Carolina Panthers Mock Draft buzz: Xavier Legette or Xavier Worthy at No. 33 in the 2024 NFL Draft

Panthers get first round talent at No. 33.
Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy
Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy / Tim Warner/GettyImages

The Carolina Panthers would’ve been prepared to take top quarterback prospect Caleb Williams with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.  Instead, the Chicago Bears have the pick as part of a 2023 draft day trade that allowed Carolina to send their future first to draft Alabama’s Bryce Young No. 1 overall.

While Young can’t be considered a bust yet, the Panthers watching their young QB struggle while CJ Stroud shined in Houston has the franchise second-guessing their choice in quarterback.  With the worst record in the NFL in 2023, they are also left without a first round pick in the draft.

However, they do have the No. 33 and No. 39 picks in the draft that could still land them a couple of good picks in this year’s draft, including a quarterback to provide competition for Young.  They also have an option of using the picks to move into the first round or hope a couple of the top prospects slide back to them in the second.

Carolina Panthers can still find top-level value in the 2024 NFL Draft

As a team with a lot of needs, the best approach for the Panthers is find weapons to surround Young with in hopes he can bounce back and have a good second season in the NFL.  In exploring some mock drafts, wide receiver is the top choice for the Panthers.

The Draft Network has the Panthers landing South Carolina’s Xavier Legette

Legette is an interesting and intriguing name for most teams selecting late in the first round and early in the second round as the Draft Network has him in their latest NFL Mock Draft.  With the depth of the wide receiver class in the 2024 NFL Draft, the 6-foot-1, 221-pound receiver would be like a first round pick for the Panthers.

2024 NFL Draft prospect Xavier Legette
South Carolina's Xavier Legette / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

With prototypical size and powerful hands, Legette will be a playmaker in any offense, especially with his burst after catching the ball and moving in space. He is exactly the type of target Bryce Young needs.  With the two second round picks, if the Panthers don’t land him at No. 33, he could still be around when they select at No. 39.  He could also be off the board on Day 1

The Athletic has the speedy Xavier Worthy teaming up with Bryce Young

As NFL fans have seen with Tyreek Hill, speed can make a quarterback shine.  Can Texas stud Xavier Worthy be that man for Young?

It’s highly unfair to put Worthy in the same category as Hill, but when it comes to blazing speed, it is hard not to make this comparison.  After wowing everyone, including Hill with his record-setting 40-time, Worthy has seen his stock rise a bit as far as 2024 NFL projections.  Like Legette, he can go anywhere from late first to early second round.  The Athletic has him going to the Panthers as the 33rd player off the board.

At 5-foot-11, 165 pounds, Worthy led the Longhorns in 2023 with 75 receptions for 1,014 receiving yards with 5 touchdowns.  His elite speed will make him elusive once he gets the ball in his hand.  That quickness in the open field could benefit Young who will look to get the ball out quicker.  If it is Worthy at No. 33, it would be a great pick for the Panthers.

Cat Crave has the Panthers trading the pick for an offensive lineman

Our sister site Cat Crave has the Panthers gaining more draft capital by trading the No. 33 pick overall to the Houston Texans for No. 42 and No. 86.  That would gain the Panthers another top 100 pick and put more emphasis on who they select at No. 39.

Cat Crave contributor Jared Feinberg has them selecting Duke center Graham Barton, which address another top area of need for the Panthers.  In fact, they will be lucky he falls to No. 39 according to Feinberg.

He writes:

“Graham Barton is the pick over the likes of available prospects such as Ladd McConkey, Troy Franklin, Darius Robinson, Kamari Lassiter, and Xavier Legette due to talent and overall value. While it might be controversial due to the need at the wide receiver spot, it made more sense to acquire a versatile offensive lineman who can play center and fill a need right away.”

Feinberg makes a good argument here, but NFL Mocks is leaning towards Xavier Worthy at either No. 33 or No. 39 for a Panthers team that need some excitement.  Worthy will bring electricity to the offense and give Bryce Young a quick target.  It has to be about further developing Young if you are a Panthers fan.