Panthers 2024 mock draft 2.0: The Morgan-Canales edition

The Carolina Panthers were leader-less, at least in two key positions, the last time we checked in with a mock draft. But things have changed.

On Thursday, the organization will officially introduce new president of football operations/general manager Dan Morgan and new head coach Dave Canales. Both were hired last week, as the team will once again start fresh in building towards a positive future.

So, how will that future look under the new power duo?

Here’s our early Morgan-Canales mock:

*Pick No. 39 (Second round): Troy Fautanu, OL, Washington

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants receive 33rd, 65th overall picks
Panthers receive 39th, 47th overall picks

Morgan and Canales spent eight years together in Seattle. And what’s more Seattle than trading down and drafting out of UDub?

Carolina, coincidentally, facilitates New York’s move for Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. at the top of the second round. And grabbing Fautanu allows the Panthers to help their own young passer by sparking some creativity on the left side of their line.

If they stick with Ikem Ekwonu at left tackle, the slightly-undersized Fautanu could be a natural fit at left guard. If they decide to kick Ickey to the inside given his struggles with speed rushers off the edge, Fautanu—who has drawn comparisons to Pro Bowler Rashawn Slater—has the experience and athleticism to man the blindside.

Sorting that out isn’t exactly the worst problem to have, especially considering that it’ll give the unit some premium depth by moving usual starting left guard Brady Christensen into a sixth-man role.

*Pick No. 47 (Second round): Ja'Lynn Polk, WR, Washington

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Another pick, another dawg.

This year’s class is flush with receiving talent, and Polk is amongst the most reliable. The 6-foot-2, 204-pounder has sure hands, top-level tracking skills and a knack for YAC.

Pick No. 101 (Fourth round): Darius Robinson, EDGE, Missouri

Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports

Morgan was part of a front office who loved their physical specimens. So, here’s one.

The 6-foot-5, 296-pound Robinson is essentially the 2024 version of Yetur Gross-Matos—a huge edge defender who is very solid against the run, but could use some added juice as a pass rusher. Oh, and it just so happens Gross-Matos, who had a career campaign in 2023, is about to hit free agency.

Pick No. 169 (Fifth round): Cam Hart, CB, Notre Dame

Michael Hickey/Getty Images
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

What would a Seahawks-inspired draft be without a long-limbed cornerback?

Hart, at 6-foot-3 and 204 pounds, is both a physical and a smooth mover in the secondary. The Panthers may, once again, desperately need some depth there.

Pick No. 180 (Sixth round): Moose Muhammad III, WR, Texas A&M

Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports
Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe Morgan could give his former teammate’s kid a job.

Son of Panthers great Muhsin Muhammad, Moose has built up a reputation of his own as a dangerous wideout. He may not be as big as his dad at 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds, but his playmaking ability and refinement as a route runner (wonder how he got that) might make up for those few inches.

Pick No. 222 (Seventh round): Brevyn Spann-Ford, TE, Minnesota

Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

We’ll close this out with another prospect who may have been built in a lab.

Spann-Ford stands at a ridiculous 6-foot-7 and 263 pounds. That size will certainly work in pass protection and in the run game, and could pop up as a potent target in the red zone.

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Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire