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Mel Kiper questions immediate impact of Panthers offensive additions in 2024 NFL Draft

Brian Jones Profile Picby:Brian Jones04/29/24


south carolina gamecocks WR xavier legette
Xavier Legette (Chris Gillespie/Gamecock Central)

Mel Kiper is not sure how much of an impact the offensive players in the 2024 Carolina Panthers draft class will make once the new season begins. On ESPN’s First Draft, Kiper shared his thoughts on the Panthers’ picks, specifically players such as wide receiver Xavier Legette, running back Jonathon Brooks and tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders.

“Xavier Legette, nice pick where they took him,” Kiper said of Legette who was picked in the first round. “He’s not A.J. Brown. I know the comps say A.J. Brown, he’s not A.J. Brown. I want to know why a one-year wonder had that kind of ability and that was when he had one great year with Spencer Rattler.”

Kiper then shared his thoughts on Brooks who was selected in the second round. “Jonathon Brooks is coming off an ACL on November 11th. How much of an impact will he have?” Kiper asked. “If he gets back to full strength for 2025, I think he’ll be a really good player.”

Kiper then said Sanders, a fourth-round pick, “never showed his skillset” and “never was the elite guy you thought he could be. Maybe another year would have helped him. But I think there’s a lot of potential with some of these draft choices.”

Mel Kiper gives solid grade to Panthers’ draft class

Despite the questions about some of the draft picks, Kiper gave the Panthers a “B-” grade. Kiper wrote, “It’s difficult to go much higher for Carolina with this grade, but if the organization’s priority was to help [Bryce ]Young in 2024, it did a decent job.”

After the draft, Panthers head coach Dave Canales shared his excitement for the 2024 class. “I feel like we really took advantage of some of those spots to bring a bunch of talent into our roster,” Canales said Saturday night, per the Panthers’ official website. “Specifically talking about the offense, with a running back, a receiver and a tight end, skill-wise, just really bringing a little bit of juice there to really challenge that whole group and elevate the offense. So I’m really excited about what we did there.”

The Panthers are looking to turn things around after suffering six consecutive losing seasons. The 2023 season was a difficult one for Carolina, finishing with a 2-15 record, their worst since the 2010 season when they finished 2-14. Last year, the Panthers had the No. 1 overall pick in the draft and selected Young who finished the season with 2,877 passing yards, 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.