widely regarded as two of the most precise route-runners in the NFL, giving Coker an ideal pair of veterans to learn from.

Coker isn't the only exciting rookie receiver the Panthers found after the draft, but he's the one I'm most confident in ultimately making an impact for the organization.

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