Breaking down picks for Panthers in NFL.com’s latest 5-round mock draft

NFL.com draft analyst Chad Reuter just went five rounds deep for his latest 2024 mock. And since the Carolina Panthers don’t have a first-round pick this spring, you know we’re going to dive right into these projections.

So, let’s break down each of Reuter’s selections for the Panthers . . .

*Reuter projects the following trade with the Las Vegas Raiders: Carolina receives Pick No. 44, Pick No. 112 and Pick No. 148 for Pick No. 33

Pick No. 39 (Second round): Braden Fiske, DL, Florida State

 

Dec 2, 2023; Charlotte, NC, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive lineman Braden Fiske (55) tackles Louisville Cardinals running back Jawhar Jordan (25) in the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 292 pounds
Age: 24

Breakdown: Fiske, at the absolute worst, is going to be a solid player in the NFL. But spending Carolina’s very first pick of this draft on a defender who isn’t an edge rusher or a cornerback, especially with the likes of Cooper DeJean and Kool Aid-McKinstry on the board here, is an underwhelming choice.

Grade: D-

Pick No. 44 (Second round): Ben Sinnott, TE, Kansas State

 

Kansas State junior tight end Ben Sinnott (34) drives through Kansas defenders during the first quarter of Saturday’s Sunflower Showdown against Kansas inside David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 250 pounds
Age: 21

Breakdown: Like Fiske, Sinnott also projects well as a pro. Plus, the Panthers could use something a bit fresh at the tight end position. But Sinnott, who was taken over wideouts Adonai Mitchell and Xavier Legette as well as center Jackson Powers-Johnson in this spot, could probably be had much later in this draft.

Grade: F

Pick No. 65 (Third round): T.J. Tampa, CB, Iowa State

 

AMES, IA – NOVEMBER 5: Defensive back T.J. Tampa #2 of the Iowa State Cyclones tackles wide receiver Cortez Braham #11 of the West Virginia Mountaineers as he rushed for yards in the first half of play at Jack Trice Stadium on November 5, 2022 in Ames, Iowa. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)

Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 189 pounds
Age: 22

Breakdown: After a few reaches, the Panthers get themselves a steal. Tampa is a long-limbed corner who would be the favorite to start across from Jaycee Horn in 2024.

Grade: A

Pick No. 101 (Fourth round): Jermaine Burton, WR, Alabama

 

Nov 25, 2023; Auburn, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Jermaine Burton (3) makes a catch and a move against Auburn Tigers cornerback Nehemiah Pritchett (1) at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Height: six-foot
Weight: 196 pounds
Age: 22

Breakdown: The first wideout comes in the fourth round, but it’s a pretty sweet value for the Panthers. Burton is a potent ball carrier and can bring the home-run threat this offense currently lacks. There are, however, some conversations to be had about his background.

Grade: B+

Pick No. 112 (Fourth round): Dylan McMahon, C, NC State

 

Mar 3, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; North Carolina State offensive lineman Dylan McMahon (OL49) during the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 299 pounds

Breakdown: We’re getting a little reach-y again, but at least McMahon gives the Panthers two things—depth and competition for Austin Corbett under center.

Grade: C

Pick No. 141 (Fifth round): Jaylen Harrell, EDGE, Michigan

Michigan defensive end Jaylen Harrell (32) looks to tackle Alabama running back Justice Haynes (22) during the second of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., on Monday, Jan. 1, 2024.

Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 250 pounds
Age: 21

Breakdown: Harrell won’t start off the edge, even with Carolina’s lack of pass rushers. He could, however, eventually find a spot in the rotation and contribute on special teams.

Grade: B

Pick No. 142 (Fifth round): Jaylan Ford, LB, Texas

Oct 21, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns linebacker Jaylan Ford (41) in action during the fourth quarter against the Houston Cougars at TDECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 240 pounds
Age: 22

Breakdown: Ford was a two-year starter for the Longhorns. He could factor in early on, especially with the Panthers being a bit thin in the middle.

Grade: B+

Pick No. 148 (Fifth round): Jaylin Simpson, S, Auburn

Auburn Tigers defensive back Jaylin Simpson (36) celebrates before being called for defensive pass interference call during the first quarter as Auburn Tigers take on New Mexico State Aggies at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala., on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023.

Height: six-foot
Weight: 179 pounds

Breakdown: The speedy and long Simpson is a nice find this late. He also has the tools to man the cornerback position if needed.

Grade: A-

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